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Paul Baran, Network Theory, And The Past, Present, And Future Of Internet, Christopher S. Yoo Dec 2018

Paul Baran, Network Theory, And The Past, Present, And Future Of Internet, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Paul Baran’s seminal 1964 article “On Distributed Communications Networks” that first proposed packet switching also advanced an underappreciated vision of network architecture: a lattice-like, distributed network, in which each node of the Internet would be homogeneous and equal in status to all other nodes. Scholars who have subsequently embraced the concept of a lattice-like network approach have largely overlooked the extent to which it is both inconsistent with network theory (associated with the work of Duncan Watts and Albert-László Barabási), which emphasizes the importance of short cuts and hubs in enabling networks to scale, and the actual way, the ...


The Tao Of The Dao: Taxing An Entity That Lives On A Blockchain, David J. Shakow Aug 2018

The Tao Of The Dao: Taxing An Entity That Lives On A Blockchain, David J. Shakow

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this report, Shakow explains how a decentralized autonomous organization functions and interacts with the U.S. tax system and presents the many tax issues that these structures raise. The possibility of using smart contracts to allow an entity to operate totally autonomously on a blockchain platform seems attractive. However, little thought has been given to how such an entity can comply with the requirements of a tax system. The DAO, the first major attempt to create such an organization, failed because of a programming error. If successful examples proliferate in the future, tax authorities will face significant problems in ...


Common Carriage’S Domain, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2018

Common Carriage’S Domain, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The judicial decision invalidating the Federal Communications Commission’s first Open Internet Order has led advocates to embrace common carriage as the legal basis for network neutrality. In so doing, network neutrality proponents have overlooked the lessons from the history and the academic literature on common carriage. This Essay distills these learnings into five factors that play a key role in promoting common carriage’s success: (1) commodity products, (2) simple interfaces, (3) stability and uniformity in the transmission technology, (4) deployment of the transmission network, and (5) stable demand and market shares. Applying this framework to the Internet suggests ...


An Unsung Success Story: A Forty-Year Retrospective On U.S. Communications Policy, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2017

An Unsung Success Story: A Forty-Year Retrospective On U.S. Communications Policy, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Looking backwards on the occasion of Telecommunications Policy’s fortieth anniversary reveals just how far U.S. communications policy has come. All of the major challenges of 1976, such as promoting competition in customer premises equipment, long distance, and television networking, have largely been overcome. Moreover, new issues that emerged later, such as competition in local telephone service and multichannel video program distribution, have also largely been solved. More often than not, the solution has been the result of structural changes that enhanced facilities-based competition rather than agency-imposed behavioral requirements. Moreover, close inspection reveals that in most cases, prodding by ...


Legal Mechanisms For Governing The Transition Of Key Domain Name Functions To The Global Multi-Stakeholder Community, Aaron Shull, Paul Twomey, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2017

Legal Mechanisms For Governing The Transition Of Key Domain Name Functions To The Global Multi-Stakeholder Community, Aaron Shull, Paul Twomey, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Chapter proposes an alternative approach to the IANA transition that migrates the existing core contractual requirements imposed by the US government to the existing IANA functions customers. It also advances modest internal accountability revisions that could be undertaken within ICANN’s existing structure. Specifically, it advocates that the Independent Review Tribunal charged with reviewing certain ICANN board of directors-related decisions be selected by a multi-stakeholder committee rather than being subject to approval by ICANN and expanding the grounds for review to cover all of the rubrics recommended by ICANN’s “Improving Institutional Confidence” process in 2008-2009, including fairness, fidelity ...


Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Net Uniformity: Zero Rating And Nondiscrimination, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2016

Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Net Uniformity: Zero Rating And Nondiscrimination, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The current debate over network neutrality has not fully appreciated how service differentiation can benefit consumers and promote Internet adoption. On the demand-side, service differentiation addresses the primary obstacle to adoption, which is the lack of perceived need for Internet service, and reflects the growing heterogeneity of consumer demand. On the supply-side, monopolistic competition has long underscored how product differentiation can create stable equilibria with multiple providers – notwithstanding the presence of unexhausted economies of scale – by allowing competitors to target subsegments of the overall market that place a higher value on particular services. Conversely, prohibiting service differentiation would restrict competition ...


Open Source, Modular Platforms, And The Challenge Of Fragmentation, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2016

Open Source, Modular Platforms, And The Challenge Of Fragmentation, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Open source and modular platforms represent two powerful conceptual paradigms that have fundamentally transformed the software industry. While generally regarded complementary, the freedom inherent in open source rests in uneasy tension with the strict structural requirements required by modularity theory. In particular, third party providers can produce noncompliant components, and excessive experimentation can fragment the platform in ways that reduce its economic benefits for end users and app providers and force app providers to spend resources customizing their code for each variant. The classic solutions to these problems are to rely on some form of testing to ensure that the ...


