26 Mar 2003 tjansen
I don't understand the fuss about BitTorrent and similar systems. In the end I pay with my own bandwidth. For each file that I download I will have to upload at least the same amount of data, otherwise the system can't work. And here comes the problem: for me, as a regular dial-up or DSL user, bandwidth is much more expensive than for someone who hosts the file on a server. At T-Online, Germany's largest provider, I pay 15,90 EUR (ca. $15) per GB. On the other hand, when I co-locate a server, I don't pay more than 5 EUR per Gigabyte (at fileburst.com the rate is <$1/GB). And routing the traffic through dial-up, cable and DSL connections instead of dedicated servers is complete nonsense, technically seen, more expensive for the network infrastructure as a whole and almost always slower.
The only reason why people do this is because a) they have flat rates and b) there is no easy way for micropayments. I think sites that require the user to pay for bandwidth are a much better way to solve the problems for content creators. Flat rates will soon be a thing of the past when things like BitTorrent get more popular, and even if the processing overhead for micropayments is %80 the bandwidth from a dedicated host is still cheaper than the bandwidth cost for many dial-up/DSL users.