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Europe

BT Builds CDN With CDS

9:50 AM -- BT Wholesale is to use Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Content Delivery System (CDS) to build its specialist content delivery network (CDN), called "Content Connect." (See BT Uses Cisco's CDS and Cisco Steps Up Telco TV VOD.)

BT first outlined its CDN plans to Light Reading back in April 2009. The operator is aiming to offer different classes of video delivery services (standard, premium, and custom) to its ISP customers, including its sister company within BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), BT Retail. (See BT Unveils Its CDN Plans and BT CDN Update.)

For British broadband users (fixed or mobile), that could result in an enhanced video service experience, as BT claims Content Connect -- set to be commercially launched in "early 2011" -- will reach much closer to the edge of the network than existing CDNs.

The question is, though: Will the ISPs that use Content Connect pass on the cost of using BT Wholesale's service by introducing tiered service levels to their broadband users? For example, will they offer an enhanced streaming video service for an extra £5 (US$7.70) per month? How much might UK DSL-based broadband users, of which there are more than 14 million, be prepared to pay for a speedier, interruption-free YouTube experience?

BT is very focused on building an infrastructure that can cope with the ongoing rapid growth in video traffic on wide area networks. Only this week, George Nazi, BT's unfortunately named president of the 21CN (21st century network, in case you had forgotten), stated at an OSS conference that the two main service drivers behind the operator's current strategy are video and cloud services. (See OSS: The Missing Link.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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