Modularity Theory And Internet Regulation, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2016

Modularity Theory And Internet Regulation, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Modularity is often cited as one of the foundations for the Internet’s success. Unfortunately, academic discussions about modularity appearing in the literature on Internet policy are undertheorized. The persistence of nonmodular architectures for some technologies underscores the need for some theoretical basis for determining when modularity is the preferred approach. Even when modularity is desirable, theory must provide some basis for making key design decisions, such as the number of modules, the location of the interfaces between the modules, and the information included in those interfaces.

The literature on innovation indicates that modules should be determined by the nature ...


Cloud Computing, Contractibility, And Network Architecture, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2015

Cloud Computing, Contractibility, And Network Architecture, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The emergence of the cloud is heightening the demands on the network in terms of bandwidth, ubiquity, reliability, latency, and route control. Unfortunately, the current architecture was not designed to offer full support for all of these services or to permit money to flow through it. Instead of modifying or adding specific services, the architecture could redesigned to make Internet services contractible by making the relevant information associated with these services both observable and verifiable. Indeed, several on-going research programs are exploring such strategies, including the NSF’s NEBULA, eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA), ChoiceNet, and the IEEE’s Intercloud projects.


Moore’S Law, Metcalfe’S Law, And The Theory Of Optimal Interoperability, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2015

Moore’S Law, Metcalfe’S Law, And The Theory Of Optimal Interoperability, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Many observers attribute the Internet’s success to two principles: Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. These precepts are often cited to support claims that larger networks are inevitably more valuable and that costs in a digital environment always decrease. This Article offers both a systematic description of both laws and then challenges the conventional wisdom by exploring their conceptual limitations. It also explores how alternative mechanisms, such as gateways and competition, can permit the realization benefits typically attributed to Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law without requiring increases in network size.


U.S. Vs. European Broadband Deployment: What Do The Data Say?, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2014

U.S. Vs. European Broadband Deployment: What Do The Data Say?, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As the Internet becomes more important to the everyday lives of people around the world, commentators have tried to identify the best policies increasing the deployment and adoption of high-speed broadband technologies. Some claim that the European model of service-based competition, induced by telephone-style regulation, has outperformed the facilities-based competition underlying the US approach to promoting broadband deployment. The mapping studies conducted by the US and the EU for 2011 and 2012 reveal that the US led the EU in many broadband metrics.

• High-Speed Access: A far greater percentage of US households had access to Next Generation Access (NGA) networks ...


Possible Paradigm Shifts In Broadband Policy, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2014

Possible Paradigm Shifts In Broadband Policy, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Debates over Internet policy tend to be framed by the way the Internet existed in the mid-1990s, when the Internet first became a mass-market phenomenon. At the risk of oversimplifying, the Internet was initially used by academics and tech-savvy early adopters to send email and browse the web over a personal computer connected to a telephone line via networks interconnected through in a limited way. Since then, the Internet has become much larger and more diverse in terms of users, applications, technologies, and business relationships. More recently, Internet growth has begun to slow both in terms of the number of ...


Toward A Closer Integration Of Law And Computer Science, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2014

Toward A Closer Integration Of Law And Computer Science, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Legal issues increasingly arise in increasingly complex technological contexts. Prominent recent examples include the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), network neutrality, the increasing availability of location information, and the NSA’s surveillance program. Other emerging issues include data privacy, online video distribution, patent policy, and spectrum policy. In short, the rapid rate of technological change has increasingly shown that law and engineering can no longer remain compartmentalized into separate spheres. The logical response would be to embed the interaction between law and policy deeper into the fabric of both fields. An essential step ...


Technological Determinism And Its Discontents, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2014

Technological Determinism And Its Discontents, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This book review takes a critical review of the claim advanced by Susan Crawford in Captive Audience that the merger between Comcast and NBC Universal would harm consumers and that policymakers should instead promote common carriage regulation and subsidize municipal symmetrical gigabit fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). First it evaluates the extent to which next-generation digital subscriber lines (DSL) and wireless broadband technologies can serve as effective substitutes for cable modem service, identifying FCC data showing that the market has become increasingly competitive and likely to continue to do so. Furthermore, the market is not structured in a way that would permit the ...


