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The Evolving Accidental Information Super-Highway

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  • Paul A. David

Abstract

The technology of the Internet is not static. Although its 'end-to-end' architecture has made this 'connection-less' communications system readily 'extensible', and highly encouraging to innovation both in hardware and software applications, there are strong pressures for engineering changes. Some of these are wanted to support novel transport services (e.g. voice telephony, real-time video); others would address drawbacks that appeared with the opening of the Internet to public and commercial traffic--e.g. the difficulties of blocking delivery of offensive content, suppressing malicious actions (e.g. 'denial of service' attacks), pricing bandwidth usage to reduce congestion. The expected gains from making improvements in the core of the network should be weighed against the loss of the social and economic benefits that derive from the end-to-end architectural design. Even where technological 'fixes' can be placed at the networks' edges, the option remains to search for alternative, institutional mechanisms of governing conduct in cyberspace. Copyright 2001, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul A. David, 2001. "The Evolving Accidental Information Super-Highway," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 159-187, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:17:y:2001:i:2:p:159-187
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    Cited by:

    1. Engel, Christoph, 0. "Competition in a pure world of Internet telephony," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 530-540, September.
    2. Robin Mansell, 2014. "The governance of communication networks: reconsidering the research agenda," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 56557, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Greenstein, Shane, 2010. "Innovative Conduct in Computing and Internet Markets," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.

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