Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) is moving deeper into the CDN space, offering a new service called CDN Site Transformer, which integrates website optimization technologies from Strangeloop. Strangeloop – hmmm, sounds like it ought to be a metro fiber operator someplace…haha. The idea behind the new service is that there are bottlenecks slowing down delivery of websites that are not addressed by optimizing the network and caching the data close to the recipient. The website’s code itself can get in the way, which is what Strangeloop’s technology is built to help with.
Actually, I’m quite familiar with that bottleneck, as I struggle with tradeoffs between speed and functionality all the time when piecing together Telecom Ramblings. This offering isn’t aimed at little guys like me though who can do it by hand, but rather at larger commercial websites for whom an extra few milliseconds of speed in site load times translate rather directly into greater sales.
For a network operator like Level 3 to be dabbling in optimization of the code of the websites whose data it delivers is probably an unfamiliar position. Hence, leveraging third party technology like this in order to expand their addressable market makes sense. Level 3′s CDN segment had a very good 2010, hopefully the rest of the business has now caught up with it.
[Followup: Akamai has announced a similar arrangement with Strangeloop today as well! Interesting timing... And quite a big day for Strangeloop.]