Sunday, September 28, 2008

p2p - 2slow4u - up&down

last time, i wrote about the evil telcos and want to wrap this up here.

but this time, it's not about the money. i mean, i understand that a company needs to find ways to keep their business up and running. and if they can milk all the dollars they can from their customers, then good for them. however, their tactics that could lead to the demise of the innovative transport medium technology and products as well as the collateral damage of new and interesting media providers and broadcasters.

these new media may be snuff out by the evil telcos, and this is what i fear the most.

first, it's P2P traffic. and even though, technically, one computer linked to just one other is a P2P network, let's assume for this section it's one computer linked to many others (just like what the carriers are all complaining about).

it seems that some companies haven't figured this one out yet. the P2P control freaks are completely out of line here -- and need to know that they MUST NOT F@#K with the P2P traffic. these ISPs doesn't seem to not know about the people who: chat (voice or typing) and play games.

these kind of network traffic are your most common and basic multi-point/distributed P2P network. and if the network provider is the cause of that laggy connection (or worse a dropped connection) - YOU WILL LOSE THAT CUSTOMER. yes, most chats goes to a central server, but it is possible to join a pile of IRC channels from a pile of servers with [insert your favorite multi-protocol social chat client]. yes, while it's most likely that you are not joining 100's of endpoints, it is possible to join at least "a" 100 from one user. and if you have more than one users (i.e. roommates) then it is possible to see 100's of connections coming from one IP address. but if your network caused me to drop my game, you're F@#King with my QoS. don't expect me to keep you as my provider.

next, network caps.
please note that there is a difference between bandwidth rate limits and bandwidth size limits. [ i when off tangent here - it went back to being about money (those greedy bastards) and said that this article wouldn't be about it. so i decided to put it in to a separate side bar article. ]

bandwidth rate limits are more in tune with what i wrote above about laggy connections (especially sensitive to quick-action games) - but, what the providers are really asking for is bandwidth size limits. and this is HUGE problem for other reasons.

upload and download limits. as HD videos become more and more prevalent in the video podcast world, these transmission sizes may easily reach the 250GB limit. so, can i see myself hitting that cap? well, let's do some quick paper napkin calculations.

if each HD video podcast is 1GB (which the totally rad show @1280x720 ~1hr @24fps - has sometimes hit), then that means i can watch 250 shows a month. which is about 8 one hour shows per day. that's a lot of video watching. i think most people only watch 2-3 hours of TV. a couch potato may watch up to 4-5 hours. and the video gamer may play games with the video podcast running in the background 4-8 hours. yes, there are days where i would play for 4 hours and other where i would play for up to 12 or even 16 hours. but on average, i have hit a stride of 4 to 6 hours. i also download a lot of financial stock data and listen to a lot of internet radio.

what's my current usage? a little less than 100GB/month according to ifconfig. HA! you say? now re-run the calculations when shows become 1920x1080. the data size for a single 1080 frame would be more than twice that of a 720 frame. now how about at 30fps or 60fps. of course, compression technology will try to keep the file sizes small. however, the best way to keep file sizes small is lower resolution running at lower frame rates. but we are looking into the future.

so why all of the sudden the reason to enforce the P2P restrictions?
  • have the carriers met the usage saturation point (i don't think so)
  • is this a pre-emptive move to contain users from high network usage (on a system that's pretty much a shared network) (maybe, but really, i don't think so)
  • do they want to start charging subscribers more money and this is one way to ease it in (plausable)
  • do they want to help the RIAA or MPAA stop piracy (i don't think so)
  • do they want to help the major broadcast networks stop loosing viewership to the new media networks (i would say more so than stopping piracy but way less than wanting to charge more $$)
if you ask me, i think it's some RIAA or MPAA douche bag that has somehow convinced the carriers to fight the P2P wars on their dime. or else they would face lawsuits for allowing P2P traffic on their networks. the anti-P2P systems started to roll out, but the carrier's ultimate reason for doing so is that they can upsell additional services that comes with the higher network speed package (do you really need the triple package now a days?) or charge you extra for a service you already are paying for (remember net neutrality?). there really is no reason to throttle P2P traffic when there are many good uses for it. and many good reasons to show your network is multi-user friendly that will shine well with people who wants to have a fat and fast pipe while not feeling like they are being ripped off.
couldn't resist

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