The Nebula Future Internet Architecture, Tom Anderson, Ken Birman, Robert Broberg, Matthew Caesar, Douglas Comer, Chase Cotton, Michael J. Freed, Andreas Haeberlen, Zachary G. Ives, Arvind Krishnamurthy, William Lehr, Boon Thau Loo, David Mazieres, Antonio Nicolosi, Jonathan M. Smith, Ion Stoica, Robbert Van Renesse, Michael Walfish, Hakim Weatherspoon, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

The Nebula Future Internet Architecture, Tom Anderson, Ken Birman, Robert Broberg, Matthew Caesar, Douglas Comer, Chase Cotton, Michael J. Freed, Andreas Haeberlen, Zachary G. Ives, Arvind Krishnamurthy, William Lehr, Boon Thau Loo, David Mazieres, Antonio Nicolosi, Jonathan M. Smith, Ion Stoica, Robbert Van Renesse, Michael Walfish, Hakim Weatherspoon, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

NEBULA is a proposal for a Future Internet Architecture. It is based on the assumptions that: (1) cloud computing will comprise an increasing fraction of the application workload offered to an Internet, and (2) that access to cloud computing resources will demand new architectural features from a network. Features that we have identified include dependability, security, flexibility and extensibility, the entirety of which constitute resilience. NEBULA provides resilient networking services using ultrareliable routers, an extensible control plane and use of multiple paths upon which arbitrary policies may be enforced. We report on a prototype system, Zodiac, that incorporates these latter ...


Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Oct 2012

Competition In Information Technologies: Standards-Essential Patents, Non-Practicing Entities And Frand Bidding, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Standard Setting is omnipresent in networked information technologies. Virtually every cellular phone, computer, digital camera or similar device contains technologies governed by a collaboratively developed standard. If these technologies are to perform competitively, the processes by which standards are developed and implemented must be competitive. In this case attaining competitive results requires a mixture of antitrust and non-antitrust legal tools.

FRAND refers to a firm’s ex ante commitment to make its technology available at a “fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory royalty.” The FRAND commitment results from bidding to have one’s own technology selected as a standard. Typically the FRAND ...


When Antitrust Met Facebook, Christopher S. Yoo Jul 2012

When Antitrust Met Facebook, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Social networks are among the hottest phenomena on the Internet. Facebook eclipsed Google as the most visited website in both 2010 and 2011. Moreover, according to Nielsen estimates, as of the end of 2011 the average American spent nearly seven hours per month on Facebook, which is more time than they spent on Google, Yahoo!, YouTube, Microsoft, and Wikipedia combined. LinkedIn’s May 19, 2011 initial public offering (“IPO”) surpassed expectations, placing the value of the company at nearly $9 billion, and approximately a year later, its stock price had risen another 20 percent. Facebook followed suit a year later ...


New Technologies And Constitutional Law, Thomas Fetzer, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2012

New Technologies And Constitutional Law, Thomas Fetzer, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Beyond Coase: Emerging Technologies And Property Theory, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2012

Beyond Coase: Emerging Technologies And Property Theory, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In addition to prompting the development of the Coase Theorem, Ronald Coase’s landmark 1959 article on the Federal Communications Commission touched off a revolution in spectrum policy. Although one of Coase’s proposed reforms (that spectrum should be allocated through markets) has now become the conventional wisdom, his other principal recommendation (that governments stop dedicating portions of the spectrum to particular uses) has yet to be fully embraced. Drawing on spectrum as well as Internet traffic and electric power as examples, this Article argues that emerging technologies often reflect qualities that make defining property rights particularly difficult. These include ...


Network Neutrality And The Need For A Technological Turn In Internet Scholarship, Christopher S. Yoo May 2012

Network Neutrality And The Need For A Technological Turn In Internet Scholarship, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

To most social scientists, the technical details of how the Internet actually works remain arcane and inaccessible. At the same time, convergence is forcing scholars to grapple with how to apply regulatory regimes developed for traditional media to a world in which all services are provided via an Internet-based platform. This chapter explores the problems caused by the lack of familiarity with the underlying technology, using as its focus the network neutrality debate that has dominated Internet policy for the past several years. The analysis underscores a surprising lack of sophistication in the current debate. Unfamiliarity with the Internet’s ...


Rough Consensus And Running Code: Integrating Engineering Principles Into Internet Policy Debates, Christopher S. Yoo Mar 2011

Rough Consensus And Running Code: Integrating Engineering Principles Into Internet Policy Debates, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is the introduction to a symposium issue for a conference designed to bring the engineering community, policymakers, legal academics, and industry participants together in an attempt to provide policymakers with a better understanding of the Internet’s technical aspects and to explore emerging issues of particular importance to current broadband policy.


