Economic Incentives in Content-Centric Networking: Implications for Protocol Design and Public Policy
In this article, we build a simple engineering-economic model to evaluate the incentives of various network players to deploy distributed storage nodes (content stores and caches) to support information-centric network (ICN) architectures and the implications of those incentives on protocol design, industry structure and other policy issues, such as competition and network- neutrality. We find that without some explicit monetary compensation from publishers, networks will fail to deploy the socially optimal number of caches. We also study the social welfare implications of different cache deployment scenarios and identify two deployment scenarios that maximize social welfare. Finally, we show that ICN architectures provide numerous opportunities for large eyeball networks to leverage their terminating access monopoly to extract more profits from other network players. Hence, regulators must take steps to address issues such as interconnection and the role of caching infrastructure in differential quality of service provisioning in an ICN-based network architecture, in order to ensure socially desirable outcomes from their deployment.