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Apple courts ISPs for net neutrality busting access

Aims to alleviate iCloud block
Wed May 21 2014, 13:22
Apple logo on New York store

APPLE HAS BEGUN COURTING internet service providers (ISPs) in the US to get direct connections for its servers to their broadband networks.

Blogger Dan Rayburn, who specialises in writing about streaming media, revealed that deals are in negotiations, though he did not name names as to which ISPs are involved and with what firms.

Apple's name was notably absent from a recent open letter from the information technology industry to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling for protection of net neutrality.

The FCC has entered a 60-day consultation period on plans for approving "fast lanes" for paid internet traffic, which will mean the end of net neutrality in the US.

Rayburn said Apple is looking at connecting directly to ISPs through its own content delivery network (CDN), an approach that does not prioritise traffic through the internet, but rather goes around it instead. It could use this method to speed traffic on its iCloud service, App Store and other proprietary services.

While Apple is pursuing such opportunities, Netflix has said it entered into them unwillingly and has repeatedly expressed its desire to preserve net neutrality.

Rayburn said that although Apple creates two percent of internet traffic overall, compared with 34 percent for Netflix, when there is a software update for iOS this figure shoots up to 40 percent, and this is the type of bottleneck that it wants to avoid in the future.

We asked Apple to clarify its position on net neutrality and comment on the blog report, but it declined to comment. µ


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