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BT Ignite Hosting Expands Into Content Delivery

BT Ignite Content Hosting, the hosting arm of British Telecom's international broadband IP business, has announced plans to deploy advanced content distribution and streaming media technology across its pan-European infrastructure.

BT Ignite Content Hosting will work with Network Appliance to integrate the platform into BT Ignite Content Hosting's operational management system. The expansion is part of BT's strategic move to offer managed hosting and content distribution, as well as application service provision, under a common operational infrastructure.

In addition to purchasing a hardware and software solution from Network Appliance, BT Ignite Content Hosting has announced a partnership with Akamai to deploy its FreeFlow and FreeFlow Streaming servers throughout the BT Ignite Content Hosting network. BT Ignite Content Hosting will also offer the Akamai FreeFlow service to its customers on a reseller basis.

Both Akamai's and BT Ignite Content Hosting's research and development groups plan to work together on the technologies to establish a bilateral content exchange relationship. This will support the exchange of content across both platforms.

BT Ignite Content Hosting began operations in September with a network of 20 Internet data centers offering services across nine countries.

In related news, BT announced to the Wall Street Journal that it is developing an initiative to support original content creators. BTopenworld, BT's high-speed ISP service, will carry out the initiative.

BTopenworld intends to retain a portion of the rights to the programs it sponsors, which will include game and comedy shows.

"Ultimately, technology becomes a commodity as the industry matures," stated John Raczka, senior vice president for content at BTopenworld in a statement to the Wall Street Journal. "So content will be one of the biggest points of differentiation between broadband providers."

BTopenworld hopes that by obtaining the exclusive rights to some online content it will be able to distinguish its high-speed ISP service from those of its competitors.

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