IXPs: Building, Sustaining, and Governing Them

23 October 2013 - A Workshop on Access in Bali, Indonesia

Internet Governance Forum 2013

Workshop # 49 Report

IXPs: Building, Sustaining, and Governing Them

Organizer Name 


Organizer Entity 

Internet Society (ISOC)

Workshop Theme 

The Internet as an Engine for Growth and Advancement

Consise description 

Internet Infrastructure Development and international Internet Connectivity. 

Paragraph 50 of the Tunis agenda called "for the development of strategies for increasing affordable global connectivity," and also highlighted the importance of "setting up sub-regional and regional Internet exchange points (IXPs).  For over twenty years, the Internet community, technical experts, intergovernmental organizations, and policy-makers and regulators have been involved in developing and establishing IXPs.  IXPs can help keep local traffic local, improve user experience, reduce latency, and increase content delivery speeds.  Their development builds communities of interest and technical expertise, brings experts and policy makers together to better understand their role in the Internet ecosystem, and creates bottom-up governance models that sustain and maintain them.  Our panel will bring together a group of experts and practitioners who will discuss their experience in building communities to run IXPs, business and governance models, training needs, and the importance of stakeholder partnerships.  Discussion will also focus on the role that IXPs play in the Internet ecosystem and the importance of local and regional solutions for sustainability.  Active audience and remote participation will be encouraged.





Jane Coffin and Mike Jensen

Remote Moderator 

Alejandro Acosta, Venezuela

Have you organized workshops at previous IGFs?


Workshop format 


Workshop Transcript 


Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions 

Jane Coffin (ISOC) and Nurani Nimpuno (Netnod) organized this workshop in partnership with the panelists who generously participated in the organization of and participation in the workshop at the IGF 2012.  Panelists included:  Nurani Nimpuno (Netnod), Bevil Wooding (PCH), Sebastian Bellagamba (ISOC), Martin Levy (Hurricane Electric), Moez Chakchouk (Tunisia), Byron Holland (CIRA), Mike Jensen (consultant and modrator). and Dan McGarry (Pacific Institute of Public Policy).  The workshop was aimed at providing practical information and operational experience from those that run, develop, peer with, and/or manage Internet exchange points.  It also provided insight into the difficulties to bringing together IXP participants and the import negotiations and "diplomatic" aspects of creating and maintaining a successful IXP.  Main issues: (1)  IXPs are about partnerships, community building, and trail and error. (2) bottom-up community created IXPs are more sustainable than "the build it and they will come IXPs" (3) a neutral third-party often will help negotiate a balanced outcome (4) building awareness and "trust" can take longer than expected and social engineering is key to the success of the IXP.  

A highlight of the workshop was the participation of the Diplo Foundation and a related blog they published about the workshop:  http://www.diplomacy.edu/blog/it-diplomacy-stupid

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and further comments 

-Partnerships are critical to IXP development.
-Negotiating and social engineering play a significant role in IXP start-up
-Building awareness and "trust" can take longer than anticiptate.
-Technical capacity development is an important community by-product of the IXP.
-IXPs have an impact on the local economy and content development.
-Diplomacy, negotiations, and persuasion are all factors in reaching a sustainable outcome
-IXPs are part of an ecosystem that forms baseline infrastructure

Reported by 

Jane Coffin and Nurani Nimpuno

Estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session 

About half of the participants were women

To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment? 

It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised

Discussion affecting gender equality and women's empowerment 

Note that reomote participation was extremely difficult and did not function well during the workshop.

Workshops Staticals 
Number of FEMALE participantsNumber of MALE participantsNumber of Young participantsNumber of Developing Countries ParticipantsNumber of Developed Countries ParticipantsNumber of LDCs participantsNumber of TOTAL Participants
26 72 1 6 10 1 98