If you visit or live in India, you’ll find it lacking in options to stream video and music: major services like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music and Hulu still aren’t available in the country; Netflix arrived only a few months ago, with a much smaller content library than the one offered to customers in the US.
It’s no wonder, then, that piracy is rampant in India. Add to that the fact that law enforcement and government agencies don’t yet take it seriously, and what you get is a content-sharing haven. And now, some local broadband providers are making it even easier for their customers to download and share files through torrent networks.
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TorrentFreak noted that ISPs in India, including Alliance Broadband, Excitel, Sifi Broadband, Syscon Infoway and True Broadband, speed up users’ torrent downloads by linking them to local peers in their own network.
A number of them have partnered with Torbox, a torrent search engine, which handles the local peer linking – thereby increasing speeds for users and reducing the traffic costs for the ISPs, as traffic within their networks doesn’t incur costs for these companies.
When you search Torbox for torrents using a partnered ISP’s internet service, you’ll see results that are ordered based on the proximity of other users who have the file you’re looking for. Files hosted by people on your ISP’s network will download faster than those that are shared by users located elsewhere.
It’s odd that these broadband providers don’t seem concerned with the legal issues surrounding the idea of being in cahoots with torrent search services. Granted, scrutiny by government agencies is currently lax, but such programs could land ISPs in trouble whenever India decides to take a strong stand against piracy.
We’ve contacted the ISPs named here for comment and will update this post if there’s a response.