NEP Connect (formerly known as SIS LIVE) was relied upon by the UK’s main news broadcasters to provide uplink facilities for their general election coverage, on a night when speed, reliability and clarity were vital to ensure comprehensive reporting.
NEP Connect provided 70 satellite uplink vehicles to the main UK broadcasters, as they covered the voting and results in one of the most unpredictable elections in memory.
Uplink vehicles and NEP Connect crew were deployed throughout England, Scotland and Wales, giving the broadcasters unprecedented coverage of the main electoral battlegrounds during a night of high drama watched by millions of viewers.
NEP Connect’s clients, including the BBC, Sky News, ITV, ITN, and STV, took advantage of the organisations unparalleled connectivity, to ensure their audiences missed none of the twists and turns unfolding under the election spotlight. Most services were delivered as part of long-running contracts to supply the broadcasters with live news coverage.
The sheer number of key battlegrounds meant the broadcasters’ biggest challenge was reporting back from them all, with correspondents feeding back live input from a huge variety of locations, from rain-swept hills and windy valleys to overcrowded, noisy count venues.
Worldwide interest in the result meant overseas broadcasters, too, were vying for satellite space. But NEP Connect’s permanently leased, dedicated satellite capacity, as well as its unrivalled uplink expertise and experienced crews with backup support, meant their clients’ live coverage was delivered without a hitch.
NEP Connect provided the UK broadcast industry with approximately 550 MHz of Ku and Ka band satellite capacity on 4 different satellites, some permanently contracted, with a significant amount supplied from the company’s large pool of in-house, ad-hoc capacity. Many of the uplinks also used NEP Connect’s innovative, fully automated DriveForce uplink system.
David Meynell, managing director, NEP Connect, said: “NEP Connect’s mobile satellite uplink fleet is the largest in Europe and we were able to complement our contract trucks with additional ad-hoc vehicles – all available with experienced crew.”
He added: “It is a testament to the quality of our equipment and the dedication of our staff that NEP Connect can offer coverage on such a scale and subsequently receive tremendous feedback from our customers.”
Jackie Faulkner, director of operations, Sky News, said: “The biggest challenge in covering a UK election is being able to deliver all the action and results as they happen – from all corners of the UK.
“NEP Connect made the planning, logistics and delivery considerably smoother with our contract trucks, which we can double crew with reliable and established engineers, as well as the addition of ad hoc trucks from Europe. This enabled us to concentrate on providing the exciting UK election coverage our viewers expect.”
Bevan Gibson, chief technology officer, ITN, said: “NEP Connect’s teams once again worked closely with us, as a part of our operation on election night, to ensure live content was able to be inserted into national coverage throughout 24 hours of unmissable drama as the election unfolded.
“As a part of our newsgathering operation for the evening, we utilised our highly specified Ka Band DriveForce uplink vehicles, enabling us to provide seamless, high quality links to our correspondents around the country.”