• Follow us

Internet

Does consolidation help or hinder the internet?

Consolidation in any sphere of business is not a new phenomenon. In many cases, it’s a natural evolution as industries and markets seize the opportunity to reduce competition, costs and make the most of economies of scale – and this is just as true online as any other market. However, as we explored in our 2019 Global Internet Report, consolidation in the Internet economy is a question of how new patterns of consolidating services, operations and functions impact the Internet and its use.  These patterns produce a complex set of benefits along with concerns that we believe deserve closer attention.

Today, a handful of actors play a significant role in our increasingly-connected societies. From the dominance of Facebook in social messaging, Google in search, and Amazon in online shopping, these companies are expanding beyond their initial service offerings. The largest Internet platforms are today dominating large parts of the Web and have become central to many of aspects of our daily lives.

Yet, the Internet economy is bigger than what we see on the Web. It’s not only about the services that rely on the Internet, but also comprises the businesses that support its very existence. To understand how a consolidating Internet economy may shape the Internet’s future is to recognise that this trend goes beyond products and services visible to the consumer. It also encompasses the plethora of businesses (such as DNS services, cloud hosting and transit networks) that enable the very networks upon which they depend.

Total service environments

What we see today is a trend towards a ‘total service environment’, where consumers’ communications, entertainment and productivity tools are all supplied by one provider, or party of providers. For example, it’s entirely possible that a user could spend a long time on the Internet and remain within Google’s services, using Gmail, watching YouTube or YouTube Red, collaborating with Google Documents and using an Android phone throughout the day. Similarly, Amazon has progressed from the online bookstore it once was to offering a broad set of streaming services and consumer electronics like Amazon Echo and the smart assistant Alexa.

This trend towards a “total service environment” is equally visible from the perspective of small and medium businesses. Today, the market for cloud computing is concentrated around a handful of large companies, notably Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, IBM and Alibaba, which often offer a full suite of services ranging from content delivery networks to database management and AI capabilities. Taken together, they offer a compelling business case for smaller businesses or innovators that seek a high quality of service based on a global infrastructure of data centres. This type of infrastructure was not available even to the largest companies in the world just 5 years ago.

From a user’s perspective this means that only a handful of large companies are part of their online experience, whether they know it or not. Due to trends of consolidation in the cloud market or content delivery networks, it’s likely that your computer will predominantly communicate with servers owned by just a handful of large companies.

Scaling new platforms

Total Service Environments may sound restrictive, with users and businesses operating in a domain under the control of one entity --but they also provide platforms to users, businesses and entrepreneurs alike on an unprecedented scale. For example, authors self-publishing on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing can gain access to an audience of millions, at virtually no cost. Similarly new innovators can build new applications that integrate services like Google Maps and functionalities like AI, drawing from some of the most advanced technologies of today.

While this consolidation of previously disperse functionalities and services onto large platforms brings many benefits, it’s also a trend that raises concerns. These include the presence of software monocultures, whereby the impact of security vulnerabilities are amplified throughout the system, and service failures have cascading effects across other businesses and services that depend on a particular functionality. In this case, consolidation raises issues of resilience as diversity decreases.

The key concern here is not that of vertical integrated providers, which is expected in layered technologies, rather the concentration around one or a few proprietary services raises questions of substitutability.

Changing topology

The trends of consolidation in the provisioning of service infrastructure like cloud hosting and content delivery also means that users can reach content in a much faster fashion, with more locally stored content and less international transit of traffic. In providing global services for billions of people, many of the largest companies have large datacentres across the world that exchange enormous volumes of traffic. As a result, many of the largest content and cloud providers are investing in their own infrastructure for international connectivity rather than purchasing transit from other network operators. In fact, estimates show that large providers like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook are on a path to overtake traditional Internet backbone providers when it comes to investments in infrastructure like submarine cables.

These trends of vertical integration, where the largest companies consolidate previously separate market activities under one globally connected service, are accelerating industry consolidation in the transit market. As transit prices continues to drop it creates a further need for scale among the largest network operators, including through mergers and acquisitions. From the perspective of the Internet as a network of networks this raises a whole set of questions around a changing network topology. More importantly, it raises the question as to how the open networking paradigm that is the Internet will evolve in an environment where investments in infrastructure is moving towards specialised services – and possibly away from general purpose connectivity.

