British fixed line incumbent BT is reportedly working with rival internet service providers (ISPs) on the creation of an open online video delivery network, according to Reuters. With the UK-based ISPs having warned that the demand for online video content is placing significant pressure on the existing core networks, it is understood the new network would be designed to enable ISPs to recoup some of the costs associated with providing such content from the media groups that produce it. BT is reportedly working with its own customer-facing unit, BT Retail, as well as two unnamed ISPs on the plans, while it is also believed to have commenced talks with other parties, including media groups. While some companies already use content delivery networks, such as Akamai and Limelight, BT has claimed that in most cases these services only reach the edge of the ISP network, with the final stage delivered ‘over the top’ with no guarantees on the quality of the service. In comparison, BT Wholesale has said it is working on a similar platform which will use the ISP network to reach all the way to viewers and therefore guarantee a better quality service. ‘BT Wholesale’s plan … will open up new market opportunities for both content providers and ISPs and enable ISPs to maintain their end user relationships, by addressing the bandwidth issues that will put a strain on any network,’ BT said of the developments, adding, ‘The cost efficiency of content delivery has to improve.’
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