Apple Forging Deals with ISPs to Bolster Delivery of iTunes, Apps, and iCloud Content to Users

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Apple is moving forward on plans to develop its own content delivery network (CDN), reports well-known CDN and Internet Services analyst Dan Rayburn (via Ars Technica). The Cupertino company is reportedly negotiating deals with Internet Service Providers in order to ensure the efficient delivery of content to its customers.

Apple may control the media for iTunes and iCloud customers, but it currently outsources the delivery of this media to third-party companies like Akamai, ceding control over the quality of service to these other companies. Apple reportedly has been working for five years on its own CDN that would bring content delivery in house, ensuring its customers can access data reliably and quickly regardless of ISP or geographic location.

Apple has been deploying the necessary network hardware and recently started forging interconnection deals with Internet Service Providers as it prepares to shift content to its own CDN soon, claims Rayburn.
Apple has been very busy with their build out deploying a lot of boxes running Apache Traffic Server and buying a ton of transit, co-location, wavelengths and other infrastructure services. Their CDN is quickly growing, and it won't be long before we start seeing a portion of their content getting delivered from their new CDN.

As part of their build out, Apple is currently negotiating paid interconnection deals with some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. I'm not going to disclose which ISPs they are talking to and what deals they have already done, but it's interesting to note that with all the talk lately of net neutrality, peering and interconnect relationships, Apple isn't out in the market making any complaints.
Despite concerns about net neutrality, these priority access deals are becoming common among big companies, such as Netflix, Microsoft and Google, that move large volumes of data across the Internet.

Article Link: Apple Forging Deals with ISPs to Bolster Delivery of iTunes, Apps, and iCloud Content to Users
 
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arian19

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2008
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Why did apple doooo this? NET NEUTRALITY :/

I would have hope apple would have stand up for net neutrality.
 

theheadguy

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
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Can't blame them. They want 'fast lane' access. If they didn't do it, others would.

Hopefully all of this will go away when the FTC comes to their senses and regulates ISPs like utilities, which they are.
 

TC03

macrumors 65816
Aug 17, 2008
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How is this infrastructure regulated in the US? I don't quite understand. Could someone explain? I suppose the infrastructure is like this:

[ server ] --- [ ??? ] --- [ end user ]

Where does the CDN come into play? And who is Apple currently paying for what service?
 
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BJMRamage

macrumors 68020
Oct 2, 2007
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will this speed up connecting to iTunes/iCloud via Xfinity?

I have Xfinity 105Mbps...and it is slower than my 45Mbps FIOS I had previously.

the AppleTV hiccups all the time when before once things started, it was all set.
 
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arian19

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2008
363
58
How is this infrastructure regulated in the US? I don't quite understand. Could someone explain? I suppose the infrastructure is like this:

[ server ] --- [ ??? ] --- [ end user ]

Where does the CDN come into play? And who is Apple currently paying for what service?
They are probably paying Comcast, AT&T and Verizon for priority loading of all Apple content
 

Frankied22

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2010
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I don't think Apple really gives a crap about net neutrality. I don't think any of these big companies do, not even Google despite pretending like they do. Why would they be interested in preserving net neutrality when it will make it easier for new competition. They can just remain silent, let the internet get crippled, and then shell out the big bucks to get a better deal.
 

Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
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Why did apple doooo this? NET NEUTRALITY :/

I would have hope apple would have stand up for net neutrality.
Because they get to pay a little now, then brag about how their service is so much faster than Google Play or Xbox Video, or whatever other service they're going against.
 

nekonari

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Nov 27, 2012
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sfrancis928

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May 31, 2012
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I don't think Apple really gives a crap about net neutrality. I don't think any of these big companies do, not even Google despite pretending like they do. Why would they be interested in preserving net neutrality when it will make it easier for new competition. They can just remain silent, let the internet get crippled, and then shell out the big bucks to get a better deal.
Thus ending the open market that has been the Internet. We really need to keep monopolistic ISPs in check.
 

