P2P, Skype, Supernodes and Regulatory Moves

A commentator on one of my previous entries on Skype's P2P architecture made a very good point observation.

Given that an increasing number of people using broadband services are behind firewalls, or otherwise in some form of NAT environment, how long will the supernodes last? The entire system relies upon enough supernodes being available (in an honour system) to support the indexing.

I thought about that, too, but then again, if not enough supernodes remain (which is not an entirely unlikely situation) and all live behind NATs and Firewals, we will no longer be having an "Internet" quite as we have come to know it.

While others might differ, I find regulatory moves to shut down P2P systems to be extreme and damaging to innovation on the Internet. As long as there are no legal boundaries for hosting the supernode, a company like Skype, with its financial and technical resources, could fund enough supernodes around the globe to continue making this service a possibility

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