Akamai is commonly thought of as the content powerhouse in the sky, thanks to its online server capacity. But soon it wants to start turning consumer devices in to a video delivery network.

Elaborating on October’s announcement, in which Akamai struck a relationship to add its software to Cisco routers, its media SVP and GM Bill Wheaton tells Beet.TV: “It’s part of our bigger philosophy of getting Akamai software on all the connected devices and out to the edge of the network.

“The connected device, the home gateway, the set-top box … out on the internet working at the edge for us … will allow us to deliver content better.

“Our goal is to get our software on all those devices. You’re talking about hundreds of millions to billions devices that we want to install our software on… to improve what we can do for our customers.”

The principles of the plan are fascinating. “Content is replicated at the router level,” Wheaton says. “Each router will replicate down to the next router… the load coming through the network is greatly diminished by factors of eight- to nine-fold.”

The effect sounds like it will be to reduce actual network load, turning network-connected devices in to the real content delivery footsoldiers to free up actual network capacity for greater imminent demand.

By partnering with Cisco, Cambridge, MA-based Akamai will gain 10 million “end points” next year, massively multiplying on Akamai’s own 150,000 current servers.

“We’re going to need a 100Tbps network very soon; we’re ready to build that,” Wheaton adds. “But, to think of where 4k will go, you’re going to need networks that will be 10-fold to 100-fold the size of that.”

This segment was taped at the VideoNuze event in Manhattan earlier this week.

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