The internet has rapidly evolved from a static data platform to become a streaming video platform, and is soon expected to see its next wave of growth in machine-to-machine and any-to-any video communications. By 2030, the ‘Internet of Everything’ potentially adds trillions of euros in value to the public and private sectors. This report investigates the drivers of this growth and the investment incentives in the ‘upstream’ part of internet IP connectivity where all the autonomous networks of the world interconnect.
The study shows that the internet remains vital, dynamic and competitive, driven by a sector that is in transition. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content & Application Providers (CAPs) are constantly innovating the way they interconnect. Existing IP interconnection agreements such as transit and peering are seeing a significant increase in and growing imbalance of IP traffic as the result of streaming video. Most of the industry is adapting flexibly to new business models. For example, disputes concern less than 1% of all interconnection agreements. New interconnection agreements (e.g. paid peering, deep caching) are implemented to support the trend of storing popular content close to the access networks. Global CAPs invest in proprietary Content Delivery Network (CDN) infrastructures (server parks). Commercial CDN services have become affordable to small CAPs as interconnection costs are strongly falling, up to 30% per year. Combined with the very competitive market for last mile broadband internet services in Europe, this market seems well positioned for growth, investment and innovation.