It's not exactly forbidden fruit, but the CDN apple has long been one that telcos and cable companies have looked at longingly. After all, all that content, all those customers, just a little bite ... Historically, their attempts have borne little fruit. Content providers looking to get the most bang for their buck have been reluctant to settle for the small chunk of an audience that any single carrier or cable co can claim.
U.K.-based BT Wholesale is the latest carrier to attempt to venture into the waters, promising improved online video quality and a reduction in the stress -- and costs -- placed on ISPs by the heavy flow of rich media. The situation in the U.K. market is decidedly different than that in the United States. BT is the dominant fixed line and broadband Internet provider in the U.K.; in fact, it was once the ONLY provider of note.
Nevertheless, the intent of the "Content Connect" project is the same: to eliminate the CDN middleman (in this case primarily Akamai and Limelight). Both Channel 4 and Channel 5 are among the content providers looking into using the new CDN; both aso recently announced they would be uploading all their programming to YouTube.
- see this Digital Spy article