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EGEE helps achieve international digital broadcasting agreement

Geneva, 11 July 2006 – Over the last two months, the EGEE project successfully supported a series of large-scale data processing activities being carried out by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as part of the ITU’s Regional Radiocommunication Conference (RRC-06, 15 May – 16 June 2006).

EGEE helps achieve international digital broadcasting agreement

ITU Copyright - Photo credits: B. Stampfli

The purpose of the data processing, performed at regular intervals during the five-week conference, was to rapidly map the consequences of different scenarios being negotiated between the participating countries, in order to establish a new frequency plan for the introduction of digital broadcasting in Europe, Africa, the Arab States and former USSR States. This was attained by using an advanced software suite developed by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

A major challenge faced by the Conference was to find ways for digital and analogue broadcasting to co-exist on the radio-frequency spectrum during transition time without causing interference. A key ingredient for the success of the Conference was the unprecedented level of cooperation between ITU, the EBU and the local EGEE project representatives at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Speaking on behalf of EGEE and CERN during one of the plenary sessions at the ITU conference, Dr Wolfgang von Rüden, Head of CERN's IT Department, described how Grids can provide dependable computing services on demand also for time-limited computational challenges like the one facing the ITU. Using a relatively small subset comprising a few hundred of the EGEE Grid infrastructure's estimated 20 000 PCs, the time required to perform the most demanding analysis steps was reduced from about four hours on the local cluster to well below one hour on the Grid. The porting of the analysis programme to the Grid proved relatively easy, and thanks to the very good collaboration between the participating institutions, Dr. von Rüden was able to demonstrate to over 1 000 delegates representing 104 countries another powerful example of the benefits of Grid technology, inviting participants to support ongoing efforts to create National Grid Infrastructures, as well as a coordinating European organization.


ITU Copyright - Photo credits: B. Stampfli

ITU Copyright - Photo credits: B. Stampfli

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