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 Projects and Studies


P2P-ISP – The impact of peer-to-peer networking on network operators and Internet service providers
For further information please contact:

Adam Kapovits
Programme Manager
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

Peer-to-peer networking emerged and soon established itself as a wide-spread application on broadband access platforms. At present millions of users participate online in file sharing systems, which contribute 50% - 80% of the traffic load on Internet platforms in Europe and around the globe.

However, this seemingly stable situation may be about to change. There is an increasing tendency to use peer-to-peer applications for real time communications. Recently, a peer-to-peer network for voice over IP has reached great popularity. The peer-to-peer principle is also promising efficient support of smaller Internet communities with demand for various multimedia communication while P2P business applications are still at an early stage.

The study is focused on the impact of peer-to-peer networks on Internet platforms of service providers, including current developments in peer-to-peer applications and protocols together with trends in user demands and possible market shifts. On the other hand, the efficiency of the resource management in backbone and access networks with a dominant traffic load from peer-to-peer overlays will be addressed.

What are the main objectives of this Project?

  • Identify the key characteristics of peer-to-peer traffic (composition in terms of flows, geographical localization, etc.) and their impact on traffic management;
  • Identify the potential of prospective peer-to-peer applications for mass market and for communities with special demands beyond file sharing and voice over IP (virtual communities, software distribution, multicast applications etc.);
  • Study techniques for identifying peer-to-peer traffic without going up to the application level;
  • Look at approaches for measuring and controlling peer-to-peer networking as well as reducing inefficiencies introduced by a mismatch of the peer-to-peer overlay network structure with regard to underlying ISP network platforms on the IP layer (inefficient transport paths due to independence of peer-to-peer overlays on IP platforms; approaches for cross layer cooperation; caching of peer-to-peer data e.g. by recent eDonkey options);
  • Summarize the implications of peer-to-peer networking on business models of carriers, access and service providers, (symmetrical versus asymmetrical access bandwidth; flat rate and volume based online tariffs, offering services at low cost; business applications including secure accounting) taking into account relevant DRM issues;
  • Study emerging extensions of peer-to-peer networks in mobile environments;
  • Provide a short overview of the state of the art in peer-to-peer network structures and protocols with trends in the near future (hybrid forms combining distributed peer-to-peer with central client server architecture; search functions; replication of data in the overlay; compliance with IPR; etc.).

What are the key results for this Project?

As a result of this study operators and ISPs will have a better understanding of the impact of peer-to-peer networking and peer-to-peer traffic on their networks and services provided, and also the impact on their present business models.

What relationship exists to other organisations or bodies?

Some relationship will 

Project Results