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ITS installs fiber for Athletics for sports network

ITS Communication Technologies’ Transport Operations unit has installed miles of fiber and cable on campus that will enable the Athletics department to provide live video and data for the ACC Digital Network that ESPN and the Atlantic Coast Conference are launching in 2019.






The purpose of this project is to install a network of fiber optic cable for the sole use of video transmission from each athletic venue on campus back to Athletics’ video production studio.

In advance of the ACC network launch, Athletics has already used — and has expressed satisfaction with — the completed sections of the fiber network.

By the end of the fiscal year, Transport Operations had completed the first phase of the ESPN/Athletics fiber project, which called for a 288-strand, single-mode fiber backbone fiber from Smith Center to Carmichael Arena. That backbone fiber connected the two main production studios for Athletics. Transport Operations also tied in Kenan stadium, Boshamer, Anderson softball, and the new field hockey stadium into that backbone fiber so that Athletics could have connections back to both studios.

This work provided five sports venues with direct fiber connections to the production studio that currently resides in the Smith Center. Those venues are Carmichael Arena, Boshamer stadium, Anderson softball, Kenan football and the Smith Center itself.

ITS started fiber installation work early morning June 6, 2017

Two additional venues will be on the network when constructed — field hockey and the soccer complex. Once those have been completed, Transport Operations will install their spur cables into the backbone and will complete the first phase of the Athletics-funded fiber optic network deployment for the new ACC network, connecting eight Athletics facilities and accounting for 646 miles of fiber.

When Athletics completes a new production studio next to the Smith Center, Transport Operations will move the backbone fiber from its current location in the Smith Center to that facility.

The estimated cost for Transport Operations’ labor and materials is $110,916.

Most of the fiber runs underground in manhole systems between buildings

This is the first project in which ITS has installed an entire fiber backbone for use solely by one campus entity. When ITS lays additional fiber, its customer is usually the University for fiber that the entire campus will use. For this sports network project, Athletics is ITS’ customer. Athletics is buying the fiber. ITS is installing it and will maintain the fiber for Athletics. For more than a decade, Athletics has leased fiber from ITS for video production.

Athletics will transmit more than 200 athletic events per year from the sports venues to the production studios and main hubs at the Smith Center and Carmichael and then on to the ACC DN linear channel that the ACC and ESPN are launching.

Previously, there were only two pairs of fiber to each arena. Considering Athletics would have to share that fiber capacity with all of the University’s networking needs and for the Distributed Antenna System, those two pairs were not sufficient.

Key Partner(s): Athletics
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