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wednesday :: october 29, 2003
skype: p2p telephony

Peer-to-peer (P2P) technology was first widely deployed and popularized by file-sharing applications such as Napster and KaZaA. In this context, P2P technology allows users to share, search for and download files. A true P2P system, in our opinion, is one where all nodes in a network join together dynamically to participate in traffic routing-, processing- and bandwidth intensive tasks that would otherwise be handled by central servers.

Decentralized P2P networks, such as FastTrack (the P2P technology behind KaZaA), have several advantages over traditional client-server networks. These networks scale indefinitely without decreasing search time and without the need for costly centralized resources. They utilize the processing and networking power of the end-users machines since these resources always grow in direct proportion to the network itself. Each new node added to the network adds potential processing power and bandwidth to the network.

For the Kazaa founders P2P telephony became a natural next step where P2P could have a significant disruptive impact and Skype was founded to develop the first P2P telephony network. Internet-based telephony Voice-over-IP (VoIP) has been around for years but has not reached the mainstream market.

Utilizing our experience in creating the most popular decentralized P2P network in history (KaZaA) and the largest P2P-based content distribution network (Joltid PeerEnabler), the Skype team has succeeded in leveraging all of the available resources in a network. This has allowed us to raise the call completion rate and quality to levels approaching, and often exceeding, that of POTS (Plain Old Telephony System). This is all achieved without the need for costly centralized resources. In addition, we also like to think that we have created the most user friendly interface around! >from *What is Skype? P2P Telephony Explained*.

related context
Voice over IP (VoIP), also called Internet telephony or IP telephony. wikipedia
> new VoIP standard for videoconferencing technology that routes phone calls over the internet. new standard makes videoconferencing as easy as email. ITU adopts H.350 architecture developed by Internet2 Working Group. september 3, 2003
> wireless IP telephony: SymPhone system by TeleSym.
> grokster and morpheus survive: 21st-century technology ban fails. may 5, 2003

phone conversation: second edition technology

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