Here at FGI, we’ve been interested in [w: Peer-to-peer] (P2P) technologies for quite a while –I wrote a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) backgrounder (PDF) in 2004 for the Librarians Assn of the University of CA. P2P architecture (a structure much like the FDLP!), an extremely efficient method of digital distribution, offers great advantages for libraries in preserving and giving access to government information. Since [w: napster] hit the internet in 1999, P2P has been vilified in the media and by organizations like the [w: RIAA] as facilitating “piracy.”
But now, according to the AP, Verizon is working with researchers at Yale to to build better P2P software to enable faster downloads — and lower costs for ISPs where P2P accounts for 1/3 of all Internet traffic. Other companies, including NBC who wants to use P2P to save distribution costs, are finally coming around to P2P’s benefits. According to the news article, “distributing an hourlong TV show in high definition using traditional delivery systems would cost the network about $1. With P2P technology, that cost can be cut by 75 to 90 percent.”
In a traditional P2P network, if a Verizon customer downloads a file, only 6.3 percent of the data will come from another Verizon customer in the same city, said Doug Pasko, senior technologist at the company. In the “P4P” trial, 58 percent of the data came from nearby Verizon users, vastly reducing the company’s cost of carrying the traffic.
Levitan said the technology might be ready for use by next month, when NBC makes available free downloads of its TV shows using Pando’s software. The shows will be financed by advertising, and P2P technology will be an essential way for NBC to cut costs. Distributing an hourlong TV show in high definition using traditional delivery systems would cost the network about $1. With P2P technology, that cost can be cut by 75 to 90 percent.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.