In one way, consolidation could be argued to be simply another phase of the Internet’s long history and development. However, today we are seeing it on a relatively unprecedented scale, largely due to the size, innovation and sheer commercial savvy displayed by a number of the organisations in the market. It can be an extremely positive force but can also present a large number of challenges – the most important thing is to be educated about the potential knock-on effects, ensuring that decisions are made with all the pertinent knowledge available. 

Carl Gahnberg, Policy Advisor, the Internet Society (ISOC)Image Credit: Mediacom

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Latest ITProPortal news

Foxconn president resigns to run for office 2019-06-21 08:00:29He wants to focus on his presidential campaign.

Google confirms it's leaving the tablet business 2019-06-21 07:58:09It's throwing everything it has into the laptop business.

US city votes to pay ransomware demand 2019-06-21 07:30:31Riviera Beach can't catch a break.

iPaaS: The true digital transformation enabler 2019-06-21 07:00:33At the heart of any digital transformation project is the same principle – getting access to data and managing that data effectively.

5G can help start ups compete better 2019-06-21 06:30:585G could give birth to a whole new wave of start-up businesses, who would leverage the technology to compete better against well-established players i

Leaked passwords are only the tip of the 2019-06-21 06:30:45The true cause of the problem isn’t what one company does or doesn’t do with their security, but the underlying premise that personally id

The rise of voice commerce 2019-06-21 06:00:46This is a burgeoning trend that could be a huge market in the very near future.

IT issues creating workplace "black hole" 2019-06-21 06:00:33Employees are losing hours fixing stuff around the office.

GDPR compliance: is your business at risk of 2019-06-21 05:30:57Since the introduction of GDPR last year, small businesses have faced increased pressure to develop and alter their existing policies in line with the

How continuous deployment can help you keep pace 2019-06-21 05:00:10With every company now a software company, here's how continuous deployment makes you stand out from the crowd.

Keeping up with digital transformation: Is your ERP 2019-06-21 04:30:46Digital transformation need not be a scary term, but the foundation of your ERP strategy.

Why the jewellery sector is in major need 2019-06-21 04:00:07How blockchain and modern technology has helped to change the way the sector is functioning.

TechRadar: Internet news

The best student laptops: all the best options 2019-07-03 14:17:34The best laptops for college students – everything from Chromebooks to the new Dell XPS 13.

GTA 6: all the latest news and rumors 2019-07-03 14:05:37Now that Red Dead Redemption 2's development is over, we can't help but speculate about Grand Theft Auto 6...

God of War 2 PS4: everything we know 2019-07-03 14:04:28We've gathered all the rumors and news surrounding the God of War sequel.

Shenmue 3: release date, trailers and news 2019-07-03 13:36:18Here's all we know about the long-awaited Shenmue 3 so far, with the latest trailers.

The best Ultrabooks 2019: top thin and light 2019-07-03 13:35:34We've put together a definitive list of the best Ultrabooks.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super vs RTX 2060: 2019-07-03 13:33:13How much has the RTX 2060 Super improved upon the original RTX 2060? We investigate.

How to get rid of spyware forever 2019-07-03 13:30:45Tactics for keeping spyware at bay vary by device and operating system. However, having antivirus installed are prerequisites.

The best gaming PC 2019: 10 of the 2019-07-03 13:07:14Equipped with the latest processors and graphics cards, these are the best gaming PCs of 2019.

Chinese officials reportedly installed spyware on tourist phones 2019-07-03 13:05:26Border agents have begun to snoop and install spyware on the smartphones of travelers trying to enter China's Xinjiang region.

The best monitor 2019: the top 10 monitors 2019-07-03 12:41:29We've dug deep to find only the best monitors in the US, UK and Australia.

Disney Plus price, release date, shows and movies 2019-07-03 12:33:59Disney Plus will include exclusive shows and movies from the Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar universes – as well as The Simpsons.

Samsung Cloud storage: Everything you need to know 2019-07-03 12:33:34Check out the cloud storage option that’s present on all Samsung smartphones and tablets.

