The P4P working group is planing another round of tests for its technology, this time focused on P2P video streams, according to Contentinople.com. P4P is a technology that aims to reduce the stress P2P is putting on ISP networks by helping to establish connections between users within the same subnet.

It has proven to work pretty well for BitTorrent-based file downloads; in fact, Pando CTO Laird Popkin reportedly told the crown at last week's DCIA event in San Jose that a recent second field test showed even better results than a first test earlier this year that resulted in improvements of up to 50 percent related to the amount of traffic routed locally versus though interconnections to other ISPs.

Tuning P4P for live P2P streams could help to get the system ready for prime time. However, it seems like the P4P working group also still has a lot of work to do when it comes to explaining what P4P is and how it will affect the end user. I just recently talked to a colleague of mine who expressed the opinion that P4P will ultimately become a vehicle to speed up licensed and in turn slow down unlicensed and not commercially viable content.

I personally don't believe that's the case - not because a system like P4P couldn't be used for such a purpose, but because it would involve a level of knowledge about customers' file transfers that ISPs most certainly don't want to have. Recent discussions at and around the IETF's latest meeting seem to back me up on this point. However, the folks from the IETF shouldn't be the only ones who understand what P4P is and what it is not.

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