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AAPT and content delivery network operator, EdgeCast Networks, have formed a partnership under which AAPT will market EdgeCast's services in Australia and provide communications facilities to support the delivery of EdgeCast's services in Australia.

According to AAPT, the EdgeCast service eliminates the need for Australian content providers to invest in costly infrastructure and agreements with numerous global CDNs for overseas content distribution.

James Segil, co-founder and president of EdgeCast Networks, told iTWire "We wanted a partnership with a local provider to enable us to build out a network to gain access to every end user in Australia. AAPT wanted to be able to offer a valued added service to their customers. So the partnership made sense for both of us."

He said that EdgeCast had operated content servers in Australia more than a year. "We needed to make sure the global web sites we serve were able to reach eyeballs in Australia. So it was important to have a local presence."

However the company has not marketed its services locally. "We have a few local customers who have found us, but we have no sales force in Australia," Segil said.

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Through the partnership with AAPT, Segil said that EdgeCast was now able to cache content in every capital city, a feature that would be attractive to Australian content providers. "Leveraging the AAPT local network and the EdgeCast caching and streaming technology will enable them to reach those eyeballs more effectively than deploying servers around Australia."

He added: "The local to local delivery is really important because no-one has taken that initiative and EdgeCast was not in a position to do that ourselves."

AAPT COO, David Yuile, told iTWire, "We think that was a real gap in the market: There has not been a lot of choice in Australia, compared to the market in the US.

However competition in Australia is heating up. Last November ExchangeDaily reported that Internode had developed, and was operating, the content delivery network that enabled ISPs to offer TiVo content downloads quota free.

Internode CEO, Simon Hackett, told ExchangeDaily at the time that using Akami, the dominant global content delivery network operator, ISPs were unable to discriminate between downloads that were quota free and other content without investing heavily in deep packet inspection technology.

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Also in March 2009, Pacnet announced plans to launch an in-house developed content delivery network.

EdgeCast was launched in 2007 after a year operating in stealth mode that it said had been spent "building a multi-million dollar, four-continent content delivery network architected especially for today's rich media Internet."

Three days ago it announced closure of a $US10 million Series C financing round led by Menlo Ventures, one of Silicon Valley's most experienced venture capital firms, that took total funding to $US20m. The company said it had become profitable in 2009 and now had 1400 customers.

Commenting on the deal, Pravin Vazirani, managing director at Menlo Ventures, said: "EdgeCast was the first team we encountered who had architected a network for the web of today and tomorrow. That web is brimming with rich media, and its users demand a high-quality, instant-on experience - something legacy CDNs weren't built to deliver."

Decade old Akamai Technologies, which claims to have "pioneered the content delivery market," remains the dominant player and claims to carry between 15 and 20 percent of all web traffic on any give day."

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According to Segil, EdgeCast has been able to make inroads against Akamai by adopting Web 2.0 technologies in its user interface, and by implementing a more accurate means of determining a user's location.

"We are an easy to use feature rich CDN," he claimed. "The features have a lot of self service functionality. EdgeCast is like a web 2.0 application. That makes for quick sign up [by new customers]."

Also he said that, unlike Akamai, EdgeCast does not use DNS routing technology to make its caching decisions. "The DNS servers are not always close to the end user, but Akami will send content to the node where the DNS is located.

"EdgeCast is an IP based system. We look at the IP address so we send content to where the user is. This means we can do more with less. We have fewer PoPs [than Akamai], yet we have as fast if not faster performance across most of the globe."


 

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