P2P Part 3

When it comes to peer-to-peer traffic, forget what you want, and think about reality.

I love the feedback on my position on P2P traffic. The well thought out "You Suck", " Or "the internet isnt that way", or "The ISP is selling me 10mbs, I can use it anyway I want."

Guess what, business models do evolve over time. You may want your ISP to be exactly how you want it to be. You may read into your experience with them anything you want. But it can and will change if the economics don't work for them. No amount of whining about "what the internet is supposed to be" will change any of that.

You can argue about how fiber should make it all the way to your bathroom if you want, that won't create the capital for ISPs or force them to spend it the way you want them to.

Maybe instead we should look at some realities and options.

So I've come up with a better way to get rid of P2P without calling for an outright disabling of the protocol. Maybe ISPs should just treat upstream bandwidth the way cellphone companies treat minutes. Give users an option on how many upstream bits they want to be able to use and during what times of day.

Charge more during prime usage times, less during off hours. For most internet users, like probably 99pct of us, it wouldn't make a bit of difference in our bills or consumption. In fact, many of us could opt for cheaper plans because beyond the family photos or videos we may upload every now and then, or the rare backup of our hard drives, most people don't consume much outbound bandwidth at all.

Of course that probably wouldn't be the case for users and abusers of the P2P protocol and applications. Imagine what would happen when WOW users or the rare bit torrent WAREZ or illegal music or video downloader got their bills and realized that they could either throttle their upstream bandwidth and wait forever for their goodies (if they could get them at all ), or open the throttle and watch free downloads start to cost a lot of money. Think that would be fun ?

How are they going to feel when they get a bill for upstream bandwidth for periods when they werent even downloading anything, but their PCs were busy acting as seeds for other P2P clients ? Think they will enjoy paying that bill ?

So I take it all back. DONT block P2P traffic. Just charge for upstream bandwidth usage like cellphone companies charge for minutes. That way if P2P really is more efficient, it will be a non issue. More people will use P2P and will never have to worry about their upstream bandwidth charges.

Or, if its less efficient, it will survive for applications where the owner of the application is willing to pay for the bandwidth the application consumes at both the host and destinations. It could also survive if off peak pricing for upstream bandwidth is cheap enough that its worth it to the user to pay for the bandwidth and take delivery of files during that low priced time period. A truly market solution. Imagine that.

Let the "you suck" comments begin.

About the author

    Mark Cuban co-founded Broadcast.com, a provider of online multimedia and streaming services, which was sold to Yahoo! in July of 1999. Prior to that, he co-founded systems integrator MicroSolutions, in 1983, and later sold it to CompuServe. He is the currently the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and writes a blog at www.blogmaverick.com.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    Tech industry's high-flying 2014
    Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
    The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
    A roomy range from LG (pictures)
    This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
    Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)