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NETAID: Clear Brings World's Largest Webcast NZ

NETAID: World's largest webcast brought to NZ by CLEAR Net

(Note – three releases on this weekend’s web-event are appended below…)

Thursday, 07 October 1999

World's largest webcast brought to New Zealand by CLEAR Net

The world's largest Internet event, the NetAid concerts for poverty, will be made available to New Zealanders through CLEAR Net.

Three overlapping stadium concerts will be fed live on-line to the country's 400,000-plus Internet users from 5am to 4pm on Sunday, 10 October.

CLEAR Net says the combination of performers such as Bono, Sting, Robbie Williams and Catatonia, and NetAid's objective of fundraising and education for global development, is likely to attract the country's biggest ever on-line audience for a single event.

NetAid will be live on television, radio and the Internet around the world. In New Zealand, the webcast at www.clear.net.nz is understood to be the only confirmed means of viewing the concerts.

The event is expected to generate 60 million hits per hour on the NetAid website - 10 times the peak of the last Olympics and last year's Soccer World Cup. CLEAR's Senior Manager Internet Services, Andy Lake says it's difficult to estimate the number of hits in New Zealand, but it is certain to eclipse the on-line audience for the previous most popular single event, the Pathfinder Mars landing.

Previous large worldwide on-line events have taxed New Zealand's international bandwidth, but Mr Lake says CLEAR Net will deploy leading-edge technology to leapfrog the congestion. "We have recently installed Akamai FreeFlow technology in the Auckland Sky Tower and NetAid will be our first opportunity to really put it through its paces. Essentially, FreeFlow brings the concert to New Zealand so Kiwis can access it here, without having to view video from a US site and suffer the congestion and performance degradation that sometimes goes with that."

ENDS

Top Performers Join Cisco Systems and UNDP to Help End Extreme Poverty First Global Integration of TV, the Internet and Events for Social Change;

Cisco Systems and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have announced a world-class line up of entertainers scheduled to perform in NetAid, a long-term initiative created by the two organizations to help end the growing problem of extreme poverty.

NetAid will bring together for the first time the power of the Internet, the global reach of television and radio, and the energy and impact of world-renowned artists and producers to inspire action against one of the world's most serious problems.

Each of the artists will perform at one of the three overlapping NetAid concerts on October 9 at Giants Stadium in New York, Wembley Stadium in London and The Palais des Nations in Geneva. The scheduled artists include: * Bush * Wyclef Jean with Bono * The Corrs * Michael Kamen and Orchestra * Counting Crows * George Michael * Celine Dion * Jimmy Page * Eurythmics * Pete Townshend * Jewel * Robbie Williams

A limited number of artists will be added to the shows.

The concerts will be one of the most widely broadcast programmes for social change in history. VH1 and MTV will broadcast the concerts in the US, and BBC television and radio will carry them in the UK. Radio Express will distribute a radio feed of the concerts worldwide, and negotiations are in progress for additional television rights around the world. The entire program also will be webcast live on two channels - one carrying the concert, the second showing backstage scenes.

A total of 110,000 tickets will be available for the two shows. The Geneva concert is by invitation only.

"NetAid is a new Internet model for social change that will combine cutting edge technology with the world's best artistic talent and poverty-fighting expertise," said Don Listwin, executive vice president of Cisco Systems. "Just as the Internet has revolutionized business, the Internet can help lift the hopes of communities in need by bringing ideas, people and resources together in ways never thought possible. NetAid will use the largest scale Internet technology ever deployed to tackle one of the world's largest problems."

The technology employed by NetAid is unique in scale and integration. It includes one of the world's most powerful web sites, http://www.NetAid.org , creating opportunities for people to learn, contribute time and money, exchange ideas and expertise, and join with those leading the fight against extreme poverty. The site, which will continue indefinitely after the concerts, will have capacity to handle 125,000 simultaneous live streams, about 10 times the scale of any other streaming site, and 60 million hits per hour - 10 times the peak of the last Olympics and 1998 Men's World Cup.

To manage this traffic, NetAid will employ a distributed network of more than 1,500 servers in over 90 locations worldwide. KPMG, a leading Internet integrator, is building the web site. Akamai Technologies is serving the site content using its Internet content delivery system. Both companies are sponsors of NetAid and are donating enormous amounts of time and technology. Real Networks is supporting the webcast.

The integration of the webcast, web site, television and radio will give audiences unprecedented flexibility, enabling them to enjoy the same program through different media, access a rich diversity of information, and choose their own means to fight extreme poverty. At the same time, the integration will create unique synergies to enhance NetAid's effectiveness. For instance, people watching on TV or via webcast will be prompted by artists and film packages to click online to learn more about certain efforts to address poverty, take action or join with leading UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Further information: http://www.NetAid.org/

Thursday, 7 October 1999

CLEAR Net host Advanced Web Performance Server

CLEAR Net announced today that it will exclusively host Akamai Technologies' New Zealand server, providing local access to the world's most high-performance Internet content delivery network.

Akamai Technologies selected CLEAR Net as its only New Zealand partner in a recent geographic expansion of its network. The Akamai network now has over 1,200 servers deployed in 15 countries across 25 leading carriers' networks.

CLEAR's Senior Manager of Internet Services, Andy Lake, said CLEAR Net was chosen because it is seen as a leading ISP with the ability to deliver advanced Internet services and applications.

"All New Zealand Internet users will benefit from the local placement of this advanced web-performance technology," said Lake. "However CLEAR Net customers who now have a direct link to the Akamai network will be the big winners."

Since its development in 1998, Akamai's FreeFlow service has revolutionised the way rich content is delivered over the Internet, providing a fast and reliable solution to Internet capacity bottlenecks.

Akamai mainly services high-profile media and ecommerce websites, including Apple.com, Yahoo, and the CNN, Paramount Pictures and Discovery Channel sites.

New Zealand demand for these highly trafficked Akamai sites is high and, until now, demand for bandwidth has sometimes hindered users' ease of access, said Lake.

"These problems are now history for users accessing the fast growing list of sites using FreeFlow. The Akamai partnership will allow CLEAR Net customers to gain fast, efficient access and better performance from popular global websites with rich content," said Lake.

FreeFlow technology mirrors rich website content in servers around the world, so when local users access a site they draw content from the nearest Akamai server. Real-time traffic monitoring, network routing and content management are key features of Free Flow.

This technology shortens the distance high-capacity content, such as images, sound, animation and streamed video, needs to travel and takes pressure off the central server hosting the main website.

The first global demonstration of the capabilities of the Akamai network will be the NetAid concerts scheduled for Sunday October 10 (NZ time), said Lake.

"Instead of 10, 000 New Zealanders downloading the concert from NetAid's host server in the US, CLEAR Net's Akamai server will mirror one streamed copy of the coverage. This means an anticipated 10,000-plus viewers will access the concert locally, avoiding the congestion that would normally impede such high-capacity, long distance content delivery," said Lake.

The concert webcast will be accessible from the CLEAR Net website www.clear.net.nz from 5am to 4pm on Sunday, 10 October.

ENDS


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