Bit Torrent Opens the Sources to uTP, Network Aware Protocol

This story at TorrentFreak by Ernesto is the first one I’ve seen in a while following a trend in which I was, and still am, very much interested. uTP, or micro transfer protocol, is an attempt by Bit Torrent, Inc. to make their swarming data transfer applications better citizens on the network. It is of a kind with Pando and P4P in trying to strike a balance between the demand for serving more data, faster, and not clogging ISPs’ networks in the process.

Reception for uTP, according to Ernesto, has been lack luster. The reason is that many have experienced drops in performance of file transfers, possibly attributable to the additional overhead the newer protocol requires. Opening up the sources is the company’s way of inviting the community to help address these criticisms.

As much as I admire the goal of uTP, the article explains that no ISPs have weighed in on how well it reduces the need for proactive network management. File sharers would like to avoid monitoring and throttling. Achieving that end also has the potential of easing the privacy concerns that arise from certain technologies, like deep packet inspection, often used to identify Bit Torrent traffic. I am a bit at a loss for the lack of at least feedback since almost every debate over network neutrality these days has the ISPs spouting off about reasonable network management. A congestion aware, manageable version of Bit Torrent seems entirely reasonable to me.

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