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The Environmental Impact of Internet Regulation

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Poudou, Jean-Christophe, and Wilfried Sand-zantman. 2023. “The Environmental Impact of Internet Regulation.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Reseach Network (SSRN).

We address the need to regulate Internet infrastructure usage to take into account environmental externalities. We model the interactions between an internet service provider and some content providers in settings where the former chooses the network size and the latter influence congestion on the network. We then discuss how different regulatory frameworks (Net Neutrality, Laissez-Faire, Price Regulation) impact both the economic efficiency and the environmental performance.In particular, we highlight that inducing more efficiency effort from the content providers may either improve or worsen the final environmental outcome, and provide some conditions for one case or the other to prevail.

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