August 28, 2008 In developed countries, bandwidth savings due to ISP caching are around 30-40%. However, in countries like Pakistan, where Internet infrastructure is in the teething stage, large ISPs with 80,000 users may have a cache of less than 30GB. DonateBandwidth, a project in the alpha phase of testing, will allow users to download data for each other in a fashion similar to BitTorrent. The project aims to establish a communal cache in order to streamline Internet browsing in countries where ISPs are not yet up to the task.
When DonateBandwidth users access a website that isn’t cached by the ISP, instead of retrieving the information from overseas servers, the program checks the DonateBandwidth peer-to-peer cache. By downloading from users in the same country, DonateBandwidth eases the burden on the international upstream link and speeds the browsing process. As more people connect to DonateBandwidth in the same country, download speeds for all will increase.
DonateBandwidth consists of an ISP-independent web p2p cache that shares information between users from different ISPs, and a forward-caching architecture that allows users to download information for others using spare bandwidth. The program is not publicly available yet, but a proof-of-concept version will soon be implemented in Pakistan.