Fox News scores a first in Internet transmission during Bush visit


Fox News Radio fed the press pool this time down in Africa for President Bush’s visit this week. But in Tanzania, there are no ISDN lines. Fox News found a solution and was able to transmit the broadcasts over the Internet and provide that ability to the other networks—ABC, AP, CBS, NPR and VOA. This is the first time that a network news pool had access to an internet transmission.

Says Mitch Davis, VP/Fox News Radio Network: “This is actually a set up routine for presidential trips overseas—the participating radio networks take turns feeding the transmission. Everything where we were set up was intermittent and unreliable—from electrical to phones. AT&T provides connectivity for the traveling press on these trips. They told us flat out they couldn’t provide an ISDN hookup in Tanzania. So instead of settling for lesser service or have to spend an excess of money on satellite time, we’ve been using some hardware that gives us IT connectivity we used on a previous trip just for ourselves. We managed to move forward into the 21st Century and do this via Internet, because in many third world countries they don’t have the traditional copper-based phone systems or ISDN.”

The gear was the Tieline Commander G3.

RBR/TVBR observation: Even in third world countries, digital technology comes to the rescue. Now that the internet has proven itself worthy of use during presidential visits, these codecs may get even more use for important global press events—they’re dependable and money-saving.