According to Dan Rayburn, there's another CDN in the game and it's Comcast. We're not talking about fast lanes in the last mile here, though there is sure to be some confusion.
There's apparently no paid prioritization or anything like that. And we've seen last mile operators of various stripes worldwide dabble in CDN infrastructure focused on their own eyeballs, Comcast's seems no different. However, those efforts haven't made a real dent in the past in the overall CDN market precisely because they were limited to one set of end-users.
Comcast's TWC purchase, however, will give them the biggest such set of eyeballs to take to the content providers and possibly get them over that hump. Some who look at this through the lens of the Comcast/TWC merger picture may see this as another example of Comcast getting too big and gaining too much leverage.
But for now it's just an interesting development. Another reason that big last mile operators haven't chased the CDN opportunity is perhaps the simple fact that it's tiny relative to their current bulk. Put together Akamai, Limelight, Level 3's CDN revenues, and the next half dozen, and next to the $64.7B in revenue Comcast made last year (without TWC) it's just pocket change. But of course the video revolution isn't over just yet.
In a sense of course, all CDNs are fast lanes where those who can pay get their bits delivered faster. But the difference is that a CDN's fast lane doesn't operate through a bottleneck. Once they reach the last mile, bits from Akamai are just like any other. At least, unless the net neutrality landscape changes, that is...
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