When a wide range of suppliers can satisfy demand for a given product, that product is at risk of becoming a commodity. That is the case even when the product is not a classic commodity, such as a metal or grain, but rather a service, as in the case of content delivery networks (CDNs).
The demand for CDNs is growing as providers try to deliver a more Internet protocol (IP)-based video. Many companies can help them. Given network traffic and sourcing requirements, most high-volume CDN customers are not even looking for single-source solution.
To supplement third-party CDNs, some service providers are enhancing internal capabilities. In the U.S., Time Warner Cable and Comcast are building their own, and other cable operators are exploring whether to do so or join a federated CDN. In June, Netflix announced that it was launching its own content delivery system called Open Connect to reduce dependence upon third-party CDNs. In an interview with Videonet in late 2011, David Meredith, Head of Consumer Innovation at UK broadband provider TalkTalk, explained his company’s decision to build out its own CDN in terms of a desire to manage video transport as closely as possible.