Beaming, the specialist business ISP, has installed a cutting-edge fibre optic network to improve the resilience and sound quality of FM broadcasting at KMFM, Kent’s largest independent radio station.
Beaming has installed a 230-mile network to connect KMFM’s studio in Strood to its eight FM transmitter sites across Kent, enabling the station to deliver a high-quality digital audio signal directly the point of transmission. The network was built entirely with fibre optic cables and advanced networking technologies, allowing KMFM to provide the highest quality FM signal simultaneously to all of Kent in less than a tenth of a second.
The resilience of KMFM’s service was enhanced with the installation of a backup connection that will kick in automatically to ensure service in the event of any potential issues with the primary network. KMFM decided to install a new digital system ahead of BT’s withdrawal of support for X.21 Kilostream services – the analogue circuits that previously carried the station’s signal to its transmitter sites – in March 2020.
Rob Wills, head of broadcast at KMFM, comments. “Beaming’s network future-proofs us and provides an amazing foundation that allows us to grow and keep improving the service we offer listeners and advertisers. We sound amazing now, which from a listener’s experience is important and will help boost our audiences. Knowing our network is monitored around the clock and that an automatic backup connection is in place means we are completely confident because everything is rock solid. Everyone should be looking at this kind of solution to transmission.”
David Butler, IT manager at KMFM, comments: “Beaming’s network was the crowning point of a wider digital transformation of our studio environment. It gives us the resilience and sound quality of major national stations and ensures we are in complete control. We chose Beaming because it came up with an excellent design for our network, giving us the resilience we need. As a 24/7 station, we can’t have a fibre going down and be broadcasting silence. If a fibre breaks we can continue broadcasting because our signal will be redirected automatically over broadband.”
Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments: “Radio stations across the UK are affected by BT’s decision to withdraw support for X.21 Kilostream, and KMFM is one of the first to move to an all IP, digital workflow to ensure quality and reliability of service. For organisations that are wholly reliant on connectivity to deliver for customers, a backup connection helps to ensure 100% uptime and provides the kind of control and confidence they need to operate most effectively. We are seeing increasing interest from businesses of all types and sizes for high-quality fibre networks with backup connectivity.”