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Verizon To Buy EdgeCast Content Delivery Network

Verizon Digital Media is adding a major content delivery network to its rich media capabilities.

Verizon is acquiring EdgeCast, one of the top three content delivery networks, to add to its portfolio of cloud and web services. The telecom company announced Monday that EdgeCast will move into Verizon's Digital Media Services unit when the deal is completed sometime in 2014. Terms were not disclosed.

EdgeCast provides content delivery expertise and a network of Internet content servers to Verizon Digital Media, which is interested in improving and extending video delivery. EdgeCast operates thousands of content servers in 30 Internet hubs around the world. Akamai, LimeLight, and Level 3 all offer competing CDN services.

EdgeCast has 6,000 content delivery accounts and serves a number of leading brands for global media delivery, including LinkedIn, JetBlue, EMI Music Publishing, and Kellogg's. EdgeCast ranked number one as the fastest growing Internet company in 2012 on the DeloitteTechnology Fast 500 list.

Content delivery networks, such as Akamai, place content servers at widely distributed locations, then distribute their customers' content to those servers so that they may respond to queries from end users faster than if all were routed to a single, central site. They have not yet achieved a must-have status with many business users of the cloud, but they may well one day. Content delivery networks speed the delivery of complex, multimedia-type messages, and content to online shoppers and consumers.

[Want to learn more about Verizon's second generation cloud service? Read Verizon Pushes Into Google, Amazon, Microsoft IaaS Territory.]

Not all cloud service providers offer CDN service but Amazon's CloudFront, Google's PageSpeed Service, and Microsoft's Azure CDN are content delivery networks offered alongside those firms' IaaS and PaaS offerings.

Last May 22, EdgeCast launched its Transact content distribution network aimed at speeding up transactions for online retailers. In April 2012, it entered into an alliance with Dell to allow Dell to build a CDN based on EdgeCast's routing software.

Verizon Digital Media Services President Bob Toohey referred to the value of EdgeCast's network when he said his firm had acquired the company for its "strategically placed assets," which can be combined with Digital Media's video encoding and transmission systems. Together, they "improve our ability to deliver rich, reliable and quality digital media services," he said in the announcement.

Verizon Digital Media unit focuses on site acceleration and content delivery for film studios, broadcasters, retailers, and enterprises seeking to minimize customer wait times.

By becoming part of Verizon, EdgeCast will elevate itself again and continue its rapid growth, claimed Alex Kaerzani, chairman and CEO. The boards of both EdgeCast and Verizon have approved the deal. Verizon became a cloud vendor thorugh its Verizon Terremark Enterprise Cloud unit, and more recently, added Verizon Cloud based on a second generation cloud architecture.

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