TechCrunch » Enterprise

Equinix and Singapore’s GIC will launch a $1 2019-07-02 00:20:35Equinix, one of the world’s largest data center companies, announced that it will form a $1 billion joint venture with GIC, Singapore’s so

Video platform Kaltura adds advanced analytics 2019-07-01 15:15:26You may not be familiar with Kaltura‘s name, but chances are you’ve used the company’s video platform at some point or another, give

We’ll talk even more Kubernetes at TC Sessions: 2019-07-01 12:00:58You can’t go to an enterprise conference these days without talking containers — and specifically the Kubernetes container management syst

Tara.ai, which uses machine learning to spec out 2019-07-01 06:09:59Artificial intelligence has become an increasingly important component of how a lot of technology works; now it’s also being applied to how tech

Enterprise SaaS revenue hits $100B run rate, led 2019-06-28 11:48:44In its most recent report, Synergy Research, a company that monitors cloud marketshare, found that enterprise SaaS revenue passed the $100 billion run

We’re talking Kubernetes at TC Sessions: Enterprise with 2019-06-27 12:48:01Over the past five years, Kubernetes has grown from a project inside of Google to an open source powerhouse with an ecosystem of products and services

Fellow raises $6.5M to help make managers better 2019-06-27 11:21:30Managing people is perhaps the most challenging thing most people will have to learn in the course of their professional lives – especially beca

Fungible raises $200 million led by SoftBank Vision 2019-06-27 11:00:24Fungible, a startup that wants to help data centers cope with the increasingly massive amounts of data produced by new technologies, has raised a $200

Cathay Innovation leads Laiye’s $35M round to bet 2019-06-27 10:22:46For many years, the boom and bust of China’s tech landscape have centered around consumer-facing products. As this space gets filled by Baidu, A

Amperity update gives customers more control over Customer 2019-06-27 09:03:26The Customer Data Platform (CDP) has certainly been getting a lot of attention in marketing software circles over the last year as big dawgs like Sale

Bright Machines wants to put AI-driven automation in 2019-06-26 11:16:00There’s a mythology around today’s factories that says everything is automated by robotics, and while there is some truth to that, it&rsqu

Vulcan Cyber announces $10M Series A to automate 2019-06-26 09:20:42Many software vulnerabilities are already known, and vendors have even issued patches, but the problem is there are so many patches that it’s of

ExtremeTechInternet –

SpaceX Lost Contact With 3 Starlink Satellites 2019-07-01 14:32:03Losing three satellites in a matter of weeks doesn't sound great, and indeed, it would be preferable if none of them failed. However, SpaceX CEO Elon

Udemy Class Review: Rocket Engineering and Interstellar Space 2019-07-01 13:02:48Udemy’s Rocket Engineering and Interstellar Space Propulsion course provides a considerable amount of information on both topics crammed into a

Microsoft Adds Tracking Prevention to Latest Chromium Edge 2019-06-28 14:07:34The latest feature to appear in a pre-release build is tracking prevention. You'll have to tinker with the settings to turn it on, but the process sh

How Shipping a Huawei Phone Via FedEx Made 2019-06-26 16:11:42How a Huawei phone and a FedEx delivery turned into an international incident. The post How Shipping a Huawei Phone Via FedEx Made International News

Udemy Class Review: The Foundations of Computer Design 2019-06-26 11:01:13We look at Udemy's The Foundation's Of Computer Design course to see how well it performs its job of teaching the basics of computer design. The pos

Firefox Zero-Day Used to Install Mac Malware 2019-06-21 17:43:28Mozilla issued an emergency Firefox patch earlier this week, citing a dangerous zero-day exploit. Because it believed hackers were exploiting the flaw

‘Reset’ Nest Cams Could Still Send Video to 2019-06-21 08:36:26The Wirecutter confirmed with a Nest Cam that, yes, Wink retains access to the camera after a reset. This is the case even if someone else sets up the

A Rogue Raspberry Pi Let Hackers Into NASA’s 2019-06-20 12:26:28NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) works with some of the most advanced technology in the world including Mars rovers and space telescopes.

Mozilla Issues Emergency Zero-Day Firefox Patch 2019-06-19 15:50:22Mozilla advises all Firefox users to update to the latest version of the browser as soon as possible. The company has just become aware of a zero-day

Protect Your Online Privacy With the 5 Best 2019-06-17 12:21:48Investing in a VPN is a smart choice right now, but the options are vast. To help narrow things down a bit, we've rounded up five of our very favorit

People Aren’t Patching for the BlueKeep Windows Exploit, 2019-06-06 13:32:22Now even the NSA is getting worried that the so-called BlueKeep flaw could result in a dangerous worm that spreads across the globe, wreaking havoc on

Microsoft Says Forced Password Resets Don’t Improve Security 2019-06-04 13:07:28For decades, the baseline password practices Microsoft provided to customers suggested forcing employees to change their passwords every 60 days. Acco


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.