Apple to pay ISPs for direct iPhone connection

iTunes Store on iPhone

Apple wants to deliver content directly to your iPhone, iPad or Mac and according to a report, it’s ramping up development of its own Content Delivery Network (CDN) to take make it happen.

Dan Rayburn at Streaming Media reports that Apple’s CDN plans are ramping up as the company has begun negotiations with the US’s largest ISPs to secure paid interconnection deals that would let Cupertino beam updates directly to your iPhone more efficiently than the third-party providers it currently uses.

“Apple has been very busy with their build out deploying a lot of boxes running Apache Traffic Server and buying a ton of transit, co-location, wavelengths and other infrastructure services.”

Rayburn first reported on Apple’s CDN in February and says it’s growing so quickly, thanks to a string of networking-guru hires, that we should start seeing portions of their content delivered directly from the CDN in the near future.

Before building its own CDN Apple has depended on companies like Akamai and Level 3 to deliver apps, iTunes video and OS X and iOS software updates. While Apple only accounts for about 2% of internet traffic, iOS 7 updates can boost that number into the 40% range, crippling the quality of service during new releases.

Once its CDN deals are in place Apple will have a direct line to your device to feed it software updates, but unlike Netflix, Apple apparently doesn’t see a problem with paying ISPs for faster speeds.

Other companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Pandora have used their own CDNs for years and pay ISPs for interconnection. Apple hopes its CDN will alleviate performance issues with iCloud and give it more control over the end-user experience.

For a company that’s obsessed with controlling every aspect of hardware and software, along with  its gigantic iTunes media library, it’s surprising Apple never decided to build a CDN until now.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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