Transparent Caching Equipment Vendor Qwilt Now Improves Live Video Streams

More and more live video events are being streamed online, and caching equipment startup Qwilt wants to help Internet service providers to meet growing demand from consumers. To do so, it’s adding a new feature that will improve network efficiency and video quality for live video streams, in addition to the improvement of on-demand videos.

Qwilt was founded on the idea of helping Internet service providers to handle the huge amount of video that is flooding their networks, by inserting its equipment into edge networks and transparently caching content closer to where users live. By doing so, the company believes that it can provide more efficient network utilization for ISPs, while also improving the quality of video that end users are watching.

That’s a win-win for network providers, who can use caching as a way to reduce the strain of traffic traveling over their networks, as well as the media companies delivering content to consumers. And, of course, to consumers themselves, who benefit from the improved video quality.

The pitch seems to be resonating with customers, as Qwilt has signed up a number of ISPs in Europe, Latin America, and even some big MSOs in the U.S. to install its caching equipment into their networks.

To date, Qwilt has worked primarily to alleviate the pain associated with on-demand video from streaming services like Netflix or YouTube. In a world where Netflix can make up about a third of all traffic during peak hours, such a solution is surely welcome to help offload some of the video traffic.

But what about the growing amount of live video that’s coming online, thanks to networks and programmers getting more comfortable with having the same major events online and on mobile apps as are on TV. You know, like streaming the Super Bowl, or putting all the major Olympics events online.

For viewers who have tried to stream those events, it’s clear that the experience generally hasn’t been great. There’s typically a lot of buffering and whatnot for live events, since more IP networks weren’t built to handle a large number of people streaming the same piece of content.

The new live stream caching from Qwilt helps to solve that issue, and to create huge network efficiencies in the process. That means programmers will be more likely to stream live events, and ISPs won’t have to massively overbuild their networks to meet demand.

Qwilt has raised $40 million in funding from investors that include Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Marker.