Reserve your own bandwidth

Video conference via satellite
Users can schedule their own satellite network connection
25 November 2004

Thanks to an ESA funded project, bandwidth-on-demand has become much more efficient. Users in remote sites around Canada can now book their own satellite sessions on a satellite network and see which sessions are currently reserved.

The CollaBoD software which makes this possible is the result of the teamwork between Canada's Collaborative Network Technologies (ColabNet) and Telesat Canada to deal with the problems of efficient Bandwidth-on-Demand (BoD).

Currently, satellite telecommunications suppliers lack sufficient control of BoD facilities; while administrators lack the ability to track data for planning and billing; and in the event of an emergency Central Operations need to be able to override existing programmes to avoid users from interfering with each other.


The huge geographic size of Canada (roughly 6% of the total global land mass) means that users are widely scattered, even across different time zones, forcing them to make connections via a sometimes over-committed shared network infrastructure (terrestrial, satellite, wireless). Users must further contend with the laborious task of booking and operating their own services.

Advanced booking

A number of benefits are offered to a satellite provider's network operations centre. Monitoring of existing and requested programme bookings can be made, and programming can be overridden in order to resolve conflicts over shared resources in real time. Furthermore, the operations centre can interact directly with programme operators and technical support personnel.


Progress has also been made in the way in which advanced bookings are made. A web-based interface lets users browse current scheduling and booking sessions by selecting the community sites to be connected such as a health clinic to a regional hospital and the type of session they require.

The major benefit of CollaBoD is that it allows the community users to take on the bulk of their own network scheduling and management tasks giving them independence from the satellite operators Network Operations Centre.

ColabNet has already begun commercializing the technology under the product name Equidistant.

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