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RealTime IT News

Akamai, XO Swap Service for Space

Content delivery network Akamai and service provider XO Communications have inked an agreement to boost Web site performance for customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Akamai, of Cambridge, Mass., will gain access to XO's nationwide optical network by placing its servers at co-location centers. The equipment helps speed streaming media, software and other media-rich Internet content to users.

In return, Reston, Va.-based XO will offer Akamai's service to its customers, which it hopes will give it an edge over Verizon and other competitors. The agreement also includes a joint marketing programs.

"We are pleased to be teaming with XO and believe that its extensive fiber network reach and broad customer base makes this alliance a significant one for Akamai," said Chris Turner, an Akamai vice president.

The deal is the latest by Akamai to improve its revenue prospects without adding employee salaries or opening new facilities of its own. In March, it formed a joint venture with Softbank Broadmedia to sell content delivery services in Japan.

XO currently offers broadband services (local and long distance phone, Digital Subscriber Line, Web-hosting, e-commerce and Virtual Private Networks) in 62 U.S. markets. It also has more than 1,100 salespeople.

"By offering Akamai's suite of Internet content delivery services in addition to our Web hosting and data center capabilities, we are dramatically simplifying our customers' requirements for delivering high-quality Web experiences to those viewing their Web site," said Nancy Gofus, an XO vice president.

Investors liked the deal. At midday, shares of AKAM rose 0.46, or 5 percent, to 10.42, while XOXO stock edged up 0.08, or 2 percent, to 3.84.



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