A game-theoretic evaluation of an ISP business model in caching

Jörn Künsemöller*, Nan Zhang, Kimmo Berg, João Soares

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Internet traffic volume is increasing and this causes scalability issues in content delivery. This problem can be addressed with different types of caching solutions. The incentives of different stakeholders to pay for these solutions are Savenot known. However, it has been identified that Internet service providers (ISPs) need to be involved in the process of cache deployment due to their ownership of the network. This work evaluates a new business model where ISPs charge content providers (CPs) for a caching service because CPs benefit from more efficient content distribution. We provide conditions for sustainable paid in-network caching and their numerical evaluation in order to aid strategic decision-making by CPs, ISPs, and Cloud storage providers (CSPs). Although ISP caching as a paid service may not be an equilibrium, it turns out to be Pareto optimal at the right pricing. This encourages cooperation between CPs and ISPs. CSPs may choose cache friendly physical locations for their facilities in order to provide the necessary capacity to the ISPs. However, the required amounts are in all likelihood too small to be an incentive for the CSPs. ISP caching as a paid service can be an equilibrium when future benefits are considered and when the ISPs terminate caching-related improvements of service quality for clients who do not pay for caching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-818
JournalInformation Systems Frontiers
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Business model
  • Caching
  • Cloud storage
  • Content distribution


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