Telecommunications giant AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) was one of the first network providers to enter the CDN business, but it has also been one of the quietest. That changed today with their announcement of Private Content Distribution Services, or AT&T PCDS for short. What makes a 'Private Network' CDN different from the CDNs we usually talk about? Apparently, it lives behind the corporate firewall. This offering is for enterprises seeking to distribute content not to the consumer, but to its own constituent parts. The content in question would be things like a live video from company headquarters, or a particularly large multimedia presentation, perhaps rich media marketing materials organized centrally but used locally, et cetera.
I'm curious now just how such things have been done before now at large enterprises. Does Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) cater to such customers, or is this a new market that is only now becoming important? It doesn't really fit the mold of what we usually think of as a CDN, whether it be website acceleration and small object delivery or streaming of the Olympics and speeches by Obama. On the other hand, for this sort of contract the content producers are also the content consumers and probably already have a relationship with AT&T to boot. So corporate PCDS deals would already seem to be in their back yard from a sales point of view.
So when will AT&T really make a move on the main body of the CDN market? Or has it always been their intention to target content served to corporate users rather than consumers?