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Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) scales on demand with Akamai
The Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) is Canada’s national broadcaster and the largest journalistic organization in the country. In an ever-changing media environment, their approach is to ensure that all of their content is available how, where and when Canadians want it. That’s critical for news, but it’s also become increasingly important for sports and entertainment content as well.
With over one million pages, the CBC website is considered a content distribution vehicle, an equal footing with radio and TV. The CBC is producing more and more streaming content in order to reach and engage audiences everywhere.
CBC started their relationship with Akamai on 9/11. At the time, their existing infrastructure was not built to withstand the large volume of traffic they were seeing during this large scale news event. By quickly leveraging Akamai’s services, CBC was back online within an hour. In the summer of 2006, they began exploring options that would give them both flexibility and bandwidth at a competitive price. They considered building out their infrastructure, but it was costly to build out and would sit idle when there wasn’t a breaking news story.
CBC evaluated a number of vendors and after scoring all of their choices, Akamai came out on top. Because their mandate is to inform the public, CBC’s website has to be available even when there is a flash crowd. With Akamai, they are able to scale on demand. For example, they scaled on more than on gigabyte per second of content during the Canadian Federal Election in early 2006.
During the first 11 days of the Olympics held in Athens, CBC had 19 million in visits and served 117 million viewers. 2006 was the most successful Olympics in their site’s history, breaking all previous Olympics’ traffic records with the peak of 18 million views in a single day.
Akamai also supported CBC’s ‘Testination’ program, which comprised of inviting Canadians who were watching their TV broadcast to take a real-time interactive tests online.
With Akamai, the CBC website was able to support 4 million hits without being overwhelmed. It was critical to be able to support these levels of traffic cost effectively and in a manageable way. And with Akamai, they were able to do just that.