Apple is stitching together a network of Internet infrastructure capable of delivering large amounts of content to customers, giving the company more control over the distribution of its online offerings while laying the groundwork for more traffic if it decides to move deeper into television.
Apple's online delivery needs have grown in the last few years, driven by its iCloud service for storing users' data and rising sales of music, videos and games from iTunes and the App Store. But the iPhone maker is reported to have broader ambitions for television that could involve expanding its Apple TV product or building its own television set.
Snapping up Internet infrastructure supports all those pursuits at once. Apple is signing long-term deals to lock up bandwidth and hiring more networking experts, steps that companies like Google and Facebook have already taken to gain more control over the vast content they distribute.
Bill Norton, chief strategy officer for International Internet Exchange, which helps companies line up Internet traffic agreements, estimates that Apple has in a short time bought enough bandwidth from Web carriers to move hundreds of gigabits of data each second.
"That's the starting point for a very, very big network," Norton said.
Read more about Apple's Internet plans at The Wall Street Journal.