As long predicted on these pages, Level3 have made their move and have started at the top by announcing that they have usurped Akamai as the BBC's provider of choice.
Now Akamai have the disadvantage of not being a Tier 1 carrier, so their prices are always going to be more expensive since they need to buy the bandwidth in the first place from the likes of Level 3, AT&T and iBasis. All of this points to Akamai being in trouble commercially. But you have to ask if Level3 is beginning to bite the hand that feeds it.
I feel a closer alliance between iBasis/KPN and Akamai coming along.
There is also a technical angle to this. To date, edge caching networks have been a good way of distributing lots of VoD content around the web. But it does have many weaknesses and it less useful for live and simulcast applications. Multicasting is a real possibility for Tier 1 player with the right investment and technologies like the soon-to-be-announced Edgeware IP Internet TV server are also going to change the paradigm.