Growing the Internet

The global Internet continues to grow around the world, but unevenly.

Our efforts are aimed at not only increasing the reach and reliability of the Internet in the short term, but also ensuring the foundations for continued growth are solidly in place.

Interested in an update on what the Internet Growth Projects have been up to so far in 2020? Watch the recording of our Update Call!

Building Community Networks

Even though the Internet has expanded around the world faster than any previous technology, nearly half of the world’s population still lacks Internet connectivity. These unconnected communities and individuals are located on every continent. The unconnected live in rural, remote, and urban communities. Without access to the Internet, every day without connectivity is a day of lost opportunity. 

We know that Community Networks (CN) are a way to bridge the connectivity gap. The Internet Society has a long history of making a difference in this area, but to meet current connectivity challenges we will refocus and increase our efforts to support CN deployments, create capacities in communities by training local people, build new communities of interest, and work to change policies and regulations to encourage the development and deployment of Community Networks. Community collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and we will expand our efforts by reaching out to communities in need with and through our partners and current communities of interest. 

In 2020, we will continue to engage with our Chapters, Organization Members, individual members, partners, and colleagues. We aim to bring on more partners at global, regional, and local levels, such as existing community networks, international financial and governmental institutions, and governmental entities, and individual experts.

Community Networks

Community Networks

Fostering Infrastructure and Technical Communities

Many countries and regions around the world lack local interoperable, open Internet infrastructure. They also lack strong local technical and operational communities to build, support, and scale that infrastructure. Together, strong infrastructure and communities provide complementary building blocks upon which more and better Internet infrastructure can be built.

This project will focus on Internet exchange point (IXP) development and deployment, and on building the local communities, which are pillars of Internet development and growth. At a technical level, we will support the development and deployment of new IXP infrastructure, as well as the improvement of existing IXPs. We will foster and encourage the local communities and participating individuals who are building, operating, and maintaining the commercial networks, IXPs, research and education networks, and other critical parts of the Internet infrastructure.

Our efforts will include engaging with governments and local partners, including Internet Society Chapters and Organization Members, to tackle diverse issues and obstacles. Depending on the region, the issues we may tackle include changes to policies and rules that are barriers for Internet infrastructure development.

Infrastructure and Community Development

Infrastructure and Community Development

Measuring the Internet

There is no single site or tool that brings together the multiple measures required to understand the Internet’s evolution and health. 

This project addresses the need to have a single, easily identifiable place to go to find up-to-date data about trends that are shaping the Internet’s infrastructure and the health of the Internet way of networking itself. The project will be based on consuming and processing third-party measurement data, and will use that data to generate and present easy-to-find and -understand information. A Web-based dashboard will present these trends and contextualize indicators within an overall narrative of Internet evolution and promotion of the Internet way of networking. 

Internet shutdowns is another initial use case for this project. To establish the Internet Society as a key source for information about the impact of Internet shutdowns and disruptions through data, information, and insight, we plan to deliver a dashboard that will identify, track, and analyze such events. 

Measuring the Internet

Measuring the Internet

Would you like to get involved in any of our Internet Growth projects?

Growing the Internet News

How Ericsson and UNICEF are tackling the education digital divide
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In the News 17 September 2020

How Ericsson and UNICEF are tackling the education digital divide

Coronavirus Widens Digital Divide for Native Americans
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In the News 16 September 2020

Coronavirus Widens Digital Divide for Native Americans

How Peering and Infrastructure Development Improved Connectivity in Kenya, Speeding Economic Growth
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Growing the Internet 11 September 2020

How Peering and Infrastructure Development Improved Connectivity in Kenya, Speeding Economic Growth

The country can become a continental digital leader with strengthened Internet Exchange Points (IXPs). In January this year, Internet...

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  • Leading image: NYC Mesh installation, 18 October 2019. © Chris Gregory

  • CN image: Community members of Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo work together with the Internet Society to learn how to use and install the Internet during the Internet Society/ Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo training session on November 14th, 2019. © 2019 Elyse Butler

  • IXPs image: Delegates at the 10th annual African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Balaclava, Mauritius on 20 August 2019. © Nyani Quarmyne/ Panos Pictures