IGF 2023 WS #136 Network Fees and Risk of Internet Fragmentation


Avoiding Internet Fragmentation
International Legal Perspectives

Organizer 1: Cristiane Sanches, ABRINT - Brazilian Association of Internet and Telecommunication Service Providers
Organizer 2: Breno Vale, ABRINT
Organizer 3: BASILIO PEREZ, 🔒

Speaker 1: Cristiane Sanches, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Rhian Duarte, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Everson Mai, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


BASILIO PEREZ, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Breno Vale, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Cristiane Sanches, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Round Table - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

1 - To what extent do regulatory initiatives imposing network fees models amplify the risk of internet fragmentation?
2 - What are the models for traffic flow between ISP companies, and how does the current landscape ensure freedom on the internet?
3 - What are the motivations behind the resurgence of this debate worldwide, and what are the specificities of the regulatory initiatives?

What will participants gain from attending this session? The workshop participants will be able to understand the knowledge evolving regulatory history of this debate, the nuances that differentiate national regulatory initiatives, and the relevant technical elements of network traffic that truly matter. The panel will also provide a clear delineation of concepts and principles regarding the functioning of the internet, which is at risk of being compromised due to the shift in logic introduced by the proposed model. By equipping participants with this comprehensive understanding, the workshop empowers them to engage in this panel, evaluating the potential impact of regulatory changes, in order to guarantee the preservation of an open and inclusive internet. This workshop intends to emphasize the importance of safeguarding the core principles that have allowed the internet to thrive as a global platform for communication, innovation, and collaboration.


The workshop proposal addresses a pressing issue that threatens the freedom and openness of the internet. The concern stems from international attempts to regulate network traffic costs through the revival of the SPNP revenue model, potentially leading to the internet fragmentation. The imposition of network fees poses a risk to the essence of the internet, limiting information access, enabling control and censorship, and diminishing content diversity. ABRINT, though explanation of a unique asymmetric regulation for fixed broadband services and technical and organizational aspects of more than 20,000 Brazilian ISPs companies, intends to explain This workshop aims to clarify how this proposed new logic of traffic charging is incompatible with the dynamics of the access market and detrimental to the sustainability of the internet, where consumers have the freedom to access content and services without unnecessary financial burdens. It also disrupts the delicate balance of costs and revenues that sustain the infrastructure required for a robust and reliable internet, able to connect all.

Expected Outcomes

The panel seeks to bring this conversation to the IGF to tease out concrete pointers as to what could constitute shared contributions to monitor national and regional regulatory initiatives regarding network fees and identify strategies for multistakeholder collaboration to avoid fragmentation at the level of traffic regulation. The panel is expected to advance thinking on the subject and further facilitate cooperation on the issue. Specific outputs will include the draft of a session report and an expert comment based on panel conclusions to be published on blogs of relevant partners and stakeholders.

Hybrid Format: To embrace the hybrid nature of the event, all the organizers of the roundtable discussion have already used multiple online tools and are able to interact with both in-person and online speakers. ABRINT is also well known for its national annual event in Brazil, within 15,000 participants and high level debates. The session will be advertised among relevant audiences participating in IGF to ensure the involvement of a diverse group of participants representing all stakeholder groups and regions. An experienced moderator team is fundamental, actively working to bring in other remote participants during the session, and both the onsite and remote moderators have guided multiple hybrid ISP events in Latin America. We will use IGF official/elected tool.