Google wants to be your Internet

Jeroen Massar jeroen at
Sun Jan 21 03:09:17 UTC 2007

Gadi Evron wrote:
> On Sat, 20 Jan 2007, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:
> <snip>
>> ISPs probably don't have an interest in BT caching because of 1)
>> cost of ownership, 2) legal concerns (if an ISP cached a publicly
>> distributed copy of some pirated software, who's then responsible?),
> They cache the web, which has the same chance of being illegal content.

They do have NNTP "Caches" though with several Terabytes of storage
space and obvious newsgroups like alt.binaries.dvd-r and similar names.

The reason why they don't run "BT Caches" is because the protocol is not
made for it. NNTP is made for distribution (albeit not really for 8bit
files ;), the "Cache" (more a wrongly implemented auto-replicating FTP
server) is local to the ISP and serves their local users. As such that
is only gain. Instead of having their clients use their transits, the
data only gets pulled over ones and all their clients get it.

For BT though, you either have to do tricks at L7 involving sniffing the
lines and thus breaking end-to-end; or you end up setting up a huge BT
client which automatically mirrors all the torrents on the planet and
hope that only your local users use it, which most likely is not the
case as most BT clients don't do network-close downloading.

As such NNTP is profit, BT is not. Also, NNTP access is a service which
you can sell. There exist a large number of NNTP-only services and even
ISP's that have as a major selling point: access to their newsserver.

Fun detail about NNTP: most companies publish how much traffic they do
and even in which alt.binaries.* group the most crap is flowing. Still
it seems totally legal to have those several Terabytes of data and make
them available, even with the obvious names that the messages carry. The
most named reason: It is a "Cache" and "we don't put the data on it, it
is automatic"... yup alt.binaries.dvd.movies whatever is really not so
obvious ;)

Of course replace BT with most kinds of P2P network in the above of
course. There are some P2P nets that try to induce some network topology
though, so that you will be downloading from that person next door
instead of that guy on a 56k in Timbuktoe while you are sitting on a
1Gbit NREN connect ;)

But anyway what I am wondering is why ISP folks are thinking so bad
about this, do you guys want:
 a) customers that do not use your network
 b) customers that do use the network

Probably it is a) because of the cash. But that is strange, why sell
people an 'unlimited' account when you don't want them to use it in the
first place? Also if your network is not made to handle customers of
type b) then upgrade your network. Clearly your customers love using it,
thus more customers will follow if you keep it up and running. No better
advertisement than the neighbor saying that it is great ;)


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