Half of Internet traffic is carried on peer-to-peer networks. For Internet Service Providers handling this traffic, new network management technologies are being explored and implemented.
After the highly publicized "throttling" of P2P traffic by Comcast and a subsequent FCC inquiry and Congressional uproar, Comcast and BitTorrent have entered into a pact to to develop technology to properly manage P2P traffic. Comcast announced a separate initiative with P2P platform Pando.
Earlier this week in Manhattan at the Contentinople conference, I interviewed Eric Klinker, CTO of San Francisco-based BitTorrent. He explained that his company is working closely with Comcast and other ISP’s in solving network traffic issues.
The work is also future leaning. In this interview, he says BitTorrent is working with ISP’s on a "new generation" technology which will "significantly speed the delivery of video in the years to come." We didn’t get details, but this will be something to follow.
P2P is Green!
Since I interviewed Eric on April 22, Earth Day, I asked about the environmental value of P2P technology. He explained that P2P can deliver and scale the video needs of the Net without the addition of a single energy-hogging server farm.
Update: For an in depth look at the use of file sharing programs around the globe, check out this new report by TorrentFreak.
Update 5/1: Steve Lohr at the New York Times has a post about the pollution coming from data centers.
— Andy Plesser