streaming video alliance

A group of 17 service providers, content companies and tech vendors has formed the Streaming Video Alliance, aimed at formulating industry-wide standards and establishing best practices for high-scale Internet video services.

Notably, Netflix and YouTube — which represent the two biggest sources of Internet bandwidth usage — are not members of the group. Both companies have invested heavily in their own video-distribution infrastructure, which means they wouldn’t be interested in switching gears to adopt a new architecture defined by an external consortium.

The founding SVA members are: Alcatel-Lucent, Charter Communications, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Epix, Fox Networks Group, Korea Telecom, Level 3 Communications, Liberty Global, Limelight Networks, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Qwilt, Telecom Italia, Telstra, Ustream, Wowza Media Systems and Yahoo.

“Online video continues to thrive, and rising consumer demand for a great streaming-video experience is only the beginning,” said Alon Maor, CEO of Qwilt, which sells a video-delivery system to ISPs. “The need for increased collaboration among members of the streaming video ecosystem is clear, and the formation of the Streaming Video Alliance presents a strategic opportunity for us to provide consumers with the best experience possible.”

The Streaming Video Alliance has three tiers of membership: sponsor/founding member ($25,000 annually); full member ($12,500); and supporting member ($5,500).

The group will focus on three initial areas: open architecture, to define specifications for network and cloud-based streaming and caching infrastructure; quality of experience, to create a common approach to defining, measuring, optimizing and reporting quality of the video streaming; and interoperability, to create standards for streaming video.

One of the trade group’s organizers is Dan Rayburn, Frost & Sullivan principal analyst and EVP of, an industry news website and conference producer.

Founding members of the Streaming Video Alliance ( will meet together at least twice per year in person, and committees will have regular calls and meetings to create specs. The SVA is not a standards body, Rayburn said; rather, it plans to propose technical specs to relevant standards bodies.

The formation of the SVA comes as the issue of net neutrality — the idea that the government should forbid Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against content providers — has boiled over in Washington. President Obama this week urged the FCC to reclassify broadband as a Title II telecommunications service, with certain conditions. That’s a step ISPs firmly opposed, and the political lines have been drawn as the FCC hammers out a revised net-neutrality proposal.

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