The impact of net neutrality on content delivery networks

Date: March 23, 2010
Pages: 12
US$ 895.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)

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The impact of net neutrality on content delivery networks
The debate over net neutrality has largely focused on regulatory issues, rather than what steps operators who wish to prioritize services or reduce network loads might actually take. Content delivery networks (CDNs) could have an important role to play in achieving both objectives, but most parties involved in the debate have yet to make up their minds about whether CDNs are part of the problem, or part of the solution.
Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
Key messages
Net neutrality regulation seems increasingly likely
CDNs may be negatively affected by regulation
But the effects are more likely to be positive
Carriers should see CDNs as an opportunity
Net neutrality regulation becomes more likely
Pressure builds on carriers to increase network management
Content and service providers push for net neutrality
The CDN market is rapidly evolving
A dynamic and competitive market
The impact of net neutrality on CDNs
CDNs and net neutrality come together
The impact of strict net neutrality regulation
A number of possibilities
Strict net neutrality regulation could ban CDNs
Net neutrality regulation could make CDNs more important to carriers
Net neutrality regulation could push carriers into the CDN business
Overall, net neutrality will probably be positive for CDNs
The impact of regulatory forbearance on net neutrality
A range of outcomes is possible here too
Broadband providers focus on more direct solutions
Broadband providers seek to provide a full suite of prioritization services
Broadband providers partner with CDNs as complements to prioritization efforts
Some outcomes seem likely regardless of regulation
Entering the CDN business directly or indirectly makes sense for carriers
Long-standing complete lack of regulation seems unlikely
More cooperation with and reliance on CDNs in general seems likely
Research process
Interviews with major CDN providers


Table 1: Matrix of possible outcomes for CDN providers
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