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By: MarkJ - 18 February, 2011 (11:34 AM)
internet p2p statisticsbittorrent uk isp performanceBitTorrent, a technology company which is perhaps best known for its hugely popular Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing protocol (over 20 million average daily active users), has hinted that they could eventually release performance data for over 9,000 broadband ISPs around the world.

At present their unnamed project is still in the very early stages of development but could one day serve as a global ISP performance report. Several international content providers, such as Akamai, already release similar statistics but BitTorrent claims to have "data that is miles better--miles, miles better".

BitTorrent's VP of Products, Simon Morris, said (FastCompany):

"We have download traffic, upload traffic, BitTorrent traffic, and we have HTTP traffic. So we can answer questions like: I live in this city in the world--it could be anywhere, literally anywhere--which ISP should I use? Which is the fastest? Which ISP is messing with BitTorrent traffic? Because we have this data, we can see the difference in speeds by time of day."

In one example Morris was able to show that most UK ISPs "aggressively throttle BitTorrent traffic after 6 p.m. at night", with speeds suddenly going "off a cliff". Suffice to say that such information could prove to be very useful for consumers and advocates of Net Neutrality (the principal of treating all internet traffic as equal).

At present BitTorrent is keen to stress that it doesn't want to pick a fight with ISPs and hasn't decided upon how best to use the data, although it would most likely be targeted towards "helpful and constructive" purposes. In any case the project itself is still a long way from completion. For now the firm is just using the information to improve its own technology.

We'd love to see this information released and the idea of being able to offer a nearly real-time web-based ISPreview.co.uk performance monitor of internet traffic across UK ISPs would be incredibly useful. However, with most of the traffic being P2P based and thus open to throttling, its application as an overall internet ISP performance monitoring service remains uncertain.
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