I'm having a hard time getting excited about P2P video given the kind of bandwidth limitations most people have at home. Don't get me wrong. I love the idea of it, I'm just concerned what it means to our network infrastructure, or the lack of it.
The average user at home has somewhere between 256k and 768k upload speeds. Sure there are the ads that promise more, but the way DSL and cable broadband networks work is at some point before you get onto the real internet you're sharing the pipe like a party line used to be shared and when all the kids come home things like jitter, packet loss, latency and simply traffic overload starts to impact things.
Last year at the Demo 2006 winter conference in Tempe, AZ, the host hotel never notified their supplier, Wayport, of the conference's planned presence. The result, hundreds of the always need to be connected executives all fighting for bandwidth. Some couldn't even log on.
So imagine what happens with video which requires even more bandwidth than Voice. Let's face it, it's one thing to be the only person on a T-1, but a shared pipe that's got everyone doing everything (voice, video, data, gaming, IMing, etc.) is the next place we're going to see Information highway gridlock.
Our networks in the USA are not built for what is coming, nor will they be as rapidly expanded as they need to be. My experiences in Europe are far different now than they were a few years ago. When I'm in a hotel which has a quality broadband network my experience is T-1 like. In most Internet cafe's in major cities I have a similar experience, but here in the USA we don't have the luxury of the networks being built to handle all that's coming.
This is why I'm concerned about Joost and other new broadband networks, and why the ilecs like Verizon and AT&T are pushing the concept of IPTV and Fiber to the Premise or Fiber to the Curb. There is only so much that you can put through a pipe and P2P video is one of those that will be taking up a lot of it.
This is all before the carriers start to figure out how to really handle packet priority while still being net neutral, but that is for another post..