Most ISPs to limit P2P traffic

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Most ISPs to limit P2P traffic

Up to 90 percent of fixed-line and 100 percent of wireless ISPs could be limiting peer to peer traffic by the end of the year, said network traffic optimisation vendor Allot Communications.

Up to 90 percent of fixed-line and 100 percent of wireless ISPs could be limiting peer to peer traffic by the end of the year, said network traffic optimisation vendor Allot Communications.

Its A/NZ sales manager, Jonathon Gordon, has said Allot is experiencing a boom in sales as a result of the current rush to control peer to peer traffic.

“In fixed-line or cable ISPs there have been early adopters and about 20 to 30 percent are currently using peer to peer limiting,” he said. "But by the end of the year, 80 to 90 percent will be using it."

Around 80 to 90 percent of wireless providers were currently limiting peer to peer traffic, with the remaining 10 to 20 percent also expected to adopt the technology by year’s end, Gordon said.

“Typically 50 to 85 percent of an ISP’s bandwidth is used up by peer to peer traffic and that’s done by only five to 10 percent of subscribers,” he said.

“There is no other viable solution for ISPs in Australia but to limit peer to peer traffic.”

With subscription rates heading toward three million, or 20 percent of the available market, another driver behind the desire to curb peer to peer traffic was the growing maturity of the local market, Gordon said.

“This market in the last three months has really gone through the roof and part of the reason is that the Australian market is looking at maturity very soon,” he said.

“ISPs are changing from growing market share to cutting costs, and the easiest way to cut costs is to limit the bandwidth they use. They also don’t want to sell under cost just to get customers on board anymore so prices are also beginning to go the other way and are starting to rise.”

Unwired CTO, Eric Hamilton said the company’s priority is to ensure the best network performance for its “eye ball traffic” as opposed to peer to peer traffic.

“In some circumstances, particularly during high network usage times, Unwired may reduce the priority of peer-to-peer traffic in turn reducing the effective peer-to-peer traffic throughput,” he said. “This occurs very occasionally and does not impact regular browsing, email, or downloading from the internet.”

Pacific Internet’s IT operations manager, Jason Sinclair, said the ISP used traffic prioritisation, not to limit traffic, but to guarantee deliver of latency sensitive apps such as VoIP and Citrix.

“ISPs could use these techniques to provide higher levels of service or to limit traffic,” he said. “But Pacific Internet doesn’t actually restrict P2P traffic ... due to the fact that businesses generally require unrestricted network access.”

This was more a feature of residential–focused ISPs, Sinclair said, and hence bandwidth management products were more likely to be adopted by these players.

Aiming to capitalise on the trend, Allot has also launched a management software product, NetXplorer, designed to add additional control over its traffic optimisation product, NetEnforcer.
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