Neutral and Non-neutral Countries in a Global Internet: What Does It Imply?
Network neutrality is being discussed worldwide, with different countries applying different policies, some imposing it, others acting against regulation or even repealing it as recently in the USA. The goal of this paper is to model and analyze the interactions of users, content providers, and Internet service providers (ISPs) located in countries with different rules.
To do so, we build a simple two-regions game-theoretic model and focus on two scenarios of net neutrality relaxation in one region while it remains enforced in the other one. In a first scenario, from an initial situation where both regions offer the same basic quality, one region allows ISPs to offer fast lanes for a premium while still guaranteeing the basic service; in a second scenario the ISPs in both regions play a game on quality, with only one possible quality in the neutral region, and two in the non-neutral one but with a regulated quality ratio between those.
Our numerical experiments lead to very different outcomes, with the first scenario benefiting to all actors (especially the ones in the relaxed-neutrality region) and the second one mainly benefiting mostly to ISPs while Content Providers are worse off, suggesting that regulation should be carefully designed.
KeywordsNet neutrality Service differentiation Game theory Regulation
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