Verizon is working with Yale researchers and a consortium of P2P companies to produce systems that make P2P file-sharing faster by redesigning the software to prefer peers in the same city, drastically reducing the cost to ISPs of customers' P2P traffic.
In a traditional P2P network, if a Verizon customer downloads a file, only 6.3 percent of the data will come from another Verizon customer in the same city, said Doug Pasko, senior technologist at the company. In the "P4P" trial, 58 percent of the data came from nearby Verizon users, vastly reducing the company's cost of carrying the traffic.
Levitan said the technology might be ready for use by next month, when NBC makes available free downloads of its TV shows using Pando's software. The shows will be financed by advertising, and P2P technology will be an essential way for NBC to cut costs. Distributing an hourlong TV show in high definition using traditional delivery systems would cost the network about $1. With P2P technology, that cost can be cut by 75 to 90 percent.