The 7th Workshop on Internet Economics (WIE 2016) : 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.

Participant Abstracts

Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood (Oxford Brookes University) Talk Title: Economics of OS

Talk Abstract: Work to be presented on preliminary results on work commissioned by Google at the LSE (collaborative work with Oxford Brookes) on regulatory and economic issues raised from the evolution of OS and platforms.

Achilles Petras (BT Research and Innovation) Talk Title: Gbit Broadband Performance and Usage Analytics

Talk Abstract: The upcoming access speeds require robust methods to measure performance. We have been exploring and fine-tuning both TCP throughput tests as well lightweight capacity tests based on packet dispersion method. Lab results and challenges will be discussed. Furthermore, an overview on visualising abnormal performance behaviours and broadband usage analytics regarding patterns of growth could be presented, if time permits.

Interested in Discussing: Our work about Gbit performance is complementary to the work undertaken by the MIT, so comparing notes would be great.

Andrew Odlyzko (University of Minnesota) Talk Title: Pricing of interconnection and just about everything else

Talk Abstract: The costs of interconnection are so low relative to the costs of the entire system that they should not matter. But they do matter, since they offer a convenient choke point for strategic games. And such searches for exploitable control points are increasingly characterizing the entire economy.

James Miller (Federal Communications Commission) Talk Title: Measuring Broadband America Program 2016-2017

Talk Abstract: In it's sixth year, the Measuring Broadand America Program continues to expand the scope of measurements and platforms and align data collection and reporting to support transparency and Open Data needs at the Commission and for the general public. The short talk will discuss timely updates and plans for the program in 2017.

William Lehr (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Talk Title: Challenges of Reconciling Broadband and Internet Policy: do we need a new Communications Act?

Talk Abstract: Broadband and Internet policy are clearly related, but are distinct policy concerns that are poorly addressed by the Communications Act. In Lehr & Sicker (2016), we argued that everything-over-IP is not -- and should not be regarded as -- synonymous with everything-over-the Internet. The question we seek to address in this talk is how might one better reconcile distinct broadband platform and Internet policy regulation if one had the luxury to craft a new Communications Act. In tackling this question, we examine what portions of the existing framework may be most worthy of preserving, and where new approaches are most needed. This is joint work with Doug Sicker.

Interested in Discussing: In addition to the "new communications act" topic discussed above, I am also interested in discussing the measurement infrastructure question/challenge for distributed (crowd-sourced) edge-based, cross-layer (Internet performance & Spectrum).

And, always think mobile/fixed convergence issues are of important interest.

Steven Bauer (MIT) Talk Title: What role do broadband providers have in securing the residential IoT ecosystem?

Talk Abstract: What role do broadband providers have in securing the residential IoT ecosystem? This talk explores competing economic models that suggest very different incentives for broadband providers. The impetus for exploring this question was born out of a technical project of ours that addresses how to identify and remediate compromised IoT devices in users' homes. The primary objections we have heard have been economic, not technical -- strong skepticism that broadband providers have sufficient incentives to address residential IoT security challenges. As the recent massive DDoS attacks that leveraged IoT devices have demonstrated, this is a critical emerging issue for the Internet.

David Reed (University of Colorado Boulder) Talk Title: Economics of Last Mile Broadband

Talk Abstract: A number of interesting technical innovations and developments are occurring that are changing the may be changing the economics of last mile broadband. The options include terrestrial wireline (FTTH, HFC, DSL), terrestrial wireless (LTE, WiFI, WiMax, TVWS), stratosphere platforms (balloons, UAVs) and satellite (LEO, MEO, GEO). The comparison of these options in terms of cost, speed, latency, etc., shows some interesting trends for how broadband solutions will be deployed, and has implications for the broadband roadmaps included in national broadband plans.

Interested in Discussing: Implications for new technologies on broadband ecosystem - who will deploy, how they will deploy, implications for economics and policy

William B. Norton (Console, Inc.) Talk Title: Cloud Interconnections

Talk Abstract: Internet Service Providers have been using public and private peering to interconnect for network interconnection. As workflows become increasingly dependent on cloud-based services, we see analogous requirements emerge for direct interconnection between cloud services. In this talk we will introduce a white paper "Cloud Interconnections" that documents the cloud interconnection regimes used by AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. We will also share some interesting data anomalies found while measuring cloud-to-cloud network performance.

Interested in Discussing: If we agree that corporations will do only that which is provably in their best interest, what are some emerging business drivers at play in today's cloud-based Internet. How will researchers gain access to data and help drive evolution discussions when the data is increasingly in the hands of corporate entities, not networking folks, and perhaps are not as interested in the broader community or sharing data with outside vendors?

Tony Tauber (Comcast) Talk Title: Searching for Default/Control Plane

Talk Abstract: Spurred in part by a talk Geoff Huston gave at a recent NANOG meeting, some discussion of service, reachability, routing, addressing, content delivery, revenue, expense, advertising, naming, and control planes.

Rob Frieden (Penn State University) Talk Title: The Mixed Blessing in Subsidized Internet Access

Talk Abstract: This paper will offer an unsponsored examination of current disputes whether national regulatory authorities ("NRAs") should permit broadband carriers and content providers, such as Facebook, to subsidize broadband access to a limited, "walled garden" of content. The subsidy makes it possible for sponsored data access without debiting a monthly data allowance. Wireless subscribers, with service caps typically set at 1-5 Gigabytes allowed per month, can quickly exhaust allotment when streaming video content.

The paper concludes that even though carriers and content providers serve profit maximizing goals in zero rating arrangements, the practice can have positive spillover effects including more access by impoverished users, stimulated interest in diversifying uses of wireless handsets and possible migration to broadband access options that equally support content consumption and creation. While carriers and content providers can migrate tentative, subsidized users into paying ones, zero rating also provides first time access opportunities, particularly for individuals least able to afford even extremely low cost access options available in many lesser developed countries. Additionally zero rating can stimulate interest by consumers financially able to afford unsubsidized access, but heretofore uninterested in, or uninformed about the benefits.

The paper examines zero rating without the inclination to pass judgment using an absolute either/or basis, as often occurs on issues collectively framed as network neutrality, or open Internet. A more nuanced view identifies both costs and benefits in allowing zero rating. On balance, welfare enhancing benefits appear to exceed costs, including harm to competition and some consumers. This finding grows more conclusive for developing countries where access of any type provides benefits that well exceed the costs to consumers and competition.

The paper identifies ways for carriers and NRAs to limit subsidies in ways that accrue social benefits without creating an unlimited "free rider" opportunity for all wireless subscribers, regardless of ability to pay for service. The paper suggests that carriers should offer zero rating opportunities on a conditional and promotional basis thereby making it more difficult for existing subscribers simply to use zero rating access as a way to avoid paying surcharges for exceeding data caps. While NRAs should not micro-manage carriers' service pricing, establishing qualification rules for access to zero rating fits with other universal service initiatives that rely on well calibrated and targeted subsidies to simulate broadband service demand and supply.

Interested in Discussing: Impact of the Trump Presidency on telecom policy and stakeholders' use of sponsored research/advocacy

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