The Walt Disney Company and Verizon recently began trialing advanced content caching technology in the Fios network that will improve the experience for customers streaming Disney+ content over their Verizon FIOS service.
Throughout the past few months, building on Verizon’s existing edge caching capabilities, the companies have collaborated on a trial using Verizon’s new Open Caching (OC) platform.
Based on open specifications developed by the Streaming Video Alliance, Verizon’s Open Caching platform stores the most requested streaming video content, like “Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” in network facilities closer to the customer which results in content starting faster, while also reducing freezing, pausing or playback failures during streaming.
“Verizon continues to be the network of choice for many of the world’s most innovative brands because of our unwavering focus on providing an exceptional customer experience, our industry-leading technology and our continued investment in capabilities that provide an unparalleled platform for growth and enhanced experiences,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon. “This trial with Disney is another step in our exciting journey with a leading global brand that is providing tremendous value for our shared customers.”
“The ability for us to scale Disney+ internet distribution and create optimal streaming experiences for subscribers around the content is paramount to our continued success as the flagship streaming service from The Walt Disney Company,” said Joe Inzerillo, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer. “As we experience increased demand for Disney+ content, we are encouraged with the success of the OpenCache standards and the growing install base of that platform across global networks like Verizon. These deployments have given us scale while providing valuable distribution diversity enabling us to engage millions of more subscribers with the highest quality streaming.”
Caching popular Internet content at the network edge closer to end users is a standard ISP network management practice that has long been a part of the Internet’s architecture.
Verizon’s Open Caching Platform, based on specifications developed by the Streaming Video Alliance’s Open Caching Working Group, serves content from caching servers located at the edge of the network closer to the customer as opposed to servers in cloud data centers that could be further away from where customers are engaging with the content.
By storing content closer to customers, the data travels a shorter distance over the network, through fewer routers and switches, reducing delays in delivery of content to the customer. As a result, customers are able to start streaming content more quickly and face fewer potential network events that could cause freezing or buffering.
In this trial, FIOS customers throughout the Verizon FIOS footprint were able to access Disney content using Open Caching. Results from the trial showed faster start times for content, smoother streaming, and less buffering.
Based on the Streaming Video Alliance Specifications
The Streaming Video Alliance is a global association which works to solve technical streaming challenges of delivering high-quality video at scale.
The Open Caching Working Group, established in 2015 with the organization’s formation, has been developing specifications and code for the interoperable Open Caching network. The working group, which includes Verizon and Disney, collaborates on developing the documentation and reference software for building the Open Caching Network technologies.
What’s next for open caching at Verizon
The Open Caching Platform trial with Disney+ is continuing. Meanwhile, Verizon is exploring conversations with many other content providers including news organizations, gaming companies, and other entertainment content providers to use open caching technology to deliver their most popular content to Verizon customers. Verizon’s Open Caching platform, providing greater efficacy and efficiency in managing network resources, is open to any and all content providers that are interested in leveraging it to provide a better viewing experience for their customers.
Open caching for Wireless customers is currently under development as well. With the virtualization built into the wireless network and the server space on the edge of the network developed over the past few years, the wireless network is in prime position to deliver open caching content, providing an enhanced viewing experience for customers while on the go.