North American Network Operators Group

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RE: BitTorrent swarms have a deadly bite on broadband nets

  • From: Frank Bulk
  • Date: Mon Oct 22 21:36:51 2007

I'm not claiming that squashing P2P is easy, but apparently Comcast has
been successfully enough to generate national attention, and the bandwidth
shaping providers are not totally a lost cause.

The reality is that copper-based internet access technologies: dial-up, DSL,
and cable modems have made the design-based trade off that there is
substantially more downstream than upstream.  With North American
DOCSIS-based cable modem deployments there is generally a 6 MHz wide band at
256 QAM while the upstream is only 3.2 MHz wide at 16 QAM (or even QPSK).
Even BPON and GPON follow that same asymmetrical track.  And the reality is
that most residential internet access patterns reflect that (whether it's a
cause or contributor, I'll let others debate that).  

Generally ISPs have been reluctant to pursue usage-based models because it
adds an undesirable cost and isn't as attractive a marketing tool to attract
customers.  Only in business models where bandwidth (local, transport, or
otherwise) is expensive has usage-based billing become a reality.


-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of
Crist Clark
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 7:16 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: BitTorrent swarms have a deadly bite on broadband nets

>>> On 10/22/2007 at 3:02 PM, "Frank Bulk" <[email protected]> wrote:

> I wonder how quickly applications and network gear would implement
> QoS support if the major ISPs offered their subscribers two queues:
> a default queue, which handled regular internet traffic but 
> squashed P2P, and then a separate queue that allowed P2P to flow 
> uninhibited for an extra $5/month, but then ISPs could purchase 
> cheaper bandwidth for that.
> But perhaps at the end of the day Andrew O. is right and it's best
> off to  have a single queue and throw more bandwidth at the problem.

How does one "squash P2P?" How fast will BitTorrent start hiding it's
trivial to spot ".BitTorrent protocol" banner in the handshakes? How
many P2P protocols are already blocking/shaping evasive?

It seems to me is what hurts the ISPs is the accompanying upload
streams, not the download (or at least the ISP feels the same
download pain no matter what technology their end user uses to get
the data[0]). Throwing more bandwidth does not scale to the number
of users we are talking about. Why not suck up and go with the
economic solution? Seems like the easy thing is for the ISPs to come
clean and admit their "unlimited" service is not and put in upload
caps and charge for overages.

[0] Or is this maybe P2P's fault only in the sense that it makes
so much more content available that there is more for end-users
to download now than ever before.

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