The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) began testing a service last month that lets people download TV and radio programs using a P-to-P system from Kontiki. It is not looking at Avalanche currently, but will put the contract out for public tender before launching the service, said Chris Charlton, a BBC spokesman.
The concept behind Avalanche is impressive, according to Mike Thompson, principal research analyst with Butler Group, in Hull, England, who saw the technology demonstrated. But it faces two problems of perception, he said.
"Firstly, Avalanche is a mirror of P-to-P models that are coming under scrutiny for allowing illegal distribution. I believe this idea of 'good' and 'bad' P-to-P for file-sharing of copyright material will create a deal of confusion.
"Secondly, despite the 'pull' nature of the model and the security that should allow only the file to be accessed, Microsoft has had issues around security in the past -- IIS [Internet Information Server] being the clearest example of a secure solution that wasn't. I think the P-to-P network would be a prime target for the dissemination of viruses, despite Microsoft's assurances that it is 'safe.'"
Still, Avalanche is "an excellent take on P-to-P," Thompson said.