CyberaNet User Case

“One of the toughest tasks for a new business is to convince customers to give them a shot. They need a compelling, effective pitch, and video is the best way to deliver that pitch.”

pat lor dissolve smallPatrick Lor is on a mission to help companies tell better stories through attention-grabbing videos. His company, Dissolve, is stockpiled with thousands of stock footage clips, covering topics such as sports, food, science and technology. Patrick, the co-founder of iStockphoto, is looking to repeat his successful formula with high-quality video.

But in the process of building up Dissolve’s website, Patrick says he quickly waded into a bandwidth quagmire.

“Dissolve is hosted on a cloud server, so there’s no issue with customers downloading video from our site. But uploading became a much bigger issue than we expected,” he says. “We needed to upload video in the highest resolution available, and the bandwidth costs to do that proved to be outrageous.”

Dissolve was faced with spending $10,000 to $15,000 a month on bandwidth, a major expense for a start-up. Over the course of a single month, Dissolve can upload over 35 TB of data — equivalent to about 1,400 Blu-ray movies.

To overcome the high connection fees, staff started sending hard drives full of video clips to Dissolve’s cloud provider, who would then upload them directly to the website. “This was obviously tedious, and we hated losing control of the final step,” says Patrick.

But then he heard about a Cybera pilot program called CyberaNet for Innovators, which connects select business incubators to Alberta’s high-speed research network. Calgary’s AcceleratorYYC was one of these incubators — it received a massive 1 gigabit per second connection in 2013, for free and unlimited use for one year by its occupants.

Soon after this connection went in, Dissolve bought a desk at Accelerator, and was uploading videos almost immediately.

“This infrastructure has been absolutely critical for us, and has hugely contributed to our success. The money we’ve saved has gone straight into hiring more staff.

“But more than that, we've also found that gaining access to a connection this fast is just as (or maybe even more) important than cost. The only other ways to get access to a pipe that fast is to get one installed — but if you're not in a fiber ready location, that would take months — or get set up at a data center, but that takes contract negotiations and security clearance. So, this connection at Accelerator YYC created an ideal access point for us.”

Today, Dissolve is successfully running and selling clips, and drawing international accolades in the process. Its website now offers over 200,000 stock video clips, and Patrick planned to quadruple this number by the end of 2014, which involved uploading another 200 TB of data.

The CyberaNet connection was ready for that challenge.