Handbook on the Economics of the Internet
Show Less

Handbook on the Economics of the Internet

Edited by Johannes M. Bauer and Michael Latzer

As the single most important general purpose technology of recent times, the Internet is transforming the organization, competitive structure and business models of the private, the public and non-profit sectors. In 27 original chapters, leading authors discuss theoretical and applied frameworks for the study of the economics of the Internet and its unique economics as a global information and communications infrastructure. They also examine the effects of the Internet on economic transactions (including social production, advertising, innovation, and intellectual property rights), the economics and management of Internet-based industries (including search, news, entertainment, culture, and virtual worlds), and the effects of the Internet on the economy at large.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 10: The economics of Internet standards

Stanley M. Besen and George Sadowsky


Internet standards permit users to have access to a wide variety of compatible software, to exchange documents, to combine the use of products made by different vendors, and to communicate directly. The Internet standardization process that eventually came to be carried out under the auspices of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has been remarkably successful both in achieving a high degree of acceptance by users and in adapting to significant growth in the number of Internet users and changes in the amount and nature of Internet traffic. After a brief discussion of the economics of standards, this chapter describes how this process came into existence and how and why it survived challenges both from an alternative standard that had been developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and from a number of proprietary technologies. Next, it addresses whether the technocratic nature of the IETF standards process can continue to remain largely immune from the increasing commercialization of the Internet. The chapter proceeds with a discussion of the recent controversy between the IETF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) over the standard for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). Finally, it explores a new challenge to the IETF standards process that has arisen because certain governments are seeking to have a larger role in the operation and governance of the Internet.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.