IGF 2023 WS #314 Sending Party Pays and the Future of the Internet


Avoiding Internet Fragmentation
Technical challenges of Internet fragmentation

Organizer 1: Rachael Stelly, 🔒Computer & Communications Industry Association
Organizer 2: Alexandre Roure, 🔒CCIA
Organizer 3: Kyung Sin Park, Open Net

Speaker 1: Alissa Starzak, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Kyung Sin Park, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Adrian Wan, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Artur Coimbra de Oliveira, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 5: Rachael Stelly, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Rachael Stelly, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Alexandre Roure, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Rachael Stelly, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Panel - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. How are different regulators approaching the issue of network investment around the world, and how do new proposals diverge from longstanding practices that have led to competitive telecommunications markets?
B. What is the current level of investments to manage Internet traffic, and what are the other options that would address the alleged concern of increased Internet traffic demand?
C. What are the implications for the adoption of a sending-party-pays internet model that would effectively charge delivery of certain data including with respect to net neutrality and other actors in the market?

What will participants gain from attending this session? The goal of this workshop is to broaden the discussion of proposed network usage fees to a broader discussion of the history of Internet traffic delivery, how the underlying infrastructure has changed over time, and the realities of traffic management as they operate today. Participants will learn how the idea of return to sender party pays for network delivery is more than a mere mandated exchange of payments from one party to another, but plays into a broader discussion on the needs of a reliable and stable internet that has enabled free expression and economic growth.



This panel will be co-hosted by the OpenNet Association (Regional Group: Asia-Pacific).

The Internet is based on a system of independent networks, with users being the ones to request content. Traditionally, network operators have had the freedom to enter into voluntary inter-networking arrangements to manage traffic to better serve their users. However, this model is being challenged over the past year with increased urgency.

The Republic of Korea proposed legislation that further regulates interconnection agreements and introduces payment obligations to local telecommunications firms. European telecommunications providers are latching onto this, trying to introduce mandatory rules around these particular interconnection business arrangements between telecom operators and Internet services providers. The European Union held a consultation in early 2023 on proposed network usage fees, and Brazil’s telecommunications regulator is also looking at the market dynamics at play here as well.

This panel will look at how interconnection policy has worked since the early days of the Internet, why some have called for new approaches, and whether these changes would ultimately result in more access and competitive markets, or pose a threat to the global Internet architecture. Panelists include representatives from civil society, government, and the private sector. This diverse panel will cover how not only different stakeholders are approaching the issue and how it affect their interests, but also how the discussions are similar and different in different regions.

Expected Outcomes

The discussion would help inform policy discussions taking place at the national, multinational, and within IGO forums.

Hybrid Format: Short three to five minute presentations made by the speakers will open the discussions and encourage contributions. 80 % of the time of the workshop will be allocated to open discussions. On spot and online participants will be encouraged to present their views and possible solutions.

There will be a ratio of ½ between time allocated for interventions of online participants and time allocated to on site participants. The moderators proposed for the workshop are experienced and undertook similar positions in other workshops managing facilitating online discussion and proposing question included in video chat functions.