Innovation and Investment in IP Interconnection
The future of the Internet is a widely debated public policy theme all over the world. Questions are raised on how to preserve the public “best-effort” Internet as an “open” platform for innovation and competition, and how to combine economic- & societal value creation and sustainable returns on investment.
Although so far the history of the Internet has been an incredible success in organically developing a self-adapting complex of network business relations, concerns are raised about how the Internet will be able to sustain an adequate quality of experience for the end-user in the future. This ability may come under pressure by a spectacular boom in Internet traffic volumes in the coming years, resulting in unprecedented demand for reliable, ubiquitous Internet access and mass uptake of bandwidth-intensive services and applications.
To illustrate this point: by 2020, more than 50% of the world’s population will be online. This means an increase from 2.7 billion users in 2014 to 5.0 billion users by 2020. By 2025, “The Internet of Things” will comprise around 50 billion connected devices. By 2030, machine-to-machine (“M2M”) communication is expected to constitute more than 50% of IP traffic. The question therefore seems justified as to whether the Internet can cope with this evolution, and who and what is needed for the Internet to evolve and adjust to these changing circumstances.