CDN failure compounded Optus' FIFA World Cup woes

CDN failure compounded Optus' FIFA World Cup woes

SBS will broadcast the rest of the World Cup group stage on free-to-air TV after Optus determined its streaming service could not cope with the immediate demand from the Australian public.

In one of the content delivery networks we had a critical failure between the encoder and the packager.

"While most customers on most platforms were unaffected, we apologise unreservedly to those customers who were, and are continuing to investigate the cause of these systems issues".

Optus chief executive Allen Lew said the telco was confident it had fixed the problems that have plagued its streaming service so far, but it wanted to provide Australians with choice.

"As part of the testing and end-to-end field testing of this product, we have made it more resilient and we are now confident that even when we open it up for free to all Australians we will have the capacity and capability to meet the needs of Australians".

The telecommunications giant has come in for widespread criticism in Australia after repeated disruptions to its streaming coverage of the global soccer tournament, which has been marred by buffering issues and constant lag.

Tonight's first match is between Portugal and Morocco, kicking off at 10pm AEST, and will be followed by Uruguay v Saudi Arabia at 1am and Iran v Spain at 4am on Thursday. It was also discussed in Parliament during question time with opposition leader Bill Shorten suggesting that perhaps SBS funding cuts are to blame as this is the first year that SBS has not had exclusive rights to the World Cup.

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Chief executive Allen Lew took a press call on Monday night to announce it would cede some of its exclusive FIFA World Cup broadcast rights to SBS for 48 hours as it worked to solve disruptions.

"At the end of the day, the World Cup gets a large number of viewership that's significantly higher than a season-long league competition", Lew told ZDNet.

"We've created some very significant associations with what we've done in live streaming sport".

Lew explained to ZDNet that the problem had been in the content-delivery network.

Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said Optus needed to deliver on what it promised after its technical meltdown.

"If they haven't already done so they should contact Optus with details of their experience and ask for at least a partial refund of their monthly charge".

Unfortunately, things haven't been quite so peachy at Optus this week, and after struggling to get the World Cup broadcast streaming to its paid subscribers (and taking heat over it), it's handing the reigns over to SBS.

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