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Multicasting: will it transform the Internet?

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1 Author(s)
Lawton, G. ; Brisbane, CA, USA

Multicasting is a way to send a set of data to multiple recipients. Compared to traditional IP unicasting and IP broadcasting, multicasting is more efficient and economical, consumes less bandwidth and processing power, scales better, and does not as readily lead to network congestion as the number of clients grows. Businesses are using multicasting to distribute software and data updates to branch offices and stores throughout the world. In addition, media companies are using multicasting to transmit real-time audio and video simultaneously to thousands of consumers. And ISPs have already begun rolling out content-distribution services that use multicasting technology. Proponents say multicasting could eventually turn the Internet into a true broadcast medium. However, multicasting will require a few years to be widely adopted because it requires infrastructure changes (to the kernels on routers' operating systems), as well as deployment and activation by vendors and ISPs. Many ISPs have not even begun enabling multicasting on their networks yet because of unresolved questions about its immaturity and about the best economic model to use with the technology. Nonetheless, these problems will be solved and multicasting will have a bright future because the technology will provide organizations with a more functional Internet and the capability to stretch bandwidth and more efficiently distribute content

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 7 )