RealTime IT News

Digital Island, Excite@Home in Pact for Broadband Content Delivery

The following story corrects an earlier version which originally was published on Monday, May 29, 2001. The previous story has been deleted.

Content delivery network (CDN) Digital Island on Monday signed a distribution agreement to connect its "edge-of-the-net" servers to Excite@Home's 15,000-mile backbone network.

The agreement enables Digital Island to market the audience of @Home users to its own business clients. For a price (of course), Digital Island now makes it easier for @Home viewers to view bandwidth-consuming streaming media and dynamic content from Digital Island customers, eliminating many of the chop and delay experienced with high-speed applications because those customers now have a direct path to the end-users.

Officials declined to elaborate on the terms of the deal.

Located at neutral co-location facilities, the servers are physically closer to the customer, reducing much of the bottleneck for popular applications like live online concerts or video downloads.

Hemant Vaidya, @Work senior vice president and general manager, said the partnership gives his customers a much more enjoyable Internet experience.

"Digital Island and Excite@Home are working together to solve the Internet bottleneck that slows down the performance of video and audio content that broadband users want," Vaidya said. "This alliance creates a truly optimized broadband Internet experience."

It's clearly a relationship that suits both sides, something @Home officials found out after opening up its network to third-party content distributors last year.

Digital Island serves content from some of the biggest names in the entertainment business, including Universal Music Group, Sega, CNBC and FoxKids. All of these companies rely on the CDN's ability to bring seamless audio and video to the masses.

For @Home, the partnership brings in revenues from the deals it signs with third-party CDNs, giving it a recurring revenue base. In addition to Digital Island, companies like Akamai, Microcast and iBeam Broadcasting have signed deals with the sixth-largest Internet service provider (ISP) to put their caching servers at the edge of the network.

Tim Wilson, Digital Island chief marketing officer, said @Home's unique position as the largest high-speed ISP in the world, with 3.2 million cable Internet users, makes it particularly well-suited to Digital Island's service.

"Excite@Home users are ideal candidates for the high-value, graphically-rich content that many Digital Island customers provide on their Web sites," Wilson said. "By linking our Footprint network with Excite@Home, we can help guarantee a great Web experience that extends from the home to the Web site and back again."