Fastly Boosts Network 10 Melbourne Cup Streaming

Fastly, Inc. helped support the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup race through official broadcaster and customer Network 10, demonstrating its commitment to Australian customers and partners. Fastly also recently upgraded its Sydney and Melbourne points of presence (POPs), representing a major expansion of network capacity in Australia. These expansions enabled Fastly and Network 10 to easily manage the record-high streaming of the Melbourne Cup Carnival due to COVID-related restrictions around live sporting events.

“The delivery of streaming sporting events in Australia is an important part of Fastly’s focus in 2020,” explained Derek Rast, Australian Country Manager at Fastly. “With a larger number of Australians working remotely this year, Fastly has seen an increase of streaming media and publishing, and general web traffic on its network. We continue to empower our customers, and provide the best possible digital experiences for their users in order to meet this unique moment in time.”

Fastly’s edge cloud platform maximises efficiency with 72 powerful, strategically located POPs** that deliver content as close to end-users around the world as possible. Having placed four of these POPs covering both coasts of Australia, Fastly is proud to work with Australian-based customers such as Network 10, Nine Publishing, Kogan.com, and NRL to deliver fast, low-latency, highly personalised online experiences to their customers.

Fastly’s edge delivery services and increased capacity was utilised by Network 10’s on-demand streaming platform, 10 Play, during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Supporting the event with Fastly’s Live Event Monitoring, 10 Play reserved capacity for the event to prepare for any spontaneous spikes in traffic. Fastly servers handled the impact of hundreds of thousands of Australians watching the nationally-renowned race, ensuring the three and a half minute main event went smoothly.

“Network 10 has been a Fastly customer for some time, which has included providing services for 10 Play, our on-demand streaming platform. It made sense to include Fastly for the live streaming Melbourne Cup Carnival events, especially with more users watching online than ever before,” explained Liz Baldwin, General Manager of Digital at Network 10. “To deliver 10 Play’s strong growth trajectory, we plan on continuing the key partnership with Fastly who helps achieve the seamless, optimal user experience.”

The traffic patterns observed on Cup Day indicates an increase of 1400% in peak bandwidth over the average figure in the previous seven days for Network 10. Compared to the peak bandwidth in the same period, 10 Play’s live stream spiked 214%, showing the network versatility managing high volumes of traffic as Australians joined the crowd virtually.

This year’s event marked the largest live stream of the Lexus Melbourne Cup ever, up 47% from 2019. There were 683,000 live stream plays on 10 Play. As the event kicked off at 3:00 PM AEDT, the team observed a brief but noticeable drop in local traffic across Fastly’s eCommerce and social media customers. This may be explained by the shift of users’ attention when they put a pause on other web activities to concentrate on the once-a-year horse race. The top consumption platforms included Windows 10, TelstraTV, Apple TV, iOS and Mac OSX.

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