in Defence

BFBS selects BT for content delivery to UK armed forces

Posted 6 February 2024

Military charity and media organisation, the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS), has chosen BT to future-proof delivery of its content for UK armed forces serving overseas and at sea.

Above: British Armed Forces personnel watching BFBS TV in Cyprus.
Courtesy BFBS

BFBS provides serving personnel and their families overseas with a variety of television and radio services via satellite, including a bespoke mix of current British TV, public service broadcasting and access to premium sports, series and movies.

From April, this content – which is curated at BFBS’s headquarters in the UK – will be encoded and multiplexed by BT’s Media and Broadcast unit, using its new virtualised platform hosted at BT Tower.

BFBS will join BT’s intelligent broadcast platform, Vena, for content contribution and distribution. BT will also provide uplink services from its earth station in Herefordshire to three of the satellites used by BFBS to reach its global audience.
Ben Chapman, CEO of BFBS, said: “Moving to BT’s Vena network and virtualised platform offers us the agility to flex and adjust to the evolving needs of our armed forces overseas. It also ensures a secure, robust, and future-proof method of delivering our media content.  
“BFBS is already a trusted and reliable source of media for the military, and this partnership with BT strengthens the technology behind the distribution of our TV, radio, and data services. This is vital, as our channels increase wellbeing and morale for those deployed worldwide, not only in well-connected regions but in remote and austere locations too.”
BFBS joins a growing number of broadcasters on the Vena platform that will process and simplify content production and distribution. The agreement also includes the provision of digital coding and multiplexing, essentially combining multiple content streams into one before distribution to armed forces personnel watching in multiple locations across the globe. All this will be under one umbrella service with full end-to-end, round-the-clock monitoring provided from its International Media Centre at BT Tower.
Faisal Mahomed, Director of BT Media and Broadcast & UK Portfolio Businesses said: “We’re excited to support BFBS with this transition to cloud-based broadcasting. It’s an organisation with a purpose that sits at the heart of BT’s ambitions to connect for good, and we will help them bring content every day to armed forces personnel and their families around the world – including those often serving in difficult or extreme locations.

“Our Vena platform was built to offer broadcasters the resilience and flexibility to serve audiences wherever they are and this is a great example of its potential for the industry.
“BT has a long history of supporting the armed forces and this new partnership with BFBS is building on that heritage and using the power of technology to future-proof services for an organisation that entertains, informs, connects and champions the UK’s armed forces both domestically and across the globe.”




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