15 August 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
100Mb connection installed in Ashford Studios by Airspeed Telecom to end connection issues
16 Apr 2015 : Seán Brosnan
Ashford Studios plays host to large-scale international projects such as History’s ‘Vikings’
AirSpeed Telecom, one of the leading providers of integrated licensed wireless with fibre telecommunications services to businesses in Ireland, has installed a scalable 100Mb network connection at Ashford Studios, the state-of-the-art TV and film production facility based in a broadband blackspot in Co.Wicklow.

Ashford Studios, which oversees a host of visual productions including the acclaimed ‘Vikings’ television drama, is located on a 300 acre site in the townland of Ballyhenry, 37km south of Dublin, and boasts the largest soundstages in Ireland, ranging 15,000 to 28,000 square feet.

However, the rural setting of Ashford Studios means that securing traditional high speed broadband access is a problem, posing a major challenge for an industry where connectivity is vital. AirSpeed Telecom worked with the studio to overcome the lack of high speed connectivity in the area by installing a highly flexible uncontended 100 Mbps network based on licensed wireless technology. The connection can scale up to 200Mbps when higher speeds are required.

With most international co-productions often located overseas, AirSpeed Telecom’s connectivity solution allows productions at Ashford to transfer footage to post production facilities all over the world. As well as being vital for the transfer of daily footage, continuous connectivity is also essential for a range of other processes, such as viewing everything from first edits to post-production online and adjusting lighting set ups remotely over the network as required.

AirSpeed also designed a SIP voice solution for Ashford Studios. Unlike ISDN, SIP entails no line rental charges and can carry all inbound and outbound calls over its data connection, with domestic and international call rates much lower than traditional solutions. Given the international element of the business, overseas calls are important and rates can be high, however this large expense has now been eliminated with this solution provided by AirSpeed Telecom.

Shelley O’Connell, Managing Director of Ashford Studios, said: ‘High-bandwidth connectivity has always been imperative in this industry. Production companies coming to us from other countries absolutely require high bandwidth. With the lack of fibre in the area, the Airspeed wireless solution at 100Mbps is affordable. It’s a huge advantage to us that the connection can also carry our phone calls. With the international nature of this business, overseas calls are important and rates can be quite high. This large expense has been completely eliminated now with the solution we get from AirSpeed.’

With Ashford Studios now moving into a new phase of development, the company is looking at the potential to further increase services such as dedicated recording, post-production and screening facilities on-site in Wicklow. As a result, Airspeed Telecom’s partnership will take on added importance as the studio looks to further develop its state-of-the-art facility and continue to draw big blockbuster productions like ‘Vikings’ to Ireland.

Shelley O Connell adds: ‘Technology is going to become even more important to us and our customers in the future. Connectivity is everywhere in production -- actors can even be cast over Skype -- and that's something that's not going to go away.’

Shelley also commended AirSpeed Telecom’s level of responsiveness, reliability and commercial flexibility to facilitate the studio’s highly seasonal business: ‘There have been no issues with AirSpeed - whenever we have a requirement, the response time is very quick, and I know I'm talking directly to the people within AirSpeed who can make things happen.’

Liam O’ Kelly, Managing Director of AirSpeed Telecom, says: ‘We are delighted that we could resolve connectivity issues for Ashford Studios. In today’s extremely competitive environment, production studios need to have access to reliable and superfast connectivity 24 hours a day and location shouldn’t get in the way of that. Despite being only 37km from Dublin, a lot of rural Wicklow is a broadband blackspot and we are delighted that we could implement our licensed wireless solution to resolve connectivity issues for Ashford Studios. We look forward to working with the company as it continues to grow over the coming months and uses our scalable connectivity to provide a range of new services to the global TV and film production industry.’

For more information of Airspeed Telecom, go to www.airspeed.ie.

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