INCOMPAS introduced a paper that quantifies the investments tech companies have made in the global network infrastructure of the internet. The research, conducted by Analysys Mason and launched in partnership with CCIA, DOT Europe, the Asia Internet Coalition and the Korean Internet Association, finds that tech companies have invested $883 billion in the internet’s infrastructure in the past decade, which saves ISPs about $6.5 billion each year.
Despite this significant investment, countries around the world are considering "network usage fees" that would tax these companies.These measures often are designed to discriminate against certain U.S.-based content and application providers and would require them to pay tens of billions to incumbent, often state-affiliated foreign telecom operators. According to Analysys Mason’s research, such fees could disrupt incentives, investment and competition, resulting in unintended negative consequences for the internet ecosystem.
“The global economy runs on networks and those networks would be broken without the massive $883 billion investment by streaming, gaming and tech innovators,” INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said in a release. “The paper provides a true, honest and holistic look at the network ecosystem - where global and local investments by the tech industry have saved large ISPs billions and revolutionized the speed and quality of content to consumers who today see more choice, competition and savings.”
Key findings of the report include:
- Content and Applications Providers (CAPs) spent $883 billion on internet infrastructure from 2011 to 2021.
- From 2018-2021, CAPs increased their digital infrastructure investment over 50%, making an annual investment of more than $120 billion.
- CAP investments to bring traffic closer to end users improve the quality of service by ISPs and save ISPs $5.0-$6.4 billion each year.
- While traffic volumes have grown significantly, costs for ISPs have remained stable over time.
- Imposing network usage fees on CAPs could result in lower quality internet experiences, reduced investment in networks, less ISP competition and higher prices for consumers.