BitTorrent streaming platform gets $22 million in EU funding


— 4:22 PM on February 20, 2008

As some Internet service providers in the United States attempt to disrupt BitTorrent traffic, the protocol may be on its way to gaining mainstream acceptance in the European Union. TorrentFreak reports that the EU has provided €15 million ($22 million) in funding to a project dubbed P2P-Next, which aims to provide a BitTorrent-based content delivery platform to be used by "a consortium . . . of high-profile academic and industrial players."

The rationale behind the project is that broadcasting high-volume data to many users simultaneously is unfeasible, and that peer-to-peer data transfers are a more efficient and less costly alternative, since each client also acts as a server and sends data to other clients. P2P-Next, which is the brainchild of the team behind the Tribler social BitTorrent client, will produce an open-source and open-standard platform designed to facilitate the development of live content streaming applications.

The project currently claims 21 partners in 12 countries, including the BBC, the European Broadcasting Union, Lancaster University, Markenfilm, the Pioneer Digital Design Centre, and the VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland. According to TorrentFreak, those partners have already contributed an additional €4 million ($6 million) in funding, and the BBC also intends to use the software to stream TV programs to users.

   
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