Alarmed that Bell Canada is throttling and degrading P2P traffic, David Fewer and some of his friends have created a wiki to list "all of the legitimate things that P2P can and is doing. Kind of a one
stop shop for evidence of how this technology has the capacity to change the
world." The idea is that this can be used in regulatory proceedings and other policy fora to establish the legitimacy of P2P. They want your input!
Why peer-to-peer is efficient
When a user wishes to download a file from a website, the submit a HTTP GET request. This request for the file uses a single TCP socket, and communicates with a single server which transfers the entire file. By contrast, a P2P protocol creates TCP connections with multiple hosts and makes many small data requests to each. The P2P client then combines the chunks to recreate the file. A single file host will usually have limited upload capacity, but connecting to many servers simultaneously allows for higher file transfers, and disperses the costs associated with data transfers amongst many peers. Moreover, a client mid-way through downloading the file also acts as a server, hosting the bits to others which they have already downloaded. These differences from traditional HTTP GET requests allow for lower costs and higher redundancy since many people are sharing the files.
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