Culture Grid optical fibres
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Culture Grid connects cultural Amsterdam

In 2012, the cultural organisations at the Leidseplein (Stadsschouwburg, Paradiso, De Melkweg, De Balie, Theater Bellevue and Amsterdams Uitburo) and the Concertgebouw switched to the optical fibre network of Culture Grid: a service provider delivering high bandwidth services to cultural and non-profit organisations.

At the beginning of 2013, the network further expanded with Energiehuis Dordrecht, a cultural hotspot in the Dordrecht area. This brought the total at 28 cultural organisations that Culture Grid provided with broadband or webhosting services.

Provider for culture

Culture Grid was founded in 2007 to offer Dutch cultural and social enterprises high quality broadband access at a reasonable price. Thanks to the high bandwidth, large amounts of data could be streamed over the Internet and exchanged between the partners.

Dirk Blikkendaal (Head of Production and ICT, IDFA) about the network: “Access to high broadband internet is crucial to us. Annually we receive about 4,000 documentaries, of which 1,200 can be watched during the festival and in our documentary markets ‘Docs for Sale’ and ‘The Forum’. The infrastructure of Culture Grid fills our need for capacity and provides us with the neccessary speed of data traffic.”

Digital programming

Culture Grid used so-called 'dark fibre' to make almost unlimited data traffic possible. Besides IP traffic the network also enabled live video streaming, camera control and intercom functions. These technical options were used by cultural organisations to adjust their programming and cooperate to offer a varied product range.