Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law, and the Theory of Optimal Interoperability

Colorado Technology Law Journal, Vol. 14, Pg. 87, 2015

U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-7

17 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2016  

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: 2015

Abstract

Many observers attribute the Internet’s success to two principles: Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. These precepts are often cited to support claims that larger networks are inevitably more valuable and that costs in a digital environment always decrease. This Article offers both a systematic description of both laws and then challenges the conventional wisdom by exploring their conceptual limitations. It also explores how alternative mechanisms, such as gateways and competition, can permit the realization benefits typically attributed to Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law without requiring increases in network size.

Keywords: Telecommunications law and policy, digital technologies, network economic effects, efficiencies, Moore’s Law, Metcalfe’s Law, economies of scale, diminishing returns, Zipf’s Law, standards, protocols, heterogeneity of consumer preference

JEL Classification: K23, L51, L96, L98, O31, O32, O38

Suggested Citation

Yoo, Christopher S., Moore's Law, Metcalfe's Law, and the Theory of Optimal Interoperability (2015). Colorado Technology Law Journal, Vol. 14, Pg. 87, 2015 ; U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2809676

Christopher S. Yoo (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6204
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

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

University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )

3620 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6220
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

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

3330 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6309
United States
(215) 746-8772 (Phone)

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