Michelle Clancy | 16-09-2013
Akamai Technologies has announced that it has deployed FastTCP technology broadly across the Akamai Intelligent Platform. As a fruit of Akamai's 2012 acquisition of FastSoft, FastTCP optimises the throughput of video and other digital content across IP networks.
Implemented this quarter, FastTCP technology is an integrated capability of the Akamai Intelligent Platform. 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 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.
The company said that 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 seeing 15% to 22% increases.
In addition, rebuffering improvements in excess of 40% were observed in sampled networks in the US, India and Europe, the company said.
These increases translate on an end user level to improved download speeds for music and MP3s, games and videos, but also enhanced the quality of streaming video content.
"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 every day," said Bill Wheaton, senior vice president and general manager for the media products division at Akamai. "The improved results have been especially noticeable in regions where network connectivity is 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, the company said. 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 UltraHD/4K video content.