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Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Fri Aug 19 04:10:12 CEST 2011

gene heskett wrote:

>> But I'd like to return the question. What's wrong with nntp?
> The sheer volume of traffic eats 99% of an ISP's bandwidth.

I doubt that very much, particularly if the ISP drops the binary newsgroups.

My ISP, Internode, has provided nntp for many years. For a while a few years
back they dropped binary newsgroups, but thay have brought them back. They
wouldn't do that if there wasn't a clear demand for it, and if they didn't
believe that on the balance, providing free Usenet access to customers
didn't pay for itself.

These days, many big ISPs complain about bittorrent using up their
bandwidth. I call shenanigans. That's like my local bottle shop complaining
that 99% of their sales comes from wine, and that stocking all that wine
takes away valuable shelf space that could be used for imported Romanian
beers and Chinese whiskey (no offense to anyone who likes Romanian beer or
Chinese whiskey). It's a nonsense claim -- if your customers want to use
the bandwidth they're paying for on bittorrent, or any other protocol, what
difference does it make to you? It's not like you have to install a second
Interweb tube just for bittorrent, or that bittorrent packets cost more
than HTTP packets. Fer fecks sake, the ISP doesn't even have to run a
bittorrent server! It's practically free money to the ISP, packets go in,
packets go out, they don't have to do a bloody thing with them.

Now, an ISP might not have the bandwidth to supply all the needs of their
customers, that's a separate issue. But complaining that the problem is
specifically because they use bittorrent, as if it would disappear if they
changed to HTTP, is bogus.


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