Apple is believed to be in discussions with various Internet Service Providers (ISP) an a content delivery agreement that would see Apple content pushed to consumers quickly. The agreement is nothing new, but on the heels of “last mile” fodder in net neutrality discussions, it’s a concerning revelation.
Apple is one of several companies that have built their own Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to become less reliant on third parties to store and push content to users. Others, such as Google, house their own content and have a delivery network to get us info quickly.
Netflix recently signed a content delivery agreement with Comcast to get us streaming video more efficiently, so these types of agreements are nothing new. Netflix has also come out in opposition of such agreements, which some analysts feel are necessary. In the case of Netflix and Comcast, the streaming media company resisted as long as they could, only bowing to better serve customers.
Apple is likely doing the same thing. Looking at fragmentation numbers and sales, Apple’s latest iOS runs on over 90% of their devices, and is available to almost everyone immediately after it’s announced. With such a crush of people looking to download something as large as a new OS (even iterative updates are large files), Apple is moving to provide their fans with the best experience possible.
What troubles people here is that Apple would have nearly unlimited control of the experience. They already have a stronghold on hardware and software, and now want to manipulate how content is pushed. That’s fine for iOS and OS X updates, or even faster app downloads. Beyond that, Apple would likely draw the watchful eye of the FCC.
Source: Streaming Media