Getty?s Fiber – Optic Cable Sends Sochi Olympics Photos at 100 Megabits per Second

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Events like the Sochi Winter Olympics require highly ? skilled photographers and high ? tech gadgets, because people around the world want fast information. This is why you see constant Twitter updates that tell you what is happening on every event. News publications are very desperate for event images to accompany their stories. This posts a challenge to photography institutions like the Associated Press and Getty. To meet the demand, these companies are investing on new technologies to send photos as fast as possible even when they are on top of remote mountains.

Event Photos Sent to News Publications in Three Minutes


Getty?s vice president for sports Ken Mainardis said that they laid out over 20 kilometers of fiber ? optic cable to transfer event photos at 100 megabits per second. This allows Getty?s team to send photos to news organizations in just three minutes!

This three ? minute window puts a lot of pressure behind the scene. The images taken on various events do not just go straight from the photographer to Getty?s distribution network. First, their team of editors process and edit the photos to the best quality and make sure that the right people are listed in the captions.

Out of the million images taken by Getty?s team of 70, only 50, 000 make it to the end ? users, said Mainardis,

Getty Uses Fiber ? Optic Cable System Since 2008 Olympics

Mainardis also said that more photo resources are needed on bigger events. For instance, 26, 000 images were taken during the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony. This number was narrowed down to 2, 300 for online use. Mainardis added that Getty has been using the same photo ? transfer technology since Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008. The company has also been serving the IOC as the official photography agency since the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta in 1988.

Alpine Skiing is the Most Difficult to Cover

Getty said that the most difficult event to cover is the alpine skiing. Their team needs to ski down the mountain with about 30 kilograms of equipment early in the morning. Getty and the Associated Press are not allowed to use drones to cover events. Only the television broadcasters are authorized to use such.

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