Originally published: June 12, 2012
Last updated: June 12, 2012 - 6:05pm
Behind the scenes, there’s a big change happening on internet. It’s something that’s mostly hidden from web surfers, but it’s becoming critical to big internet companies such as Google and Netflix. They’re moving servers — usually free of charge — next to the service providers’ networking gear so that people trying to watch a popular YouTube video don’t have to send traffic across the network to servers back to the website’s data center.
It can save companies like Google and Comcast lots of money, and it speeds things up for consumers. According to Craig Labovitz, founder of network analysis company Deepfield Networks, it’s also changing the way that internet companies work. “The business they’re in isn’t delivering bits anymore. It’s delivering content,” he says. And while not everyone agrees, Labovitz says there’s a bit of a land rush going on as more companies move to get their content closer to consumers. The prime real estate here is in nondescript box-like structures all over the world, which serve as a link between internet service providers, websites, and consumers connecting to the web.
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