Akamai Technologies announced the commercial availability of its first offering, FreeFlow. FreeFlow has been in commercial use since the beginning of April and to date has delivered more than 10 billion hits for some of the biggest sites on the Web. The service dramatically improves Web site performance and reliability, and is backed by Akamai’s Proof of Performance guarantee. In a separate announcement today, the company named Yahoo! as one of its charter FreeFlow customers. FreeFlow was designed around the needs of high-volume Web sites in eCommerce, new media, and Global 2,000 businesses. To help the customer assess FreeFlow’s performance during the evaluation period, Akamai contracts with Keynote Systems, a third-party measurement service. Based on the testing done by this independent authority, the customer is able to evaluate the speed and reliability improvements of FreeFlow. The results show exactly how FreeFlow performed using live traffic, and are compared with the customer’s existing processes. FreeFlow customers pay only for the network resources they use — no capital investment is required. Usage charges are priced according to megabits per second of content served. Customers commit to a minimum usage level and may “burst” above this commitment. Monthly pricing begins at $2,000 per megabit per second, with discounts for volume usage. www.akamai.com