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Private Peering Among Internet Backbone Providers


  • Narine Badasyan

    (Virginia Tech)

  • Subhadip Chakrabarti

    (Virginia Tech)


We develop a model, in which Internet backbone providers decide on private peering agreements, comparing the benefits of private peering relative to being connected only through National Access Points. Backbone providers compete by setting capacities for their networks, capacities on the private peering links, if they choose to peer privately, and access prices. The model is formulated as a multistage game. We examine the model from two alternative modelling perspectives - a purely non-cooperative game, where we solve for Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibria through backward induction, and a network theoretic perspective, where we examine pairwise stable and efficient networks. While there are a large number of Subgame Perfect Nash Equilibria, both the pairwise stable and the efficient network are unique and the stable network is not efficient and vice versa. The stable network is the complete network, where all the backbone providers choose to peer with each other, while the efficient network is the one, where the backbone providers are connected to each other only through the National Access Points.

Suggested Citation

  • Narine Badasyan & Subhadip Chakrabarti, 2003. "Private Peering Among Internet Backbone Providers," Industrial Organization 0301002, EconWPA, revised 20 Jan 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0301002
    Note: Type of Document - Tex; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on HP;

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
    2. Mackie-Mason, J.K. & Varian, H.R., 1993. "Pricing the Internet," Memorandum 20/1993, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
    4. Gibbens, R. & Mason, R. & Steinberg, Richard, 2000. "Internet service classes under competition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23577, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Marcus, Scott & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2003. " Internet Interconnection and the Off-Net-Cost Pricing Principle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 34(2), pages 370-390, Summer.
    6. Little, Iain & Wright, Julian, 2000. "Peering and Settlement in the Internet: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 151-173, September.
    7. Cremer, Jacques & Rey, Patrick & Tirole, Jean, 2000. "Connectivity in the Commercial Internet," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 433-472, December.
    8. repec:adr:anecst:y:1989:i:15-16:p:17 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mason, Robin, 2000. "Simple competitive Internet pricing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(4-6), pages 1045-1056, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. D'Ignazio, Alessio & Giovannetti, Emanuele, 2009. "Asymmetry and discrimination in Internet peering: evidence from the LINX," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 441-448, May.
    2. repec:oup:jcomle:v:3:y:2007:i:2:p:243-279. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Narine Badasyan & Subhadip Chakrabarti, 2004. "Intra-backbone and Inter-backbone Peering Among Internet Service Providers," Microeconomics 0407006, EconWPA.
    4. D’Ignazio, A. & Giovannetti, E., 2006. "‘Unfair’ Discrimination in Two-sided Peering? Evidence from LINX," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0621, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Sgroi, D., 2006. "Social Network Theory, Broadband and the World Wide Web," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0603, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. D'Ignazio, A. & Giovannetti, E., 2004. "From Exogenous to Endogenous Networks: Internet Applications," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0445, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item


    Subgame perfect Nash equilibrium; networks; pairwise stability; efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection

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