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P2P Internet traffic to see dramatic increase over next five years, says researcher

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Internet traffic, despite having grown at a torrid pace for years, will grow almost 400 percent over the next five years, according to MultiMedia Intelligence.

Growing from a level of 1.6 petabytes of Internet traffic per month in 2007, P2P Internet traffic will grow to almost 8 petabytes per month by 2012.

P2P data currently represents 44 percent of all consumer traffic over the Internet and 33.6 percent in North America. Although the base of legitimate P2P traffic is starting quite small, legitimate P2P traffic is expected to grow 10 times as fast as illicit P2P traffic. Content owners increasingly see P2P as a cost-effective way to distribute digital entertainment services and content, according to MultiMedia Intelligence.

New MultiMedia Intelligence research, “P2P Networking: Content’s ‘Bad Boy’ Becomes Tomorrow's Distribution Channel,” finds:

  • In terms of the number of files transferred via P2P networking, music dominates. However, in terms of bandwidth, growth of video is explosive. This growth is largely attributable to a transition to higher quality video and growing video demand in less developed markets.
  • As the number of legitimate P2P services grows, P2P is entering a second- generation evolution. Such next-generation P2P services leverage traffic steering or management.

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