BitTorrent use up 24%

The use of BitTorrent, a peer to peer file sharing service, is up 24% in the past four months. Like the big jump in YouTube traffic in December, some it may be related to the writer's strike. The lack of anything new on that old-fashioned TV thingy in the rec room apparently had people headed in droves to the Internet for some mindless entertainment. And of course, the Internet has plenty of mindless entertainment. Sadly, almost any random 2 minute video clip on YouTube is funnier than most half hour TV comedies.

What's coming? I think it is now safe to say that TV is over. It will be a long slow decline, but the writer's strike created the tipping point that economists always look for. The Internet access providers can monkey around with traffic management to try to discourage the use of services like BitTorrent, but that's just silly over the long term. Imagine any other business saying, in effect, "We're glad you love our product. Please stop using it." That's what the Internet providers and the entertainment industry are doing with their lawsuits, "Internet toll booths," and traffic manipulation.

The solution is to start building networks that are focused on delivering services--any services, including things like BitTorrent--rather than just blindly delivering bandwidth by the bucket. That model doesn't work. If it did, we'd all have a fiber connection by now.