sport

Weight, inefficiency and problems in broadcasting Serie A matches

The deficiencies in the first-division influx of Dazen are now a political issue, which, as it turns out tomorrow, is being examined by Agcom (the Communications Authority), which the government has urged to investigate even under pressure from Parliament. According to some of Italy’s leading telecom experts, the problem is this: an Italian network cannot, at the moment, guarantee (online) football broadcasts of adequate quality. Without power failure or low video resolution.

“Football is an important sport in Italy. And because its access to the Internet can be a factor of innovation in Italians’ habits,” explains Mirella Liuzzi (M5s), the last government’s undersecretary for development and one of the promoters of a bipartisan decision for the Chamber, in September, to compel the government to solve the problem.

The government that, moreover, in the person of Anna Ascani (Under Secretary of Miz) has already taken action on this issue.

English Dazn, in partnership with Tim, acquired the rights to broadcast the 2021-2024 Serie A matches. It does this over the Internet and using the user’s connection, whereas in the past it has done so via a satellite dish.

From the first game there were shortcomings. Two, serious, affected all users. Dozen assume his responsibility and offer compensation. Apparently, Agcom told that the error was two software issues (on the platform being used), which have already been resolved. Again for Agcom, the operators reported that they never registered a congestion on the network.

network question

However, the shortcomings persisted in different parts of Italy, especially in the province. Operators and Dazn are trying to convince Agcom that the fault in these cases lies with the user: a slow connection or a clogged Wi-Fi.

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But it is also the operators’ responsibility if the users’ connection is a weak point. Connections of the best quality, gigabit type, cover only a few of them. Still 10 percent of Italians are in 2022, according to a Goldmedia Analyze estimate, paraphrased by Maurizio Dessina, dean of telecommunications (professor at Milan Polytechnic) and now adviser to Innovation Minister Vittorio Colao on these issues. We have been defeated by Germany, the United Kingdom (so far), and France.

The suspicion that is making its way among experts, and at the Agcom table, however, is another, more serious one: that the Italian network is insufficient not on the part of the user, but on the part of the operator. That is, in the core infrastructure, it has not been updated for years.

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To understand the nature of the problem, he dreams of going back to the time when Dozen made the best offer to win the rights. March 2021. Then the Serie A clubs asked themselves if Dazen and the Italian network would be able to withstand the challenge. They asked some of the prominent advisors, including Francesco Fatalaro, a professor at Sapienza University in Rome.

Vatalaro said the network will survive only through major interventions: new signal encryption – not yet introduced by Dazn – and content distribution (soccer) near the user’s home. If the content is closer to the user, there are fewer shortcomings on the Internet and the quality is more guaranteed.

Dazen and Tim climbed to the 30th position cache (Memories) in operator networks which require an investment of €200,000 each. Thus, the content reaches the user not from the central network, but from a closer distance: from cache accurately.

Tim has also invested in technology (multicasting, costing about €100 million, according to sources close to the operation) to simplify data flow and thus ease the network.

It must be said that Agcom itself, with a public letter to Dazn and the operators in August, requested these interventions; Reserving the right to monitor the situation to understand if, among other things, other matters are needed cache. This is exactly the point. “It will take about a hundred cache, an Italian province, for optimum quality”, says Fatalaro.

Two other experts, one close to the government and one from Operation DZN, agree. They chose not to reveal their identity, and the interests at risk are too great: put them down cache It will not only take money but several months of time.

Francesco Sacco, a professor at the University of Insubria and one of the band’s best-known experts on the scale, says .

“Dazn caches are now actually positioned at central points of the network and are therefore not too close to users – he continues. Those hundreds cache, which is the minimum necessary to solve problems, it must be placed in the local access points of the network; But to do that, operators must invest first to make these points fit, using a technology called Edge Cloud.” “Unfortunately, operators in recent years have invested minimally in the central network: they are experiencing a profit crunch due to excess competition,” says Sacco.

According to some estimates, the cost will be about 300,000 euros per point. But above all, it could mean realizing that for several months fans will have to run the risk of harming the services. Experts also question the operators’ view that the network did not experience congestion during matches.

Its scaling system will be very large in grains. Suitable for less sensitive calcium content He lives. He wouldn’t be able to find the congestion that lasted a few minutes in a few areas. However, a few minutes makes all the difference in a football match.

towards penalties

The issue is on Agcom’s table at a meeting scheduled for October, with operators and Dazn contacted by Domani, who preferred not to comment.

However, there are also suspicions that Agcom has the powers to interfere in this regard. This is also in the resolution approved by Parliament: a decree is required to give Agcom powers to sanction Dazn and possibly impose alternative broadcasting systems (such as satellite), if the problems are not resolved.

The last piece, with a hinged system of temporary storing The load on the user’s network increases, and therefore it becomes more and more necessary that the coverage of the optical fiber is complete gigabit or at least 100 Mbit. Under current publicly funded plans, they are (hopefully) achievable goals in 2025 and 2023, respectively.

The next two years are expected to suffer from football matches on TV. For fans of each team.

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Queenie Bell

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