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Broadband Service Providers Combating P2P

The increasing strain that peer-to-peer (P2P) networking traffic is putting on broadband networks is creating a growing demand for products that can identify and weed out bandwidth-hogging P2P data through the use of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology, according to the latest report published by Light Reading.

"DPI has emerged as a key tool to combat bandwidth hogs and enable quality of service in broadband networks," notes James Crawshaw, Research Analyst for Light Reading Insider and author of the report. "Large service providers initially thought they could get around the problem of P2P by throwing more bandwidth at the problem, but P2P has become so pervasive that even the large operators are turning to DPI to combat P2P."

Crawshaw adds that interest in DPI as a P2P blocker grew first in Asia, but that European and North American operators are now making aggressive moves to deploy the technology. "The business case for DPI investment appears strong," he says. "Intelligent bandwidth management gives providers the ability to give priority to revenue-generating traffic when the network is heavily loaded, while allowing P2P applications such as BitTorrent to 'burst' when capacity is available, ensuring the satisfaction of all subscribers."

Other key findings of the report include:

- In the U.S., cable MSOs have been early adopters of DPI, but IPTV should be a catalyst for broader deployment by DSL operators.

- Many operators that have deployed DPI are claiming that they can achieve payback in less than 12 months.

- In addition to P2P mitigation, DPI could play a wider role in operators' service assurance and network security strategies.

- Several European operators are using DPI to enable service tiering, rather than just to throttle broadband hogs.

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