Towards an Internet Connectivity Market
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Today’s Internet achieves end-to-end connectivity through bilateral contracts between neighboring networks; unfortunately, this “one size fits all” connectivity results in less efficient paths, unsold capacity and unmet demand, and sometimes catastrophic market failures that result in global disconnectivity. This paper presents the design and evaluation of MINT, a Market for Internet Transit. MINT is a connectivity market and corresponding set of protocols that allows ISPs to offer path segments on an open market. Edge networks bid for end-to-end paths, and a mediator matches bids for paths to collections of path segments that form end-to-end paths. MINT can be deployed using protocols that are present in today’s routers, and it operates in parallel with the existing routing infrastructure and connectivity market. We present MINT’s market model and protocol design; evaluate how MINT improves efficiency, the utility of edge networks, and the profits of transit networks; and how MINT can operate at Internet scale.