FastTCP technology deployed on Akamai Intelligent Platform

Akamai Technologies announced at IBC2013 that it has deployed FastTCP technology broadly across the Akamai Intelligent Platform™. Leveraged through Akamai’s 2012 acquisition of FastSoft, FastTCP optimizes the throughput of video and other digital content across IP networks.


Implemented this quarter, FastTCP technology is now an inherent freely available capability of the Akamai Intelligent Platform and has already provided performance improvements in Akamai’s customer networks around the world. Actual average throughput measurements collected from sample regional networks more than a week before and after the FastTCP network upgrade indicated significant improvements in select customer and end user instances, ranging from 8% in Japan to 105% in China, with both North America and Europe enjoying 15% to 22% increases. These increases not only improved download speeds for music/MP3s, games and videos but also enhanced the quality of streaming video content, helping Akamai customers to enjoy higher end-user satisfaction and engagement times. In addition, rebuffering improvements in excess of 40% were observed in sampled networks in the U.S., India, and Europe. These improvements have dramatically reduced the number of times a video stream delivered by Akamai pauses or stalls, which has been shown to increase viewer retention rates.

“The efficiencies afforded by FastTCP, particularly for connections with higher latency and packet loss, are helping Akamai customers consistently deliver content at higher quality to larger, more globally distributed audiences, and is just one of the ways we continue to innovate on the platform everyday,” said Bill Wheaton, senior vice president and general manager, Media Products Division, Akamai. “The improved results have been especially noticeable in regions where network connectivity are frequently less than ideal; suddenly, larger numbers of end users in those areas have begun enjoying a markedly improved quality of experience that required no intervention by the customer.”

While the FastTCP technology deployment is designed to improve throughput for most of Akamai’s delivery services, the Sola Sphere content delivery solution has enjoyed the most dramatic improvements. Part of Akamai’s suite of Sola Media Solutions, Sola Sphere delivery solutions support HTTP-based on-demand and live streaming as well as large file downloads of software objects such as multi-Megabyte music files and apps, and multi-Gigabyte Ultra-HD/4K video content.

FastTCP algorithms are deployed within Akamai edge servers and do not require any software installation on user devices or any action on the part of Akamai’s customers or their site visitors. The algorithms are designed to improve the Internet’s standard Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) performance for high packet loss or high latency network connections. The resulting improvements in streaming media bitrates and reduced file download time help provide an enhanced, higher-quality user experience to Akamai’s worldwide base of Sola Media customers.

Akamai demonstrations during IBC2013 on stand 6.A15, Sept. 13-17 in Amsterdam, will include cloud-based online content workflows designed to simplify preparation, monetization, and measurement of audience engagement; synchronized delivery of complementary second-screen content; and immersive, glasses-free 3D video delivery.






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