Verizon Demos Advanced P2P Software
Verizon, which participated in the study, says that new software called P4P can reduce the impact of file-sharing traffic by over 50 percent. It does this by localizing the traffic so that it doesn't have to travel as great a distance and therefore reduces Verizon's costs.
In traditional P2P downloads, large files are transmitted in chunks from a multitude of users regardless of their location. So an HD movie being downloaded in New York could be coming from New Jersey, California, or really anywhere else in the world.
But P4P is smarter and can make sure as much of that download comes from other Verizon customers in the same city thereby greatly improving download speed and reducing its costs.
Doug Pasko, a senior technologist at Verizon told the Associated Press that in traditional P2P, only 6.3 percent of all data comes from other Verizon customers. In the P4P trial, Pasko says this number improved to 58 percent. All in all, download speeds improved by 60 percent in the researchers' trials.
It also greatly reduces the number of "hops" that data makes to get to its destination. In a P2P network, Pasko said it takes 5.5 hops to get to its destination whereas in P4P it takes only 0.89, another cost saving improvement.
The emergence of bandwidth-hogging P2P technology has taken center stage in recent months as ISPs have taken different approaches to mitigating the impact it has on their networks. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) particularly has come under fire for its attempt to block certain P2P software such as BitTorrent Inc. from its customers. (See Comcast Defends P2P Management , FCC Eyes Comcast's P2P Policies, and Comcast Takes on TorrentFreak.)
Verizon has taken the most hands-off approach of any carrier, saying that it doesn’t want to police the content flowing over its network. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) comparably says it is looking for ways to possibly filter such P2P traffic. (See Verizon, AT&T Differ on Content Inspection.)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently got involved and is looking into possibly legislating to what extent ISPs can regulate traffic on their networks. (See FCC Mulling New Internet Rules and Net Neutrality Solution: Buy Something .)
— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading
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