DINRG Meeting Agenda

DINRG Workshop (Interim Meeting) on the Centralization in the Internet


1 Welcome and Introduction Chairs 15 min
2 Panel #1: WHY: Is Big Really Bad? 60 min
3 Break 15 min
3 Panel #2: HOW: How Did We Get Here? 60 min
4 Open Discussion: Feedback, Thoughts Chairs, All 30 min

Panel #1: WHY: Is Big Really Bad?


Intro Talk: Geoff Huston


Panel #2: HOW: How Did We Get Here?


Intro Talk: Christian Huitema



The networking community generally seems to agree that the Internet consolidation and centralization trend has progressed rapidly over the last few years, bringing impactful societal and economical consequences. To counter that trend, multiple studies and activities have been launched to decentralize the Internet and the Web (for example see https://blog.mozilla.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/IHPbriefs_decentralization_March_2017.pdf, https://solidproject.org/, and https://www.decentralizedweb.net/, plus various Blockchain-inspired approaches).

When the internet started as a completely decentralized system 40 years back, at that time perhaps few people, if any, could have foreseen where it is today. How did we get from there to here? What is driving aggregation and centralization in the Internet? What are the implications for industry actors and technology as well as for users/consumers?

We believe that a good understanding of this question could make a good first step towards understanding whether it is possible/feasible, and if so, how, to steer the Internet away from centralization.


The objective of this workshop is to start an open discussion on the above question to help clearly characterize centralization in the Internet and to discuss its root causes. That is, before jumping to discussing various potential solutions, we suggest taking a step back and discussing how we got from there to here, and what were the driving forces and enablers at each stage.

We believe that a sound and evidence-based understanding is of key importance for devising any effective form of remedy and action plan. In particular, we would like to foster an understanding on the relationship of architectural properties and economic developments. For example,

This is a complex problem with many relevant factors (technical and economic) and historic developments, so we would like to invite contributions on all of these aspects to this first workshop which may likely lead to further in-depth follow-up discussion. A result of this workshop could indeed be a more substantiated agenda for more focused future research in DINRG.

Workshop Submissions

This is the input that was submitted before the workshop. Thanks to all contributors!

  1. Measuring Web Centralization, Trinh Viet Doan
  2. Centralization is about Control, not Protocols, Henning Schulzrinne
  3. Protocol and Engineering Effects of Consolidation, Dominique Lazanski
  4. Centrality in the Internet, Geoff Huston
  5. We are probably doomed to Internet consolidation, but we should still try do something., Christian Huitema
  6. How We Got from There to Here: Searching for the Root Cause, Lixia Zhang
  7. Mitigation Options against Centralization in DNS Resolvers, Jari Arkko
  8. Decentralization != Equality?, Trinh Viet Doan
  9. Decentralized Data Infrastructures for the New Digital Economy, Thomas Hardjono
  10. Autonomy is the real goal, Phillip Hallam-Baker
  11. Focus on Standards Adoption, Charles Eckels