There is no denying that the internet has ushered in a new age of media and forever changed the way we consume content. We have all felt the effects. Gone are the days that we turned on the television and flipped the dial to the rolling guide channel to see if there is anything to good to watch on TV, and instead we grab our tablets and connected home devices to check out what new movies or shows have been added to one of many OTT (Over-the-Top) subscription services. But as the platforms that audiences use to consume media expands, a new challenge also arises, which is the problem of delivering that content reliably and at scale.
As an individual Internet user, I expect the whole Internet ecosystem to adapt to the changing demand and follow the changes in the industry. As a business person running a company that uses the Internet, I expect my team and myself to constantly monitor our ecosystem, assess changes in demand, and adapt as quickly as possible. If I am responsible for governing the Internet, I have to try to understand the whole ecosystem end-to-end, big and small, and try to keep the interests of the public and businesses in mind when drafting rules. – Arpad Kun
What we are seeing now is tremendous pressure between the pace of change in how we are interacting with digital media in our everyday lives, coupled with the high expectations of reliability in the internet services we use daily. All this, while also navigating the existing ecosystem of players with special interests and a drive toward stricter governance (ISPs, legacy networks, content providers, aggregators, etc.). The issue of content delivery at scale is a larger problem that needs to be addressed at a fundamental level for the long term.
Arpad Kun, Senior Director of Network Operations at Ustream breaks down this issue in detail and offers solutions in his Medium post “Content Delivery at the Crossroads: The Ever-increasing Demand for Scale“.