Verizon: New P2P file transfer system faster, more efficient
Recent tests of Verizon’s network show that large files can be transferred over the Internet “more quickly and efficiently” by utilizing a new peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfer system, the company said.
Since files transferred via P2P are so large, P2P sharing can account for more than half of the total Internet traffic, according to industry estimates.
Verizon said the new P2P protocol guides the selection of file sources and network pathways, as opposed to letting the selection happen randomly or using criteria that don’t maximize efficiency.
The new system and tests were discussed in a presentation today by Douglas Pasko, Verizon’s senior technologist and co-chair of the P4P Working Group, and co-chair Laird Popkin of Pando Networks. When deployed, Verizon said the system will move material authorized by the content owners – such as movies, TV programs, software or large databases – faster for consumers and more efficiently for network operators.
"This new system, which routes files along the fastest, least-expensive path, offers our FiOS customers P2P downloads up to six times faster than networks without the overlay, the study showed,” Pasko said. “On average, download speeds using other Internet access technologies improve by about 60 percent."
According to Pasko, the end result of the experiment and ultimate implementation could be "carrier-grade P2P," once focused routing and handling replace arbitrary delivery paths. The system could cut P2P network delivery costs for participating network companies by as much as 50 percent, Verizon said.
Last October, Comcast was discovered to be interfering with some P2P traffic. Comcast subsequently acknowledged that it sometimes sends signals to temporarily cut off P2P sessions.
During periods of high network usage, Comcast and other operators cut off P2P sessions to keep that traffic from compromising the quality of other services. Under such circumstances, P2P clients automatically seek to restore the connection until a connection is re-established.
A suit was filed last November in California (story here), accusing Comcast of breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and violating the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.
Public anger over the discovery has not abated; Comcast has been continuously attacked by consumer groups, and in February the MSO was hauled before Congress to account for its actions.
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