IGF 2023 WS #106 Understanding Peering & Interconnection Policy


Avoiding Internet Fragmentation
Technical challenges of Internet fragmentation

Organizer 1: Seiichi Kawamura, Google
Organizer 2: Bijal Sanghani, 🔒
Organizer 3: Katsuyasu Toyama, JPNAP
Organizer 4: Gabriel Adonaylo, 🔒
Organizer 5: Kyle Spencer, The African IXP Association

Speaker 1: Seiichi Kawamura, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Bijal Sanghani, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Katsuyasu Toyama, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Gabriel Adonaylo, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: Kyle Spencer, Technical Community, African Group


Seiichi Kawamura, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Katsuyasu Toyama, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Bijal Sanghani, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Other - 90 Min
Format description: This session will be a combination of a 45 minute tutorial to cover the fundamentals of how the peering ecosystem works, and a 45 minute panel focused on case studies and discussion with the participating audience. It is preferable to have the room configured in the panel format, and have one screen to show slides for the tutorial part.

Policy Question(s)

1. What are the potential implications of a peering system based on “fair share” aka "sender pays" aka “Network Usage Fee” policies, and how could it impact the current market-based peering ecosystem?

2. What elements of peering help promote better Internet connectivity for users in developing regions?

3. How (and why) has the current model of peering and interconnection supported the expansion of the Internet around the world, bringing its benefits to many more people and societies?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Attendees can expect to gain a comprehensive understanding of the peering ecosystem, including the commercial aspects and the basic technical concepts. They will learn about the benefits of peering, the potential impact of regulatory changes, and ways to ensure a sustainable and robust peering ecosystem.

They will also have the opportunity to engage in discussions with experts from multiple regional IXP associations and gain insights into the current state of peering and its future direction. Overall, attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of the importance of peering and its role in supporting a stable and efficient Internet.


The global Internet exchange associations APIX, Euro-IX, LAC-IX, and AFIX jointly propose an informative and educational workshop at the upcoming Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Peering is the arrangement of Internet traffic exchange among network operators and involves industries such as ISPs, telcos, cloud providers, content providers, academics, and enterprises. The peering ecosystem, traditionally driven by a cooperative and mutually beneficial market-based system, is facing a potential disruption due to proposals from the European Commission (EC) and other entities to mandate a "sender pays" system. However, we believe that a significant number of participants involved in these discussions lack a proper understanding of the peering ecosystem due to a lack of resources and training. The proposed workshop aims to address this problem by providing information about how peering works, including its technical and commercial aspects. The workshop would provide a platform to discuss the benefits of peering, the potential impact of regulatory changes, and ways to ensure a sustainable and robust peering ecosystem.

Peering 101 - the basics
- Reference: https://www.peeringtoolbox.net/beginner (we will explain in lay person words)
- The benefits of peering

Peering Relationships Explained
- Commercial aspects
- The potential impact of regulatory changes
- Ensuring a sustainable and robust peering ecosystem

Applied Peering: Examples of how peering works
- Case 1: Japan and Asia Pacific
- Case 2: Latin America
- Case 3: Europe and Africas

Conclusion and Next Steps

Expected Outcomes

1. A report of this session is expected to be shared with the technical community via multiple events such as Peering Asia organized by APIX (Internet Exchange association for APAC, and Euro-IX (Internet Exchange association for Europe) events. This will help bridge the gap between the technical and business community who do not participate in IGF often, and bring the governance perspective to the stakeholder group.
2. This workshop will provide stakeholders involved in regulatory discussions related to Internet traffic such as ‘sending party pays’ (aka ‘network usage fees’), with a better understanding of how traffic is actually exchanged over the Internet, to help bridge the gap with the technical community and the private sector in their own country/regions to facilitate discussions for a better governance framework.
3. We also plan to share the summary of the workshop with the wider stakeholder group globally through organizations such as ISOC.

Hybrid Format: We plan to appoint one person to monitor online participant’s requests to speak and/or ask questions, and check if the onsite speaker’s presentations are visible and audible to online participants. The session moderator will ensure that online participants get a fair chance to ask questions, and alternate between online and onsite participants if there is a queue. We are also considering the use of collaboration tools such as Slack to help remote participants become more engaged in the workshop.