28 Apr 2010

DB Systems (DB), helped provide the IT network infrastructure at last week’s televised election debate in Manchester, which was viewed by almost 10 million people.

Working with high-end technical support company AT Communications, DB installed various services, such as wifi access points, networking and related IT infrasturcture. DB also provided IT support to the Media Centre in order to allow more than 300 journalists to monitor and have instant access to the likes of online polls and live data relating to audience reaction.

ATC was employed by ITV to provide the AV for what was known as the “Spin Central” where journalists and broadcasters were briefed by politicians before and after the debate.

The broadcast itself was projected on a large 21’ screen with relay plasmas and PA helping all to hear and see what was going on. Further screens were used in breakout rooms where the political parties based themselves to react to events.

ATC’s Project Manager Phil Boyes said: “Everyone was raving about it. BBC and Sky said they would have to raise their game to match this event as they staged their leaders’ debates later in the campaign.”

For DB Systems this project was one of the first following the company evolving its business model earlier this year to offer clients an internet and telecommunications service in addition to its core AV rental business.

David Bulley, DB Systems’ Managing Director, said: "It was really exciting to be so involved at the front line of the current election with the historic first ever election debate.

“With hundreds of journalists and TV crews eager to access the internet during the debate for instantaneous reaction from on line audience polls, Facebook and Twitters, it was vital the infrastructure was robust.

“ITV was very keen for the users to have a great experience, so they lasered a 1,000mb connection from its Manchester base to the venue. Working with the ITV team, we had to design a system that had real resilience right across the network."
Steve Teague, Head of Technical Services at ITV said: “ATC & DB made sure the media centre worked effectively for what was the biggest political event of the century.
“Phil Boyes’ team were thorough in their planning, checking and communication. The crew were well disciplined and nothing was too much trouble.”

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