The 5th Workshop on Internet Economics (WIE 2014)

On December 10-11, 2014, CAIDA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hosted the (invitation-only) 5th interdisciplinary Workshop on Internet Economics (WIE) at the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, CA.

The goal of this workshop series is to provide a forum for researchers, commercial Internet facilities and service providers, technologists, economists, theorists, policy makers, and other stakeholders to empirically inform emerging regulatory and policy debates.

Date: Dec 10 (Wed) - 11 (Thu), 2014
Place: Weaver Conference Center, Malamud Room, Institute of the Americas
UC San Diego Campus, La Jolla, CA


The theme of last year's WIE workshop was "Economic health of the Internet ecosystem". This year we are organizing the workshop slightly differently.

As we watch the FCC once again try to impose some regulation on the Internet, while struggling to fit within the constraints of the current law, it seems clear (at least to some of us) that in the long term the current regulatory framework of the law will be seen as unworkable. At some point there must be a discussion about whether, and to what extent, the government should try to shape the future of the Internet by law, regulation, or other means. This discussion should involve both a consideration of goals--what are our aspirations for our future telecommunications infrastructure, and as well means--what approaches will prove effective in trying to achieve that future. Recognizing that there will be competing views and perspectives around these points, one of our aspirations for this meeting is to see whether it is possible to start such a discussion.

We have picked some specific topics for this meeting, based on the interests of the participants and a sense of what is important right now, but we want as well to see if we can take a fundamental look at the issues that may shape the future.

The discussions today tend to center on means--for example, how could one craft a network neutrality regulation. But neutrality is not a fundamental goal, it is a tool to prevent a set of harms. Understanding what these harms are is a better starting point for a long-range discussion.

Some time ago, the two of us tried to catalog all the aspirations that we could find for the future of the Internet. We looked at a number of documents and found quite a list:

  • Reach every person: Everyone should have easy access to the Internet somehow.
  • Be everywhere: The Internet should always be available everywhere.
  • Evolve capabilities: The Internet should improve in step with the rest of the ICT ecosystem.
  • Be used: More and more people should use the Internet and benefit from its potential.
  • Affordable: Cost should not be a barrier to uptake.
  • Trustworthy: Users should use the net with confidence, without excessive fear of unwelcome experiences.
  • Exclude law-breakers: The Internet should not be a hotbed of criminal activities.
  • Support national security: The threats of cyber-conflict, espionage, regime destabilization and the like should be minimized.
  • Platform for innovation: The Internet should be a driver of economic growth.
  • General platform: The Internet should be a platform that can support a wide range of applications and services.
  • Converged platform: The Internet (or IP technology) should be useable as a unified platform for technology integration.
  • No censorship: There should be freedom of expression and unrestricted access to information.
  • Consumer choice: The consumer should have choice in providers, applications and services.
  • Transfer payments: The rules of the Internet should provide a framework for flows of money among the participants in the ecosystem.
  • Reflect local values: The Internet experience for any group of people should reflect their culture, society, norms and values.
  • Promote global values: The Internet should be a venue for global discourse, a common ground for citizens of the world to meet.
  • Global civil society: The Internet should facilitate the emergence of a global civil society, as well as a civil society in countries around the world.

Each of these aspirations can be expressed as a positive--a hope for the future, or as a negative--a fear that in some respect the future may "go off the rails". Only if the risk of "going off the rails" is real would there seem to be a need for intervention.

So we are going to propose the following exercise: a Hopes and Fears Survey. We will ask you to write your personal most significant fears--the one to three issues that might drive the future of the Internet in undesirable directions. We will collate and cluster these, and use these clusters as a basis for discussion on day 2. You can use that list above to structure your thoughts, or if you think we totally missed an issue, please bring it up.


As in previous years, the format of this meeting is a series of focused sessions around specific, pre-selected topics. Presenters will prepare short talks (10 minutes) on issues related to the topics.

Not everyone will give a prepared talk, but we expect everyone to participate in the discussions, as well as provide input, writing, and/or feedback on the report we'll publish within shortly after the workshop. Our goal is to produce a public workshop report, but the discussions themselves (and the identity of specific speakers) will be specifically off the record.

Organizing committee

  • kc claffy (CAIDA/UC San Diego)
  • David Clark (MIT)

Unfortunately, we have reached capacity and registration is now closed.

Workshop Agenda

December 10 (Wednesday)

December 11 (Thursday)

  • 08:00 - 09:00 breakfast
  • 09:00 - 09:30 Review thoughts and insights from Day 1: What did we learn?
  • 09:30 - 10:40 Review/discussion of hopes and fears
    • For each of the issues contributed on day 1, here are possible considerations:
    • What steps could encourage a positive outcome?
    • What would be the danger signal of a bad outcome?
    • When would it be justified to consider intervention?
    • What tools and approaches might be effective to prevent a bad outcome?
    • What is the scope of the issue: regional domestic, international?
  • 10:40 - 11:00 break
  • 11:00 - 12:30 Emerging Issues
  • 12:30 - 13:30 lunch
  • 13:30 - 14:00 Can law and regulation be effective?
  • 14:00 - 15:00 Discussion
    • What approaches to regulation can make it more adaptive?
    • What specific issues might serve as case studies?
    • What would have to be measured to allow adaptation?
    • What should the transparency obligation be?
    • What is the role of independent measurement in effective regulation?
    • How can community cooperation to be fostered to cross-correlate across measurement projects?
    • Are there new "design principles" for regulation?
  • 15:00 - 15:20 break
  • 15:20 - 16:00 Open Discussion
  • 16:00 adjourn and fill out survey

Local Arrangements / Getting to UC San Diego

For this workshop, attendees are expected to make their own hotel reservations and transportation arrangements from their hotels to the workshop. For CAIDA's list of recommended local hotels including shuttle availability, see the Recommended Hotels list (PDF).

The 5th WIE workshop will be held in the Weaver Center at the Institute of the Americas on the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) campus. For directions to the Institute of the Americas, visit their website at under "About IOA - Location and Map".

  • Driving onto campus

    Parking Permits: Parking permits are required to park on UC San Diego Campus. On arrival to campus on the morning of Day 1, check in with a CAIDA staff member waiting in front of the handicap spots on International Lane (see the parking map) near the Institute of the Americas plaza. We will give you a parking permit for the day, and then point you to the Pangea Parking Structure for parking.

    A campus map for the WIE workshop shows where the permits will be distributed, the parking structure, and the Weaver Center where the meeting will be held.

    Parking permits for Day 2 will be distributed at the end of Day 1, just prior to the reception.

For transportation concerns, general questions and help, contact CAIDA at <admin-staff at> or (858) 534-5109.

General UC San Diego Maps and general UC San Diego Visitor Parking information are useful resources for navigating on campus. (For GPS-enabled attendees, the GPS coordinates of the Weaver Center is WGS84: 32°53'6.30'N, 117°14'28.02'W)

Additional Content

WIE 2014 Workshop : Talk Abstracts

This page contains names, talk abstracts (if presenting), and topic keywords for workshop participants as they were submitted. Participants are encouraged to read these ahead of time to anticipate workshop discussion.

The 5th Workshop on Internet Economics (WIE 2014): Participants

This page contains the list of participants of WIE 2014 on December 10-11, 2014.

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