Today I talked to a few people who run the RTOC here in Houston and they mentioned some of their history. The RTOC monitors offshore oil rigs and their drilling operations in real time. This has been done for the past 10 years and apparently Shell was one of the first providers of broadband internet to people on the Gulf Coast.
The amount of data that is streamed a day is in terabytes so large “pipes” were needed to get the info from the rigs and to the monitoring stations in New Orleans and Houston. These pipes were so large that their excess bandwidth was actually sold to different telecommunications companies. If you have the available throughput then why not give it up and make a little money?
I had asked about the data they received because I was interested in whether they used a commercial data provider but was surprised to hear them tell me that they put down their own fiber and started up their own telecomm company.