The main purpose of the Remote North/NCDP platform is to provide competency and technology for “remote presence”. With technology, we open doors of opportunities to new creative meetings across great geographical distances.
How does it work?
What makes NCDP technology possible is that the bandwidth in our existing fibre optics net has multiplied by the thousands during the past years. As an example, fiber pairs delivered 10GB/s at the beginning of the new millennium. That same pair can today send at 80 different wave-lengths times 400GB/s. That’s 3200 times the capacity in the same fibre pair. We therefore have an abundance of capacity in our national fibre network which means we don’t need to compress sound or image signals. This minimises latency.
In combination with the media router, which converts audio and video signals into optical signals, we can create a tangible sense of presence within a 50 mile radius. National actors such as the Stockholm Music Pedagogical Institute (SMI) as well as about ten universities in the Nordic countries and Coventry University have already procured NCDP-specific equipment.
What can we offer?
Format for remote presence
1. Music Education: 1-on-1 education via distance learning.
2. Conferences, smaller-sized ensembles: several stages, rehearsals, performing arts.
3. Theatres and concert halls: Large-scale theatres and concert halls are connected together in an environment with no perceivable delay.
At present there are a dozen or so nodes throughout Scandinavia and approx. 130 organizations and universities waiting to utilize the technology. Development and expansion has been assisted by Scandinavian, national, regional and municipal funding in collaboration with Nordic operators and research networks as well as private and publicly owned telecom operators.
What can the technology be used for?
We see enormous potential for this technology which can lead to new forms for performance artistry and other cultural activity, especially in rural areas. Smaller shires can access the culture that until today was only available in larger urban areas. The National Theatre has developed a format for smaller theatres where larger ensembles can be shared between tour sites and home stages. At a national level we see the possibility to create a cultural network that can deliver teaching, performance and community service with high quality. Because the format is designed to allow for two-way communication with extremely low latency it differs substantially from existing technology and formats such as Zoom and Skype.
We gain access to all the creativity and competency that is available in larger and smaller municipalities i.e. producers of content can be located anywhere in a region or country and even collaborate over bordering countries. In the end we hope to see that distance-based presence will provide improvements in quality of life, productivity and growth in more rural societies.
Who are the end users?
We have identified a number of stakeholders for this technical solution – from conference venues, community centres, stage theatres and cinemas to schools, universities and other adult education centres, associations and libraries. One valued target group is music and arts schools, for which this technology provides new possibilites for live remote teaching and artistic activity. For the music and arts schools this is an opportunity to increase access and participation, decrease travel and share teacher resources and competencies. Furthermore we hope to engage community centres of all types and other suitable stage venues that can utilize the same technology. This would for instance increase the National Theatre’s capability to tour digitally to these venues.
By extension, the technology and format create great benefits for wider groups of children, young people, minorities and the elderly in sparsely populated areas, not least through the inclusive working and communication method the NCDP format results in.