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Net neutrality and inflation of traffic

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  • Peitz, Martin
  • Schuett, Florian

Abstract

Under strict net neutrality Internet service providers (ISPs) are required to carry data without any differentiation and at no cost to the content provider. We provide a simple framework with a monopoly ISP to evaluate the short-run effects of different net neutrality rules. Content differs in its sensitivity to delay. Content providers can use congestion control techniques to reduce delay for their content, but do not take into account the effect of their decisions on the aggregate volume of traffic. As a result, strict net neutrality often leads to socially inefficient allocation of traffic and traffic inflation. We show that piece-meal departures from net neutrality, such as transmission fees or prioritization based on sensitivity to delay, do not necessarily improve efficiency. However, the ISP implements the efficient allocation when allowed to introduce bandwidth tiering and charge for prioritized delivery.

Suggested Citation

  • Peitz, Martin & Schuett, Florian, 2016. "Net neutrality and inflation of traffic," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 16-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:46:y:2016:i:c:p:16-62
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2016.03.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Bourreau & Romain Lestage, 2019. "Net neutrality and asymmetric platform competition," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 140-171, April.
    2. Jullien, Bruno & Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, 2018. "Internet regulation, two-sided pricing, and sponsored data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 31-62.
    3. Gautier, Axel & Somogyi, Robert, 2020. "Prioritization vs zero-rating: Discrimination on the internet," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    4. Sahar Fekih Romdhane & Chokri Aloui & Khaïreddine Jebsi, 2020. "On the Net Neutrality Efficiency under Congestion Price Discrimination," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 833-872, September.
    5. Charalampopoulos, George & Katsianis, Dimitris & Varoutas, Dimitris, 2020. "Investigating the intertwining impact of wholesale access pricing and the commitment to net neutrality principle on European next-generation access networks private investment plans: An options-game a," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(3).
    6. Edmond Baranes & Cuong Hung Vuong, 2020. "Investment in Quality Upgrade and Regulation of the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 8074, CESifo.
    7. Jay Pil Choi & Doh†Shin Jeon & Byung†Cheol Kim, 2018. "Net Neutrality, Network Capacity, and Innovation at the Edges," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 172-204, March.
    8. Krämer, Jan & Peitz, Martin, 2018. "A fresh look at zero-rating," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 501-513.
    9. Shane Greenstein & Martin Peitz & Tommaso Valletti, 2016. "Net Neutrality: A Fast Lane to Understanding the Trade-Offs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 127-150, Spring.
    10. Briglauer, Wolfgang & Stocker, Volker & Stockhammer, Paul, 2019. "Ist Netzneutralität tatsächlich gut? Eine Neubewertung vor dem Hintergrund der Regulierung in den USA und in der EU sowie aktueller Forschungsergebnisse," Policy Notes 38, EcoAustria – Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Liu Xingyi, 2016. "Fear of Discrimination: Net Neutrality and Product Differentiation on the Internet," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(4), pages 211-247, December.
    12. José Marino García García & Aurelia Valiño Castro & A. Jesús Sánchez Fuentes, 2016. "Price discrimination of ott providers under duopolistic competition and multi-dimmesional product differentiation in retail broadband access," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1607, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    13. Broos, Sébastien & Gautier, Axel, 2017. "The exclusion of competing one-way essential complements: Implications for net neutrality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 358-392.
    14. Jullien, Bruno & Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, 2014. "Pricing Internet Traffic: Exclusion, Signalling and Screening," CEPR Discussion Papers 9896, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Reggiani, Carlo & Valletti, Tommaso, 2016. "Net neutrality and innovation at the core and at the edge," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 16-27.
    16. Daniel Goetz, 2016. "Broadband Mergers and Dynamic Bargaining: An Application to Netflix," Working Papers 16-07, NET Institute.
    17. Barrie R. Nault & Steffen Zimmermann, 2019. "Balancing Openness and Prioritization in a Two-Tier Internet," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 30(3), pages 745-763, September.
    18. Peitz, Martin & Reisinger, Markus, 2014. "The Economics of Internet Media," Working Papers 14-23, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    19. Keith N. Hylton, 2017. "Law, Social Welfare, and Net Neutrality," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 50(4), pages 417-429, June.
    20. Robert F. Easley & Hong Guo & Jan Krämer, 2018. "Research Commentary—From Net Neutrality to Data Neutrality: A Techno-Economic Framework and Research Agenda," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 29(2), pages 253-272, June.
    21. Bauer, Johannes M. & Knieps, Günter, 2018. "Complementary innovation and network neutrality," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 172-183.
    22. Emmanuel LORENZON, 2020. "Zero Rating, Content Quality and Network Capacity," Bordeaux Economics Working Papers 2020-21, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA).
    23. Jay Pil Choi & Doh-Shin Jeon & Byung-Cheol Kim, 2013. "Asymmetric Neutrality Regulation and Innovation at the Edges: Fixed vs. Mobile Networks," Working Papers 13-24, NET Institute.
    24. Tas, Serpil & Arnold, René, 2018. "Breitbandinfrastrukturen und die künftige Nutzung von audiovisuellen Inhalten in Deutschland: Herausforderungen für Kapazitätsmanagement und Netzneutralität," WIK Discussion Papers 429, WIK Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste GmbH.
    25. Calzada, Joan & Tselekounis, Markos, 2018. "Net Neutrality in a hyperlinked Internet economy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 190-221.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Net neutrality; Network congestion; Telecommunications; Quality of service;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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