As they have been saying they would, EdgeCast Networks (news) [a subsidiary of Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings)] yesterday announced that its OpenCDN federation platform is now in operation, exchanging production traffic between independent CDN operators.
A federated model lets regional CDNs cache content outside their territory and to gain greater leverage within their territory by serving content for their neighbors. It's akin to a sort of peering relationship in the IP world, although the business models are surely rather different. Several others in the industry have been working on this, but EdgeCast has been making one of the bigger and more public pushes to bring it to market.
Initial participants include Pacnet and a 'large, tier-one North American operator' which is surely their unannounced but not-so secret customer AT&T. Other of EdgeCast's customers will likely be participating before long as well. Obviously, the initial implementations are going to be those already using EdgeCast's technology in some form, but I wonder if other technologies will be able to as well at some point.
EdgeCast also said that it has been granted several patents in the area of CDN interconnection. As we have seen, the CDN sector is very litigious when it comes to patents, and EdgeCast now has a head start in the CDN interconnection side of things.