Trends in Cable Network Economics: Implications for the Open Internet

34 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2016 Last revised: 25 Sep 2016

See all articles by David Reed

David Reed

University of Colorado at Boulder, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program

Date Written: April 4, 2016

Abstract

Over the past 50 years the network economics of cable networks have had a profound impact upon the diversity of information available to modern society in the form of video and broadband content. Cost-effective one-way transport increased the diversity of television channels to several hundred from a handful; cost-effective two-way transport established societal reliance upon always-on access to Internet content at broadband speeds. Incremental technological innovation over time has been the key driver establishing favorable network economics to push this evolution of expanding services and information carried on cable networks. This paper develops a framework to describe how the network economics of cable services has evolved from the use of analog television and digital television to new IP transport technologies such as Cable Service Interface Specification version 3.1 (DOCSIS 3.1) and network management technologies of software defined networking (SDN) and network virtual function (NFV), and the implications for public policy. This analysis shows that as video becomes the dominant application carried by the Internet, the Open Internet framework will need to address the network access issues specific to IP video including the wholesale migration of video to IP transport, definition of services using quality of service (QoS) and reasonable approaches for managing public Internet congestion. The analysis also shows how the economics of new channel deployment over cable will become easier in the IP environment, but more complex with regard to the network operations and traffic management associated with quality.

Keywords: network economics, cable network capacity, Open Internet

Suggested Citation

Reed, David, Trends in Cable Network Economics: Implications for the Open Internet (April 4, 2016). TPRC 44: The 44th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2758731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2758731

David Reed (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder, Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program ( email )

1070 Edinboro Drive
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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