CDN providers are usually lauded by internet users for the way they accelerate data. By using strategically placed points of presence (PoPs), end users are rerouted to the server closest to them when requesting data, leading to lower latency and higher bandwidths. However, whilst CDN providers offer many benefits, they are not immune to the Great Firewall of China.
Edgecast, one of the worlds’ largest CDN providers and which Verizon bought for $350 million last year, has become on of the most recent big internet names to fall foul of the Chinese authorities. Last week, China began blocking thousands of websites that use the Edgecast CDN, including Drupal, The Atlantic and many Firefox browser extensions. This move came just a day before China was due to host the World Internet Conference, which itself will be visited by many large CDN providers.
Acknowledging the block, Edgecast made a statement via a blog post this week claiming that:
“This week we’ve seen the filtering escalate with an increasing number of popular web properties impacted and even one of our many domains being partially blocked… with no rhyme or reason as to why. At Verizon Edgecast we have put policies in place to help our customers mitigate the effects of this most recent filtering but expect this to be an ongoing issue for our customers seeking to reach Chinese users (users in China).