Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Rob Frieden


This paper will examine new models for the carriage of Internet traffic with an eye toward providing insights on how the interconnection process has changed and what positive and negative consequences have resulted. Internet carrier interconnection used to constitute a cooperative undertaking, but now it increasingly requires difficult and protracted negotiations between ventures that consider themselves adversaries in a winner take all transaction. The paper concludes that new commercial arrangements, such as paid peering, can achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. However, the paper also identifies instances where migration from traditional interconnection arrangements has the potential to reduce overall utility of the Internet ecosystem, as consumers may lose some of the benefits accruing from network externalities.