Over 50,000 people have visited and much has been written about the amazing Telectroscope, the extraordinary vision of Paul St George. The Telectroscope - a giant telescope-like device - links London and New York allowing visitors to see across the Atlantic Ocean. According to Mr St George, the tunnel was constructed over a century ago and the Telectroscope invented by his forebear Alexander Stanhope St George. But is it really what it seems? Is it simply a cable under the ocean or something more complex?
Unraveling the mystery, Tiscali Business Services, which engineered the project, has explained how modern technology has played its part in bringing the people of two continents together in real time.
For the more technically minded among us, here goes…
The task of providing the complex network may look as simple as a cable running from London to New York to provide connectivity between the two continents, but to provide the technology and network that underpins the whole project required careful planning, collaboration and management.
The challenge was to create a two site Virtual Private Network (VPN) across the Tiscali network - one site at the London end of the Telectroscope, the other in New York.
The London end of the link is provided via 4 x 2Mbps circuits bonded together to provide an 8Mbps of link throughput to the Tiscali UK MPLS core network.
The New York end of the link is through a 100Mbps Local Area Network Extension Service (LES100) with a restriction of 50Mbps of bandwidth across this link back into the Tiscali International MPLS network. Once this reaches the Tiscali International network the link is extended through a transatlantic link to Tiscali UK MPLS network to complete the New York - London link.
Both links are placed in the VPN within the Tiscali MPLS network to provide the seamless connectivity between London and New York.
Furthermore, Tiscali Business Services was also tasked with providing remote and secure management access to the VPN. This was achieved in two ways:
1. Providing ADSL links directly into the VPN with the use of Tiscali DSL platforms to provide desk-based full access to London and New York locations.
2. To monitor both sites remotely, Tiscali Business Services created a highly secure firewall. This allowed technical administrators to log into the VPN through a secure tunnel across the Internet to undertake day to day monitoring of the Telectroscope.
Tiscali’s digital media partner Twofour Digital provided high quality video cameras at each end of the Telectroscope feeding an MPEG 2 encoder, which delivers the stream over the Tiscali network to the Telectroscopes’s projector. Twofour provided the installation and ongoing support.
Nathan Francis, Managing Director of Tiscali Business Services, says: “This project has really caught the public’s imagination and it’s made many people smile, laugh and act silly on both sides of the Atlantic. Tiscali has been delighted to get involved with the project and my thanks go to the backroom technical wizards at Tiscali Business Services and to our partners, including TwoFour digital, for making it possible.”
Nicky Webb, Director at Artichoke, the event’s producers, says: “Tiscali worked tirelessly on two continents to ensure that the technical challenges of the project were met. It is a tribute to their team that the many thousands of delighted visitors in London and New York were not aware of just how complicated a project this was – they could simply enjoy a magical experience. We are hugely grateful to them for making it possible.”
So there you have it. The role of an ISP involved in international eye spy!
Video of the Teletcroscope can be viewed at:
Tiscali UK forms part of Tiscali SpA., headquartered in Cagliari, Italy. The UK company was launched in July, 2001 following the acquisitions of Liberty Surf, World Online and LineOne. Tiscali UK also acquired Tiny and Gateway ISPs ands more recently Video Networks Limited in 2006 to enable it to provide Triple Play broadband, telephone and home entertainment IPTV and Video on Demand services and the Pipex broadband and telephone business in September 2007.
Providing broadband, dialup, telephone and TV services to over three million customers of which two million are broadband customers, Tiscali UK is positioned within the UK market as the 3rd largest DSL broadband provider.
One of the most comprehensive sites on the web, Tiscali's portal www.tiscali.co.uk provides 25 channels and over 55,000 pages of constantly updated information, resources and entertainment content. The site receives over 6.7 million unique visitors per month*, a total of 314 million page views. The site gives access to online services from shopping to sport and money to entertainment and also provides services such as legal music downloading from a catalogue of over 1 million tracks, a free Video Email service and a Members Area with exclusive content and offers.
Tiscali S.p.A. (Borsa Italiana, Milan: TIS) is one of the main alternative European telecommunication companies. With one of the largest and most interconnected IP networks in the world, Tiscali is able to supply its customers, residential and business, with a full range of services: Internet access, both dial-up and ADSL, voice, VoIP, IPTV, media, value added services (VAS), and other technologically advanced products. * ABCe January 2008
As of 31st March 2008, Tiscali had ca 3.5 million active users in Italy and the UK. 2.45 million of these were ADSL customers.
Tiscali's corporate website can be found at www.tiscali.com.
Visit the Tiscali Press Centre at www.tiscali.co.uk/press
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