[p2p-hackers] Red Swoosh/Travis Kalanick comments

Jim Dixon jdd at dixons.org
Wed Dec 15 15:22:47 UTC 2004

On Wed, 15 Dec 2004, Eugen Leitl wrote:

> > Those "billions of dollars in network upgrades" are shifted from the
> > serving/hosting ISPs to the end peer/consumer ISPs.  They don't
> > magically disappear (though you could reasonably argue that their size
> > changes).
> Bandwidth is cheap on the local loop.

The local loop is generally copper and expensive.  Even if it's fibre,
someone has to pay to lay it.  In the UK, as I recall, digging a trench
costs about 100 pounds ($185 or so) per meter.

>                                  Stackable Fast Ethernet switches cost
> very little/port these days, even Level 3 switches. Peering is what is
> expensive.

Peering is settlement-free.  That is, the only cost is infrastructure.
It might be private, in which case the cost is the cable run (say a couple
of hundred dollars).  Or it might be through an Internet exchange, in
which case the cost is your fee for belonging to the exchange.  In either
case, peering is very very low cost so long as you are exchanging a
reasonable volume of traffic.

Perhaps you mean transit, which is indeed expensive.

When you pay the other guy to carry your traffic, it's transit.  When
he carries your traffic for free (and vice-versa), it's peering.

> If these ISP be smart, they'd deploy custom P2P which limits traffic to their
> own network, only using dedicated gateways, to reduce redundant traffic
> outside of their network.

It's difficult to understand this.  ISPs need to provide a reliable
service.  This can be done only if they control the hardware.  In fact
almost all of the services provided by an ISP involve p2p technology.
ISPs peer with one another using BGP4; global routing is managed by
routers constantly chattering to one another, a process called BGP
peering.  Internal routing is done similarly, using OSPF, ISIS, or
other p2p protocols.  The domain name system has many peer to peer
elements.  Web traffic is invisibly proxied.  But providing a reliable
service is absolutely dependent upon professional management and
control of hardware.

As the term is generally used on this list, p2p involves distribution
of control.  How could an ISP rely upon p2p running on client machines?
Wouldn't multicast make a lot more sense for distributing movies and

Jim Dixon  jdd at dixons.org   tel +44 117 982 0786  mobile +44 797 373 7881
http://jxcl.sourceforge.net                       Java unit test coverage
http://xlattice.sourceforge.net         p2p communications infrastructure

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