The Rise and Evolution of Clouds and Private Networks – Internet Interconnection, Ecosystem Fragmentation

28 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2021 Last revised: 8 Oct 2021

See all articles by Volker Stocker

Volker Stocker

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin); Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society

Guenter Knieps

University of Freiburg

Christoph Dietzel

DE-CIX/Max-Planck-Institute for Informatics

Date Written: August 23, 2021

Abstract

The emergence and growth of a collection of large and global private networks operated by big tech companies like Google, Facebook, or Amazon have thoroughly disrupted the Internet ecosystem. Associated developments have shifted and blurred the lines between public and private networking and contributed to a seismic shift in the topology and industrial organization of the ecosystem. In this paper, we explore the growing complexity and evolution of the Internet ecosystem and analyze the causes, drivers, and implications of fractures and fragmentation in the ecosystem. We adopt a multidisciplinary perspective and synthesize our findings into a typology of different dimensions of fractures and fragmentations. Our findings provide empirically substantiated insights into the complex and evolving web of vertical and horizontal relationships such as collaborations or integration strategies, complementarities, and synergies, as well as altered ownership and governance structures and market positions. The insights gained provide evidence that informs policymaking in various current matters such as network neutrality regulation, data governance and sovereignty, and the regulation of big tech.

Keywords: Internet, Ecosystem, Evolution, Fragmentation, Regulation, Big Tech, GAFA, Cloud, CDN, IXP, Backbone, 5G

JEL Classification: L10, L50, L86, L96, L98

Suggested Citation

Stocker, Volker and Stocker, Volker and Knieps, Guenter and Dietzel, Christoph, The Rise and Evolution of Clouds and Private Networks – Internet Interconnection, Ecosystem Fragmentation (August 23, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3910108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3910108

Volker Stocker (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) ( email )

Straße des 17
Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society ( email )

Berlin
Germany

Guenter Knieps

University of Freiburg ( email )

Platz der Alten Synagoge
Freiburg, D-79085
Germany

Christoph Dietzel

DE-CIX/Max-Planck-Institute for Informatics ( email )

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