Akamai (AKAM +2.9%) and Level 3 (LVLT +0.4%), pressured lately by reports Apple and Comcast are planning to launch CDNs, are higher today, though Level 3 has given back some of its early gains. Limelight (LLNW +1.4%) is also up.
Dan Rayburn has reported Apple, a major Akamai customer, is busy building out a large CDN infrastructure to deliver its content, and is also negotiating direct peering/interconnection deals with top ISPs. He originally wrote about Apple's CDN ambitions in February.
Rayburn also reports Comcast has joined the ranks of carriers building its own last-mile CDN. He thinks some content owners who use Comcast's service might "pay 20%-40% less than what they pay now," given Comcast already owns the network on which the CDN is being built.
Akamai, which still claims the world's biggest CDN and proprietary routing algorithms, has tried to counter the carrier CDN threat by striking partnerships - its client list includes AT&T, Telefonica, and Orange. It has also been trying to lower its dependence on a commodity media delivery business (includes sales to Apple) that's seeing intense price pressure.