December 13, 1996 5:30 PM ET

BBN's RSVP to broadcast text, video programming
By Tom Davey

  BBN Corp. announced this week a pilot network that will broadcast specialized multimedia content to desktops using Resource Reservation Protocol technology.

The pilot, which the Cambridge, Mass., Internet service provider is co-developing with New York-based content provider WBN (Worldwide Broadcasting Network), will deliver text, audio and video programming to financial institutions and other corporations using ProVision, BBN's RSVP network.

The network was jointly announced at Internet World in New York.

RSVP gives priority to certain Internet traffic, enabling smoother transmission of such applications as video, which requires significant bandwidth to be available on demand.

The first sites of the pilot, which begin receiving WBN content this month, are the American Stock Exchange and Banque Paribas, a Paris-based international bank. BBN and WBN plan to begin offering the service commercially around the middle of next year, said BBN officials.

In addition to creating its own content, WBN provides business news feeds from ABC/WGN, in Manhattan, and video reports from Merrill Lynch & Co., and is about to announce a deal with Reuters, said WBN President Aly Kazeroonian.

A beta tester said the broadcasts should save money.

"This saves us from going through the expense of setting up a TV broadcast," said Caesar Salazar, software developer for emerging markets at Banque Paribas. "This also allows a specific audience to receive very specific material."

Users of the service will see three windows on their browser: one for video; another for text that is translated from video, for PCs lacking a sound card; and a chat area for communicating with others in the network.

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