The distribution of digital products over the Internet to consumers is, today, severely limited by the bandwidth restrictions imposed by the "last mile" copper connections from the telephone to the home. While many e-commerce organisations claim to "sell" over the Internet, in reality, most only accept orders. Satellite multicasting offers providers of digital content - be it video, audio, software or multimedia files - the ability to deliver high bandwidth content directly into the home.
By establishing an e-commerce Internet platform, linking content providers with registered consumers, satellite multicasting offers far-sighted organisations the opportunity to develop today the business processes of the future.
The ABARIS project will establish such a platform - a community comprising content providers and end users - focusing initially on the delivery of CD quality audio products. ABARIS will enable consumers to order a wide range of music products from an easily accessible World Wide website. Following payment and copyright clearance these products will be multicast to consumers, using the ASTRA-NET satellite communications service.
ABARIS will multicast music products to customers who are equipped with a computer connected to a standard satellite TV dish antenna. Following reception, each track may be played using a multimedia PC or written to a CD for use in a standard home or car hi-fi system. The music encryption scheme employed by ABARIS will protect artist's and composers rights by preventing unauthorised performances or recordings.
Avanti's partners in the project include V2 Music Group, a leading independent record company; National Research Group which undertakes world-wide market research into entertainment products and Central Research Laboratories - a leader in the development of advanced digital intellectual property management technologies.