Father of the Internet: P2P Hogging Too Much Traffic


P2P is inefficient, unfair, and hogging our bandwidth, according to Lawrence Roberts, founder of Anagran and one of the chief architects of the foundations of the Internet.

Roberts gave a talk at our Structure 08 conference Wednesday, and said that P2P sharing takes up 80 percent of Internet traffic. Roberts’ numbers are nearly double the amount of bandwidth that Sandvine reported earlier this week. It should be noted that both Sandvine and Anagran develop technologies that manage bandwidth.

Roberts’ solution is to let the computing clouds deliver video bandwidth. You can watch his full presentation through the magic of on-demand video right here:



I just love (not!) the way VOIP and streaming video are considered “high-priority” traffic now. Who the hell says so? Nitwits on Skype have priority? A dimwit watching a game show rerun has priority?


Which is it: P2P makes up 80% of all Internet traffic or capacity? Mr. Roberts starts off saying that it makes up 80% of the traffic but then uses that statistic and converts it to capacity.

“Traffic” means that 80% of the flow at any one time is P2P. “Capacity” means that 80% of all bandwidth available at one time is consumed by P2P. That’s a huge difference.

All the device manufacturers are pitching that consumption is the problem instead it is supply where the problem lies? Infrastructure companies have only provided 5% of their committed (and gov’t subsidized) Y2K bandwidth and pocketed the difference.

It’s time to get spending some of that gov’t money and deliver the bandwidth you’ve promised.


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