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Highwinds Teams with Digital Rapids and Knack Networks to Create Advanced IPTV Solutions for Professional Media Firms
Tuesday, March 11. 2008
Highwinds Network Group, Inc., a multi-platform IP services and content distribution provider, today announced it is partnering with Digital Rapids Corporation and Knack Networks to create advanced IPTV solutions for the vast market of professional media companies worldwide -- including traditional cable and direct-to-home distribution companies, broadcasters, film and television studios and producers, as well as new-generation Internet media companies. The solutions handle both live and on-demand channels of video delivery direct to the home or office utilizing Highwinds' RollingThunder(TM: 103.16, +2.32, +2.30%) network.

Highwinds will collaborate with Digital Rapids and Knack Networks to develop and market complete, end-to-end, fully managed video distribution solutions that leverage the three companies' expertise in their respective domains. The turnkey offerings resulting from the companies' partnership will integrate:

-- Highwinds' content delivery network (CDN) infrastructure and associated technologies, including its industry-leading real-time analytics
-- Digital Rapids' highly scalable hardware and software solutions formedia capture, encoding, transcoding, protection, streaming and
-- Knack Networks' universal interface platform which enables professional media companies to source, store, protect, monetize, manage and distribute IPTV programming from the vast array of traditional and emerging channels, while insulating them from the complexities and risks of changing technology.

Highwinds will showcase its content delivery solutions tapping Digital Rapids and Knack Networks technologies in its exhibit -- Booth #107 -- at IPTV World Forum, March 12-14 in London. Beta site implementations of these offerings will begin at Highwinds and Knack Networks customer sites in April.

Highwinds also announced today it has closed a $55 million round of equity financing led by General Catalyst Partners and Alta Communications. The financing will fund the infrastructure build-out of Highwinds' RollingThunder network, including a content delivery network offering which the company is unveiling at IPTV World Forum.

Highwinds' StrikeTracker dashboard provides important real-time analytics capability

An important value-add in the integrated solutions from Highwinds, Digital Rapids and Knack Networks is provided by the real-time analytics technology in Highwinds' StrikeTracker(TM: 103.16, +2.32, +2.30%) user console. The StrikeTracker dashboard graphically displays all pertinent information for tracking content -- delivery rates, number of hits on specific files, etc. Geographic tracking of requests allows users to drill down into geographic regions and find out how their content is doing in different areas of the world. Typically, within 30 seconds of the first delivery of a file or media stream, the dashboard will begin to show usage data in its graphs.

"Highwinds' unique real-time analytics and reporting capabilities are a driving factor in our partnership with them," said Brick Eksten, president of Digital Rapids Corporation. "The metrics from the Highwinds dashboard support our goal of providing media companies with comprehensive end-to-end global broadcasting workflows, enabling a more complete solution for our customers."

As a Highwinds reseller partner integrating Digital Rapids solutions, Knack Networks will have an advanced 'industrial scale' content delivery network for reaching its professional media customers. The first phase of Knack's network will be deployed in 12 major market areas in the Americas, with the capacity to deliver standard resolution live television to up to 250,000 simultaneous viewers. This will be supported by two IPTV headends from Digital Rapids providing a capacity to ingest 600 live television channels, and by Highwinds' 800 Gbps RollingThunder network and direct peering connections to over 700 ISPs and service networks in North America and Europe. Knack's content delivery will be monitored 24/7 by two Highwinds Network Operation Centers.

"The synergies of this partnership will deliver IPTV solutions whose performance and scalability are unmatched in the industry," said Mark Hayes, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Highwinds. "What's more, the tight integration we are creating with Digital Rapids and Knack Networks will support instant account provisioning, giving professional media companies the agility to get up and running with their video content distribution in minutes, not days or weeks."

Highwinds' technology leadership

Highwinds is a multi-platform IP services and content distribution provider. The Highwinds RollingThunder network was purpose-built in 2007 for a modern, high-change, media object hosting environment. The RollingThunder network currently comprises 21 POPs spanning two continents, a large private peering infrastructure, and an 800 Gbps IP network and high-capacity backbone consisting of multiple redundant 10 Gbps links.

Internet content delivery is a core service that runs on the RollingThunder network. The Highwinds CDN includes nearly half a terabit of CDN server capacity distributed geographically in North America and Europe and has worldwide delivery capabilities. Highwinds' CDN serves content in all the leading industry formats -- Windows Media Server, Adobe Flash Streaming Server, and HTTP downloads.
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