Policy Network on Internet Fragmentation

upcoming activities

PNIF Webinar 'What does Internet Fragmentation mean to you?'  Wednesday 19 October, 1330-1530 UTC  - meeting info

PNIF Survey - share your views !


The Policy Network on Internet Fragmentation (PNIF) proposal was born out of a community initiative launched by a multistakeholder coalition of civil society, business and technical community organizations in 2021 to raise awareness of the technical, policy, legal and regulatory measures and actions that pose a risk to the open, interconnected and interoperable Internet.  The PNIF aims to offer a systematic and comprehensive framework, complemented by case studies, to define Internet fragmentation, its causes, and its potential effects and it aims to establish recommendations or codes of conduct that prevent fragmentation.

The objective of this policy network would be to: (a) Offer a systematic and comprehensive framework to define Internet fragmentation, its intended and unintended causes, and its potential effects; (b) Collect and analyze case studies to fine-tune and complement this framework; (c) Establish shared principles, recommendations or codes of conduct that prevent fragmentation and preserve the open, interconnected and interoperable nature of the Internet. 

About the issue - In recent years, technical, legislative and policy developments have furthered the risk that the Internet fragments into siloed parts. These developments include bans or restrictions on international data flows, interference with free expression, privacy, and/or encryption; and Internet shutdowns. These developments may pose a threat to the open, interconnected and interoperable Internet, along with its associated benefits to social and economic development, while also harming human rights. Internet fragmentation can take place at various segments and functions of the Internet, any of which can prevent an open, interconnected and interoperable Internet.

The community engagement will continue to happen over a dedicated mailing list. All interested stakeholders are most welcome to subscribe through this link.



PNIF Webinar II -

19 October 2022, 13:30-15:30 UTC


to be added

PNIF Webinar I - 

What does Internet fragementation mean to you ?  Identifying fragmentation and key stakeholders.

15 Sepembter 2022,  13:00-15:00 UTC


  1. Welcome and PNIF introduction
  2. Avoiding fragmentation of the Internet is one of the complex digital issues the UN Secretary-General recommends addressing in the Global Digital Compact.
    1. Question 1: there are different approaches to defining and classifying fragmentation.  For policy makers it is important to understand concrete concerns.
      • What are concrete examples where technical, commercial or policy measures lead to fragmentation of the Internet? Why are these examples of concern? How does this measure or practice lead to fragmentation (i.e. what layer does it affect)? How does this impact people’s experience with the Internet? What are further-reaching impacts, e.g. on society?
    2. Question 2: Which parts or layers of the Internet are facing the greatest threat?
    3. Question 3:  What kind of response is needed from policymakers and other stakeholders.
      • Who should be doing what ? What are the possible actions required of different stakeholders ( Governments, Private sector, Technical community, Academia, Civil Society, International Treaty Organisations). What kind of guiding principles are needed?
  3. Wrap up and next steps
    1. Follow-up call:  Avoiding fragmentation of the internet: concrete actions, best practices and principles.

[discussants and moderators]

Discussants: Ms Allie Funk, Ms Anriette Esterhuysen, Ms Carolina Hippolito vor der Weid, Ms Farzaneh Badii, Mr Kevin Kohler, Mr Konstantinos Komaitis. Moderators: Ms Sheetal Kumar, Ms Time Suto

Survey  -  what does internet fragmentation mean to you?

The purpose of the survey is to understand, within the community, the different views of what internet fragmentation is, how it is manifesting and what existing work on understanding this phenomenon exists.

Please find the survey here:

The results of the survey will feed into a series of discussion calls we are planning for this Policy Network in the months of September and October, each which will look at the topic of internet fragmentation and also into the PNIF's report to the IGF this year.


PNIF Activities

Subscribe to the PNIF mailing list :  All interested stakeholders are most welcome to subscribe through this link.

Join the Policy Network Internet Fragmentation meetings

webpage of the Policy Network Multistakeholder Working Group of experts