TV3 launched on September 20th 1998 as Ireland’s first free-to-air channel independent of state aid at taxpayer expense. With the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern officially ‘flicking the switch’, TV3 came to life marking the dawn of a new era in Irish television offering viewers a quality alternative to the country’s three state-owned networks (including the part-time Irish language broadcaster TG4).
TV3 went to air with a mixture of news, current affairs, mini-series and Irish-produced programming. A.C. Nielsen ratings showed that TV3’s ‘opening night’ was a huge success, with fully one-third of the Irish population tuning in at some point during the evening.
TV3 continues to provide the Ireland with a mix of popular locally and internationally produced television programs and its current affairs and political analysis programs offer well-balanced debate.
Research shows that more and more people are streaming programs from the Internet directly in response to which television stations have released streaming media player support. Wishing to stay ahead in the market TV3 decided to commission its own player entitled ‘3Player’. 3player was to be the first to work on all platforms including the Apple iPhone or iPad where streaming without the use of Adobe Flash player has proven to be a major obstacle.
Having chosen a location in Dublin City Centre for the launch of the 3Player it was quickly established that there was no Internet connectivity to support real time usage of the 3Player during the launch. As a result, TV3’s development company made contact with Airfibre to see if it was possible to provide the temporary connectivity for the day.
Providing wireless symmetrical Internet leased line circuits, Airfibre is not subject to long lead times for installation provided line of sight exists to one of its local point of presence.
A site survey was hastily arranged and line of sight confirmed and, once given the go ahead, Airfibre configured the equipment, ran cables, aligned the radio and commissioned the circuit in time for the event.
The installation, which was completed inside 24 hours, provided 8 mbps of completely uncontended and fully symmetrical Internet connectivity to facilitate the TV3 3Player launch. Airfibre also installed an internal wireless router to allow members of the attending media to connect to the Internet in order to sample the 3Player first hand.
As the installation took place the day before the event it was possible for TV3 to test the 3Player with a variety of equipment to ensure that it would run smoothly. Following testing, the equipment was disconnected so that the hosting restaurant could operate normally. Airfibre redeployed the circuit at 6am on the morning of the launch.
The event passed off successfully. In closing TV3’s Peter Clerkin expressed his satisfaction with working Airfibre, “Airfibre’s ability to adapt and facilitate the 3Player launch at such short notice was impressive. They were present during the whole process to ensure that it ran smoothly, and thankfully it did.”