Why the economics of the Internet look totally different in North America

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[Commentary] The interconnection market might be complicated and opaque to most of us, but it's a vital part of our Internet experience. A Cloudflare analysis shows that in North America (which basically means the United States, because Cloudflare operates only one Canadian data center and none in Mexico) companies engage in much more paid transit than free peering than in other regions of the world.

Cloudflare's data offers more insight on the bigger picture, which is that paid transit is very common. That's a talking point often advanced by people who say Netflix is complaining a lot about nothing, or that efforts to ban "Internet fast lanes" overlook the fact that the Internet is already non-neutral thanks to paid transit. If there's already an existing market where companies pay each other to carry traffic, the argument goes, then what's the big deal about paid peering or, in the last-mile Internet, paid prioritization?


Why the economics of the Internet look totally different in North America