BitTorrent’s uTP: The Art of Getting Out Of The Way
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Media vs P2P vs Telcos: The Internet’s Civil War
At the 8th Telco 2.0 Executive Brainstorm in Orlando last week, Eric Klinker, CEO of Bittorrent.com, had some fascinating things to say about technical solutions to the interlocking intellectual property and bandwidth issues we’re constantly debating around online video. (He also remarked that the whole debate about P2P, piracy, and intellectual property had begun to remind him of the US Civil War - by 1863, it was clear that the South could never win, but the war went on anyway, and the majority of the casualties died pointlessly between then and 1865.)
He said that both the telecoms and media industries hated BitTorrent, but that this was in part a reflection of their own mutual distrust. BitTorrent was a very small company being ground between these two huge interest blocks. Despite that, it’s still global - the only country where there are no BitTorrent applications running is North Korea - BitTorrent.com has 66% of the market, and the monthly peak throughput of the BitTorrent network is 4 terabits per second.
Congestion, not Traffic, Drives Cost
ISPs tend to be concerned about BitTorrent because they see it as a bandwidth hog. Klinker pointed out that he had himself been an ISP engineer and that he therefore understood their concerns. He remarked that traffic was not, in fact, a driver of cost - congestion was.
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