IGF 2023 WS #376 Lesson learned from community building through the APAC lens


Avoiding Internet Fragmentation
Technical challenges of Internet fragmentation

Organizer 1: Mariko Kobayashi, WIDE Project
Organizer 2: Noriatsu Kudo, WIDE project
Organizer 3: Korry Luke, Keio University

Speaker 1: Keiko Okawa, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Gaurab Upadhaya, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Sheryl Hermoso, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Korry Luke, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Mariko Kobayashi, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Noriatsu Kudo, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Other - 90 Min
Format description: - Quick Panel + Open Discussion (90mins)
In order to secure enough time for discussion among IGF participants, we set 40 mins as open discussion including audience members. We also provide some insights from speakers (but quickly and not too many slides) beforehand so that participants can absorb backgrounds if they are not so familiar with community-oriented activities such as Research and Education Network, Network Operators’ Groups and skills development programs regarding global, multi-stakeholder Internet.

Policy Question(s)

How community-oriented Internet operation and skills development contribute to avoiding Internet Fragmentation? Is it possible to extend these activities to other regions, stakeholders and other fields of the Internet?

What is the role of academia, industry and tech community in the era of political and economic fragmentation? What are expected collaborations with governments or intergovernmental organizations?

What will participants gain from attending this session? IGF participants will gain and exchange insights on how to solve issues of the Internet through multi-stakeholder cooperation and collaboration. With increasing concerns on Internet Fragmentation, it is important to re-discover what a global and multistakeholder Internet can and has achieved.

Furthermore, participants not only from the APAC region but also other regions can utilize educational contents and tools that will be presented in the panel. (e.g. “Understanding the Internet” which is free content and posted by APIE on FutureLearn)


In recent years, as the Internet evolves, there has been increasing concern that the Internet will be fragmented. Some experts have pointed out that the concept of a single, global Internet has become difficult to share amongst all stakeholders.

The Asia Pacific (APAC) region is no exception, with a complex, physically separated landscape that also holds political, cultural, and linguistic differences; this creates a diverse environment that proves challenging for multiple stakeholders to cooperate to maintain the Internet.

On the other hand, there are many collaborative activities in the APAC region on operating the Internet and community-oriented skills development between academia and industry. Hence, this session will provide insights into avoiding Internet Fragmentation through the APAC lens.

For instance, the WIDE (Widely Integrated Distributed Environment) Project, a research consortium between academia and industry based in Japan, fosters the next generation of engineers in the APAC region. We can see cooperative activities between NOGs (network operator groups), which are informal and community-based groups, to discuss issues related to routing, peering, and security of the Internet infrastructure. APNIC (Asia-Pacific Network Information Center) actively participates in sending trainers for Network Engineering and Internet Governance-related programs in Asia, thereby fostering community-based skills development.

In this era of political and economic fragmentation, rather than collaboration just between countries, the relationships between stakeholders are more important than ever.

In this workshop, we propose a community-oriented Internet infrastructure operation and skills development across countries as possible approaches to avoiding Internet Fragmentation. We also believe that fostering the next generation of youth in Internet governance and engineering is critical to ensuring the continued governance of the Internet as a global, open, stable, and secure resource for all people.

Expected Outcomes

We plan to share the result of the discussion as a non-governmental approach that enhances global and multi-stakeholder Internet to Japanese government officials who are involved in the G7 to enhance collaboration between Internet communities and governments. Ministerial Declaration The G7 Digital and Tech Ministers’ Meeting (30 April 2023) emphasized the necessity of a global and non-fragmented Internet and Multi-stakeholder approach to maintain the free and open Internet.

In addition, we expect that our workshop will create further collaborations among workshop participants such as creating community-oriented infrastructure operations beyond one stakeholder or one region. Regarding skill development, participants from African, GRULAC and APAG group may bring back educational contents that will be presented in the workshop to their region, then they can enhance the value of global and multi-stakeholder Internet in their region.

Hybrid Format: In the roundtable part, we emphasize interactions between speakers and participants, and we also recognize both online and on-site participants have equal priority in being involved in the discussion. In order to achieve this, on-site and online moderators will work closely.

Regarding on-site participants, we chose an “open mic” format which originated from the Internet communities' culture that encourages open and multi-stakeholder discussion using a microphone that is set up in the venue.

Secondly, an online moderator is in charge of not only encouraging participants to speak out, but also introducing online participants’ opinions and comments from the chat. When comments are posted on the chat, an online moderator reads out your name, stakeholder and comments (but this format is not forced to be applied if they are not willing to mention their country, region or organization).