BBC axe Vodafone in favour of £100m BT deal

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The Beeb has picked BT as its broadcast network partner for next seven years, ditching Vodafone in the process

Thee BBC has signed a £100 million broadcast network deal with BT, bringing an end to its agreement with current provider Vodafone.

From April 2017, BT will support all of the BBC’s UK sites, including 21 broadcast centres and local radio stations, carrying its entire video, audio, data, telephone and broadband service.

The deal is worth £100 million, although the BBC said this would save it “tens of millions of pounds” over the next seven years compared with its existing agreement which is supplied through the BBC’s principal technology services provider, Atos.

MBT global VP for media and broadcast Mark Wilson-Dunn said: “We are delighted by the BBC’s decision to choose us as their next generation broadcast network partner. Both of our organisations have a vital part to play in making the best use of advanced technology to support and enable the ever-accelerating evolution of broadcast media.”

BT will now work alongside Vodafone to make sure the transition is carried out smoothley, although the BBC said it will also continue to work with the mobile operator. Vodafone UK will still be providing a key data centre, telephony services and additional connectivity in London.

The state-owned broadcaster also said the new deal will allow it to “explore emerging, data-hungry formats – like Ultra HD (4K), 360-degree content, and others yet to be invented.”

BBC chief technology Matthew Postgate said: “This is an important step towards building an internet-fit BBC and will allow us to provide more interactive and personalised content in the future.

“At a time when the BBC faces serious financial challenges, it will also save us tens of millions of pounds so we can focus more of our money on the programmes and services for licence fee payers.”

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