Promoting The Buildout Of New Networks Vs. Compelling Access To The Monopoly Loop: A Clash Of Regulatory Paradigms, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2011

Promoting The Buildout Of New Networks Vs. Compelling Access To The Monopoly Loop: A Clash Of Regulatory Paradigms, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Best Available Technology Standard, Lital Helman, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2011

The Best Available Technology Standard, Lital Helman, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Is The Internet A Maturing Market? If So, What Does That Imply?, Christopher S. Yoo Aug 2010

Is The Internet A Maturing Market? If So, What Does That Imply?, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Network providers are experimenting with a variety of new business arrangements. Some are offering specialized services the guarantee higher levels of quality of service those willing to pay for it. Others are entering into strategic partnerships that allocate more bandwidth to certain sources. Interestingly, a management literature exists suggesting that both developments may simply reflect the ways that the nature of competition and innovation can be expected as markets mature. The real question is not if the nature of competition and innovation will change, but rather when and how. This theory also suggests that policymakers should be careful not to ...


Network Neutrality Or Internet Innovation?, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2010

Network Neutrality Or Internet Innovation?, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Over the past two decades, the Internet has undergone an extensive re-ordering of its topology that has resulted in increased variation in the price and quality of its services. Innovations such as private peering, multihoming, secondary peering, server farms, and content delivery networks have caused the Internet’s traditionally hierarchical architecture to be replaced by one that is more heterogeneous. Relatedly, network providers have begun to employ an increasingly varied array of business arrangements and pricing. This variation has been interpreted by some as network providers attempting to promote their self interest at the expense of the public. In fact ...


The Changing Patterns Of Internet Usage, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2010

The Changing Patterns Of Internet Usage, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Internet unquestionably represents one of the most important technological developments in recent history. It has revolutionized the way people communicate with one another and obtain information and created an unimaginable variety of commercial and leisure activities. Interestingly, many members of the engineering community often observe that the current network is ill-suited to handle the demands that end users are placing on it. Indeed, engineering researchers often describe the network as ossified and impervious to significant architectural change. As a result, both the U.S. and the European Commission are sponsoring “clean slate” projects to study how the Internet might ...


Innovations In The Internet’S Architecture That Challenge The Status Quo, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2010

Innovations In The Internet’S Architecture That Challenge The Status Quo, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The current debate over broadband policy has largely overlooked a number of changes to the architecture of the Internet that have caused the price paid by and quality of service received by traffic traveling across the Internet to vary widely. Topological innovations, such as private peering, multihoming, secondary peering, server farms, and content delivery networks, have caused the Internet’s traditionally hierarchical architecture to be replaced by one that is more heterogeneous. Moreover, network providers have begun to employ an increasingly varied array of business arrangements. Some of these innovations are responses to the growing importance of peer-to-peer technologies. Others ...


The Convergence Of Broadcasting And Telephony: Legal And Regulatory Implications, Christopher S. Yoo Dec 2009

The Convergence Of Broadcasting And Telephony: Legal And Regulatory Implications, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article, written for the inaugural issue of a new journal, analyzes the extent to which the convergence of broadcasting and telephony induced by the digitization of communications technologies is forcing policymakers to rethink their basic approach to regulating these industries. Now that voice and video are becoming available through every transmission technology, policymakers can no longer define the scope of regulatory obligations in terms of the mode of transmission. In addition, jurisdictions that employ separate agencies to regulate broadcasting and telephony must reform their institutional structures to bring both within the ambit of a single regulatory agency. The emergence ...


Product Life Cycle Theory And The Maturation Of The Internet, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2009

Product Life Cycle Theory And The Maturation Of The Internet, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Much of the recent debate over Internet policy has focused on the permissibility of business practices that are becoming increasingly common, such as new forms of network management, prioritization, pricing, and strategic partnerships. This Essay analyzes these developments through the lens of the management literature on the product life cycle, dominant designs, technological trajectories and design hierarchies, and the role of complementary assets in determining industry structure. This analysis suggests that many of these business practices may represent nothing more than a reflection of how the nature of competition changes as industries mature. This in turn suggests that network neutrality ...


Network Neutrality After Comcast: Toward A Case-By-Case Approach To Reasonable Network Management, Christopher S. Yoo Feb 2009

Network Neutrality After Comcast: Toward A Case-By-Case Approach To Reasonable Network Management, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Federal Communications Commission’s recent Comcast decision has rejected categorical, ex ante restrictions on Internet providers’ ability to manage their networks in favor of a more flexible approach that examines each dispute on a case-by-case basis, as I have long advocated. This book chapter, written for a conference held in February 2009, discusses the considerations that a case-by-case approach should take into account. First, allowing the network to evolve will promote innovation by allowing the emergence of applications that depend on a fundamentally different network architecture. Indeed, as the universe of Internet users and applications becomes more heterogeneous, it ...