Innovations in the Internet’s Architecture that Challenge the Status Quo

22 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2009 Last revised: 21 Apr 2013

See all articles by Christopher S. Yoo

Christopher S. Yoo

University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science

Date Written: May 12, 2010

Abstract

The current debate over broadband policy has largely overlooked a number of changes to the architecture of the Internet that have caused the price paid by and quality of service received by traffic traveling across the Internet to vary widely. Topological innovations, such as private peering, multihoming, secondary peering, server farms, and content delivery networks, have caused the Internet’s traditionally hierarchical architecture to be replaced by one that is more heterogeneous. Moreover, network providers have begun to employ an increasingly varied array of business arrangements. Some of these innovations are responses to the growing importance of peer-to-peer technologies. Others, such as paid peering and partial transit, are driven by the growing dominance of advertising-based business models as well as the insights provided by the economics of two-sided markets. At times interpreted as network providers’ attempts to promote their self interest at the expense of the public, these changes often reflect network providers’ attempts to reduce cost, manage congestion, and maintain quality of service. As such, they have the potential to yield substantial benefits both to individual consumers and to society as a whole.

Keywords: broadband policy, Internet topology, private peering, multihoming, secondary peering, server farms, content delivery networks, peer-to-peer technology, paid peering, partial transit, two-sided markets, Internet advertising, congestion, quality of service, net neutrality

JEL Classification: K23, L51, L86, L96, L98

Suggested Citation

Yoo, Christopher S., Innovations in the Internet’s Architecture that Challenge the Status Quo (May 12, 2010). Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law, Vol. 8, p. 79, 2010; U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 09-32; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 09-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1472074

Christopher S. Yoo (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.law.upenn.edu/faculty/csyoo/

University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )

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(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

University of Pennsylvania - School of Engineering and Applied Science ( email )

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Philadelphia, PA 19104-6309
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

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