Growing the Internet. For Everyone.

While the Internet grows across the globe, it remains out of reach for millions of people.

Increasing the reach and reliability of the Internet is our short-term goal, while we also focus on creating a solid foundation for continued growth over time.

Building Community Networks to Connect the Unconnected

The Internet has expanded around the world faster than any previous technology. And yet, nearly half of the world’s population still doesn’t have Internet connectivity. These unconnected communities and individuals — who live in rural, remote and urban communities — are on every continent. Each day without Internet connectivity is a day of lost opportunity.

Community networks (CNs) are a way to bridge the connectivity gap. The Internet Society has a long history of making a difference in this area. To solve the connectivity challenges, we will refocus and increase our efforts to support CN deployments, train local people so they can do the technical work themselves, and build new communities of interest. To encourage the development and deployment of community networks, we’ll also work to change policies and regulations. Community collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and we will expand our efforts by reaching out to communities in need with and through our partners and current communities of interest.

In 2020, we will continue to engage with our Chapters, Organization Members, individual members, partners, and colleagues. We aim to bring on more local, regional, and global partners, such as existing community networks, international financial and governmental institutions, governmental entities, and individual experts.

Community Networks

Community Networks

The Building Blocks of the Internet: Fostering Infrastructure and Technical Communities

Many countries and regions around the world lack local interoperable, open Internet infrastructure. They don’t have strong local technical and operational communities that can build, support, and scale that infrastructure. Strong infrastructure and communities are complementary building blocks we use to build more and better Internet infrastructure.

This project will focus on Internet exchange point (IXP) development and deployment, and on building the local communities, the pillars of Internet development and growth. At a technical level, we will support the development and deployment of new IXP infrastructure, and the improvement of existing IXPs. We will foster and encourage the local communities and participating individuals who are building, operating, and maintaining the commercial networks, IXPs, research and education networks, and other critical parts of the Internet infrastructure.

Diverse issues and obstacles are bound to come up and we’ll work with governments and local partners, including Internet Society Chapters and Organization Members, to tackle them. Among the issues we’ll tackle, depending on the region, are changes to policies and rules that are barriers for Internet infrastructure development.

Infrastructure and Community Development

Infrastructure and Community Development

Data and Trends: Measuring the Internet

There isn’t a tool or site out there that can give us the measures we’d need to truly understand the Internet’s evolution and health. The world needs a single, identifiable place to find up-to-date data about trends that are shaping the Internet’s infrastructure and the health of the Internet way of networking itself. This project addresses that need.

We’ll start by consuming and processing third-party measurement data, and we’ll use that data to generate and present easy-to-find and simple-to-understand information. A Web-based dashboard will present these trends and contextualize indicators within a narrative of the Internet’s evolution and promotion of the Internet way of networking.

Internet shutdowns and the ripple effect of their disruptions will be another use case for the project. With a goal of making the Internet Society a key source for information about the impact of Internet shutdowns and disruptions through data, information, and insight, we’ll create a dashboard that identifies, tracks, and analyzes these types of events.

Measuring the Internet

Measuring the Internet

Would you like to get involved in any of our Internet Growth projects?

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  • Leading image: NYC Mesh installation, 18 October 2019. © Chris Gregory

  • CN image: Community members of Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo work together with the Internet Society to learn how to use and install the Internet during the Internet Society/ Pu’uhonua O Waimanalo training session on November 14th, 2019. © 2019 Elyse Butler

  • IXPs image: Delegates at the 10th annual African Peering and Interconnection Forum (AfPIF) in Balaclava, Mauritius on 20 August 2019. © Nyani Quarmyne/ Panos Pictures