Here's an interesting development in the CDN space. Back in November I was hearing that AT&T was looking at possibly stopping development of their own in-house CDN platform and looking to license EdegCast's software to run AT&T's CDN. While both companies declined to comment for this post, I have been able to confirm that AT&T has in fact done a deal with EdgeCast and is in the process of using EdgeCast's CDN software to build out AT&T's retail CDN offering.
This is an interesting shift in thinking for AT&T but one that I think is really smart. It is similar to AT&T's recent reseller deal with Cotendo where AT&T decided they could get to market much faster by working with a partner as opposed to spending the time and money trying to build everything in-house. While EdgeCast might technically be considered a competitor to AT&T, the two companies are really going after different sized CDN customers and an increasing portion of EdgeCast's business over the coming years will not be just CDN delivery, but rather the licensing of their platform to other telcos and carriers.
AT&T has been making some interesting moves over the past couple of months and I do think that in the long term, they have a real chance at competing with Akamai for a good portion of Akamai's business. It won't happen over night, but AT&T does have all the pieces they need to compete with Akamai if they execute properly. In the past, I didn't think AT&T was capable of executing fast enough in the market since they were trying to build out everything themselves. But with their recent deal with Cotendo, and now their new deal with EdgeCast, AT&T is going to be bringing products and services to the market a lot faster and these services are going to be built on top of platforms that have already proven themselves in the market.