Frankied22

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Nov 24, 2010
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Thus ending the open market that has been the Internet. We really need to keep monopolistic ISPs in check.
Agreed. The stuff happening right now in the FCC is just disgusting. So many back door deals and extortionist-like practices happening in the ISP's. It also doesn't help that the head of the FCC used to be the head of the Cable industry.
 
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Razeus

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Jul 11, 2008
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Apple is better off leaving this with third parties. Apple doesn't understand networking.
 

ctdonath

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Mar 11, 2009
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How is this infrastructure regulated in the US?
Not much, apparently. The problem with "common carrier" status (which I prefer) where every packet is blindly delivered without consideration of source or destination (except that it get from one to the other), is that a few companies like Google and Netflix can overwhelm the bandwidth used by most other users. Imagine driving on the freeway with near bumper-to-bumper Walmart trucks: there's enough room for all users, but at some point consternation grows over why one business gets to use so MUCH of what's available and the load it places on the system. Eventually there's call for the disproportionately large users to pay for more than a straight percentage of use, as the total available bandwidth doesn't match what the onramps can supply. The large-volume demand remains, however, and those users are (oddly, without contradiction) both unwilling to pay extra for equal access, yet willing to score early deals to guarantee priority access.

Sitting on $billions and selling products which use enormous bandwidth, :apple: is very willing to stake out claims to guaranteed-access fast-lane Internet usage. Sure, they'd like "common carrier" access for all, but seeing where the legal & technological winds are blowing, they're (as usual) skating to where the puck will be - and paying good money to ensure they're the first one there.
 

rmatthewware

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2009
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Why did apple doooo this? NET NEUTRALITY :/

I would have hope apple would have stand up for net neutrality.
Because if they don't do this, competitors will, and Apple will end up with slower delivery. Don't fault companies like Apple or Netflix for paying for increased bandwith. It's the ISPs who are holding companies hostage for acceptable data speeds. This wouldn't have happened if the ISPs had rolled out door-to-door fiber service 20 years ago, like they should have. And really, it's the FTC's fault for not regulating the oligarchy that ISPs have become, resulting in little to no real competition.
 

ctdonath

macrumors 65816
Mar 11, 2009
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Thus ending the open market that has been the Internet. We really need to keep monopolistic ISPs in check.
The Internet is designed to route around blockages.

While expensive, you can put in your own "fat pipe" backbone and route around it - guaranteeing, if you like, "common carrier" access. Yes, you can compete.

Methinks there is a huge potential in ad-hoc networking, building cheap WiFi devices which would be installed by common folk and operate entirely outside any ISP's control. On a large enough scale, they would compete well with ISPs. Pity WiFi router manufacturers didn't include such capability (a simple matter of software) in their products.
 
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Mobster1983

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
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Well I have 50 Mb/s internet (just about the best you can get here in Hawaii, but what can you do) and iTunes usually takes quite a while to download and is usually around 3 Mb/s. Would definitely like to see it get faster.
 
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hansonjohn590

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2013
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I can't really blame them as ultimately they take the blame and lose customers. Same with Netflix.

All these major companies should stamp a giant banner over a video whenever it's buffering notifying the customer slow due to their ISP's refusal to pay to upgrade their equipment.

Legal extortion is what this is.
 
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Flood123

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
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Living Stateside
I understand that Apple would do this under duress, but I sincerely hope that they help fight the good fight. This Net Neutrality stuff is some serious BS.
 

Nozuka

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2012
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akamai is great.... ISPs get a caching server for free, even small ones.
but from what i understand apple has to pay for the traffic.
i wonder how much they pay. maybe its so expensive, they can build their own delivery system and still save money.

google already got their own caching servers. (also free for ISPs)
apple will most likely just do the same.
 
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jennyp

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2007
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I don't see anything wrong with just employing a better in-house CDN (IF it really does end up being better than, say, Akamai), but it's the "deals with Internet Service Providers" which might be worrying.
 
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