This report investigates the underlying economics of certain facets of the Internet. By examining recent literature addressing economic aspects of the Internet and electronic commerce, as well as more traditional literature on pricing practices and market structure, this report will serve as a roadmap of the current terrain in Internet-related economic matters, as well as a framework for future analysis.
The report covers five primary areas of inquiry.
- The first section provides a brief technical overview of the Internet and discusses the transmission technologies employed. For the matter of domain name assignment (assigning the proper names for web pages), Network Solutions Incorporated (NSI) currently maintains control over the domain name registry.
- The second section discusses different methods employed and theoretical models proposed for pricing user access to the Internet.
- The third section examines economic issues surrounding pricing of goods and services on the Internet.
- The fourth section examines the role of network externalities in the development of the Internet, and how such effects might affect firms' activities.