Relieving Peer-to-peer Pressure

Traffic from peer-to-peer programs like Kazaa and Skype floods the Net. Now we see products that are aimed at channeling the traffic better. Guess who’s behind them.

Feb 25, 2004

As the music downloading frenzy continues unabated, Internet service providers (ISPs) are finding their infrastructure and business models imperiled.  The main threat comes from the popularity of peer-to-peer programs such as Kazaa, which connect users without using a server. “Peer-to-peer activity corresponds to at least one fifth of Internet traffic and is likely to continue to grow relentlessly in the future” says University of California, Riverside researcher Thomas Karagiannis,  who works with the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis on measuring peer-to-peer traffic.

More traffic means a higher cost for the ISPs. Either they get the lines clogged lowering customer satisfaction, or they upgrade their networks with more bandwidth. This opens a golden business opportunity for companies that say they will ease traffic in a way that is cheaper than adding more bandwidth.