Peer-to-peer file sharing—a common way for students, teachers, researchers, and others to share large files, such as software or videos, over the internet—has been as unpopular with internet service providers (ISPs) as it has been popular with users. Many ISPs have banned, blocked, or slowed peer-to-peer traffic in their efforts to keep the flood of music, video, games, and software from overwhelming their networks. But Verizon Communications Inc. has broken ranks with the industry and says it plans to help its users share files faster—at least those who do so legally.

Verizon has collaborated...

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