In the US, several ISPs (e.g. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast) have been testing the effectiveness of using Pando Networks’ own P2P client, which localizes transfered files, to increase the transfer speeds of files while reducing the flow of traffic between ISPs. These tests have demonstrated that Pando’s solution to P2P traffic ‘overwhelming’ network traffic has largely been successful; far less data is passing between ISPs, with a huge portion of the P2P traffic now being contained to the respective ISPs’ networks . DSLreports is concerned that, there may be hidden costs to the roll-out of these technologies. Perhaps individuals will need to pay a fee to enjoy the enhanced speeds. Perhaps this will correspond with a more invasive content analysis system. Maybe there will be blocks put on ‘non-authorized’ P2P clients.
Personally, I expect that P4P will be used to let ISPs compete in the media-content selling business. Imagine: you can get a movie from iTunes in 20 minutes, or in 2-4 from your ISP. Sure, the analysis and filtering that DSLreports notes could be coming, but I have a suspicion that P4p will be used to undermine the current content distributors first, and that other uses of P4P will follow only after that business model/technique is tested.
Maybe I’m being optimistic. Maybe I’m being hopeful.
I should probably know better when thinking about the intentions of major American ISPs. It would likely be a sounder idea to adopt the pessimistic/cautionary stance of DSLreports, and question everything concerning this whole affair.