BT designs high-speed media network

Peel Media, the developers and owners of MediaCityUK, has awarded a multi-million-pound communications contract to BT Business to design, implement and manage a 10Gb/sec network at the MediaCityUK development at Salford Quays on Manchester’s waterfront.

All MediaCityUK’s tenants, including the BBC, Salford University and Northwest Vision and Media, will be able to benefit from the network, designed specifically to meet the needs of the media industry.

The private network will be based on optical fibre and Cisco technologies. It will comprise more than 20 million metres of optical-fibre cable carrying voice, data, high- and standard-definition video and wireless-communications services.

The five-year contract will see BT start the installation of the network later this year. The first phase of the £500m complex is expected to be completed in 2011.

The BBC and Salford University have already committed to MediaCityUK. The BBC will relocate 2,500 staff from Sport, Radio 5 Live, Future Media and Technology, Children’s (including CBeebies and CBBC channels), Formal Learning and all local, regional and network broadcasting currently based in the centre of Manchester.

For its part, Salford University will create a higher-education centre at the heart of MediaCityUK. More than 800 students and staff are expected to use the campus, which will open in time for the autumn intake of 2011.