Telecommunications: Characteristics and Competitiveness of the Internet Backbone Market

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Although most Americans are familiar with Internet service providers that give consumers a pathway, or "on-ramp," to the Internet, few are familiar with Internet backbone providers and backbone networks. At the Internet's core are many high-capacity, long-haul "backbone" networks that route data traffic over long distances using high-speed fiber lines. Internet backbone providers compete in the marketplace and cooperate in the exchange of data traffic. The cooperative exchange of traffic among backbone providers is essential if the Internet is to remain a seamless and widely accessible ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. October 16, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Although most Americans are familiar with Internet service providers that give consumers a pathway, or "on-ramp," to the Internet, few are familiar with Internet backbone providers and backbone networks. At the Internet's core are many high-capacity, long-haul "backbone" networks that route data traffic over long distances using high-speed fiber lines. Internet backbone providers compete in the marketplace and cooperate in the exchange of data traffic. The cooperative exchange of traffic among backbone providers is essential if the Internet is to remain a seamless and widely accessible public medium. Interconnection among Internet backbone providers varies both in terms of the physical structure and financial agreements of data traffic exchange. The physical structure of interconnection takes two forms: (1) the exchange of traffic among many backbone providers at a "network access point"--a common facility--and (2) the exchange of traffic between two or more backbone providers at "private" interconnection points. No publicly available data exist with which to evaluate competitiveness in the Internet backbone market. Evolution of this market is likely to be largely affected by two types of emerging services. First, demand is likely to rise for time-sensitive applications, such as Internet voice systems. Second, more "broadband"--bandwidth-sensitive--content, such as video, will likely flow over the Internet in the coming years."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • October 16, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Telecommunications: Characteristics and Competitiveness of the Internet Backbone Market, report, October 16, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293198/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.