VeriSign to Expand Content-Delivery Services

Internet infrastructure company VeriSign will expand its content-distribution offerings with the launch of VeriSign Intelligent CDN, going after the likes of Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks.

The service, to be generally available in January, will combine the peer-to-peer file-distribution features of Kontiki -- which VeriSign acquired this year -- with conventional Web-based file downloads and streaming media.

The new service offering will be able to support “millions of users,” said Todd Johnson, vice president of broadband services for VeriSign, previously CEO of Kontiki. He wouldn’t provide details of how much bandwidth VeriSign is capable of serving, although he said the company operates more than 20 data centers around the world.

“This allows us to leverage the very significant footprint that VeriSign has globally on the Internet,” he said.

One of the first customers for the VeriSign Intelligent CDN is Axiom TV, which next year expects to launch a movie-download service geared around family-friendly films.

VeriSign’s pricing model will be “similar to typical CDNs,” Johnson said, with separate fees for storage and direct bandwidth. The difference, he added, is that VeriSign can offer lower pricing on the peer-to-peer bandwidth option: For content distributed via the Kontiki software, the cost per bit transferred is about 40% less than direct bandwidth, Johnson said.