Main session: Avoiding internet fragmentation

30 Nov 2022 08:15h - 09:45h

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Event report

The internet was always fragmented. However, the connectivity layer, such as TCP IP, has never been challenged before. Still, a trend of governments and intergovernmental organisations trying to regulate or fragment the connectivity layer can be noticed. 

The perspectives on internet fragmentation are many. However, two elements observed were: that the user experience of the internet is fragmented and a reality; and that there is a threat to the technical layer of the internet. Therefore, it is important to discern what is and what is not internet fragmentation. 

Decentralisation of the internet should not be considered as fragmentation. It was pointed out that internet shutdowns do not represent internet fragmentation but rather human rights violation. Content regulation, economic drivers, and the lack of international collaboration were pointed out as some of the contributors to the internet fragmentation. 

Solutions to avoid internet fragmentation were identified at the session. The need to avoid internet fragmentation should be reinforced in global discussion forums such as ITU, ICANN, IGF, and IGF ecosystem. Trust on the internet should be built, standards and protocols in the technical layer such as IPv6, IDNs adopted, and open standards adopted. A cross-functional industry-wise collaboration effort to tackle internet fragmentation should be explored. Trust in the multistakeholder governance of the technical layer should be reinforced on a continual basis.  Greater collaboration across the major jurisdictions that are legislating the digital domain was highlighted, as was addressing the need for digital cooperation, and its facilitation in terms of the Global Digital Compact.

By Amrita Choudhury


The session in keywords

WORDCLOUD Main Session Avoiding internet fragmentation IGF2022