Overcoming Network Congestion in OTT Video Content Delivery

Author: Adrian Pennington
Source: KNect365 TMT

Failing to deliver live-streaming premium events to large-scale audiences can be a knock-out blow for operators, writes Adrian Pennington. It is inherently difficult and notoriously unpredictable.

This difficult and unpredictable nature was made clear with the recent Mayweather-McGregor boxing match in Las Vegas for which rights holder ShowTime is now subject of a class action served by consumers who claim they didn’t receive the streaming experience they expected for their US$99.99 PPV fee.

Part of the issue lies in the fragmentation of an end to end delivery chain which often involves many companies. This ranges from companies that produce and ‘shape’ the content (picture quality, resolution, audio formats, ad-insertion markers, subtitles) to others that deliver the network packets containing the content. For live streaming, these companies are the national or international content delivery networks (CDNs) feeding into the broadband access networks such as cable, DSL, fibre, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile. Mostly (but not always), these are all different companies and unpicking problems is extremely tricky.

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