Verizon announced that it will be using an improved form of peer-to-peer management technology to lower the cost of P2P applications used by customers on its network.
While other ISPs have banned, blocked or slowed peer-to-peer traffic in their efforts to keep users from sharing files across their networks Verizon has set out to help its users share files faster, as long as they are doing so legally.
At a conference in New York, the Verizon group will present test results showing that when an ISP cooperates with a file-sharing software maker they can speed downloads an average of 60 percent — though collaboration boosted some downloads six-fold on fast Internet connections.
"This test signifies a turning point in the history of peer-to-peer technology and ISPs," said Robert Levitan, chief executive of file-sharing company Pando Networks Inc. "It will definitely show ISPs that the problem is not peer-to-peer technology, the problem is how you deploy it. It is possible to deploy P2P to their advantage."
Net neutrality has been a heated debate recently, with companies like Comcast and AT&T deciding to fight back against P2P usage. AT&T announced earlier this year plans to block file-sharing and Comcast has been defending themselves against several lawsuits. The move by Verizon to embrace, at least some form of, file-sharing is a big step.
P4P technology does nothing to affect the number of inbound and outbound connections, which doesn't affect Verizon as much as say Comcast. So it probably won't be adapted by many of the other ISPs and Verizon Wireless will still forbid peer-to-peer applications on its network. However should this prove a success it could be a building block for future programs that allow legal file-sharing.