Internet Consolidation: What Lies Beneath the Application Layer?

Despite the introduction of massive technological and commercial changes in the past 20 years, and the emergence of a handful of tech giants, the internet’s architecture continued to retain its unique qualities.

However, in recent years, it has become apparent that the Internet’s architecture is also experiencing consolidation.

A handful of big technology companies enjoy significant power over the network and are increasingly contributing to the consolidation of the internet by operating deep down in the infrastructure layer – resolving domain name queries, providing application programming interfaces, cloud hosting or computation.

This phenomenon has called for the need for more research in this area, to explore the challenges and opportunities of internet consolidation and identify the best governance models and effective checks and balances that need to be in place.

In cooperation with the Internet Society (ISOC), ISP is implementing a project which aims to contribute to this area by providing in-depth policy research that answer some of the big questions on the topic.

The project produced an open access special issue of the Journal of Cyber Policy addressing the issue of Internet consolidation and its possible implications on the internet of the future.