Friday, September 19, 2014

“Future of the Internet Study” broadens Open Internet debate

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: Arthur D. Little has released its latest Policy Series study, in cooperation with Liberty Global plc, entitled, ‘The Future of the Internet - Innovation and Investment in IP interconnection’ at a seminar in Brussels, Belgium.

The Internet has rapidly evolved from a static data platform to become a streaming video platform, and is soon expected to see its next wave of growth in machine-to-machine and any-to-any video communications. By 2030, the ‘Internet of Everything’ potentially adds trillions of euros in value to the public and private sectors.

This latest report in the Liberty Global Policy Series investigates the drivers of this growth and the investment incentives in the ‘upstream’ part of internet IP connectivity where all the autonomous networks of the world interconnect.

According to Andrea Faggiano, head of Strategic Advisory Services for Competition & Regulation with Arthur D.Little and co-author of the study: “By 2020, the majority of applications, content and services will continue to be accessed by end-users over the current ‘best effort’ public internet.

"But the public Internet also needs to evolve further, which not only requires investment in capacity but increasingly requires higher quality, security and privacy assurances to support a next generation of internet applications, for example machine-to-machine applications.By 2030, over 50 billion connected devices will generate over 50 percent of Internet traffic.”

IP interconnection remains vital, dynamic and competitive
The study shows that the Internet remains vital, dynamic and competitive, driven by a sector that is in transition. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content & Application Providers (CAPs) are constantly innovating the way they interconnect. Existing IP interconnection agreements such as transit and peering are seeing a significant increase in and growing imbalance of IP traffic as the result of streaming video.

Most of the industry is adapting flexibly to new business models. For example, disputes concern less than 1 percent of all interconnection agreements. New interconnection agreements (e.g. paid peering, deep caching) are implemented to support the trend of storing popular content close to the access networks.

Global CAPs invest in proprietary Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructures (server parks). Commercial CDN services have become affordable to small CAPs as interconnection costs are strongly falling, up to 30% per year. Combined with the very competitive market for last mile broadband internet services in Europe, this market seems well positioned for growth, investment and innovation.

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