Growing the Internet 27 June 2023

Internet Society Announces Global Partnership with Meta to Grow the Internet and Strengthen Local Ecosystems

Washington, D.C., 27 June 2023 – The Internet Society, a global nonprofit organization that promotes the development and use of an open, globally connected and secure Internet, today announced a partnership with Meta to develop local Internet ecosystems and strengthen cross-border interconnections globally.

The announcement marks the expansion of the Internet Society–Meta relationship that initially focused on expanding Internet connectivity in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America through the development of Internet exchange points (IXPs). The partnership will now encompass multiple areas of work globally, including training technical communities and measuring Internet resilience in countries around the world.

IXPs are where Internet service providers connect to exchange local traffic. They enable Internet traffic to be exchanged locally instead of abroad. Messages, videos, and other Internet traffic can sometimes travel thousands of miles to get to a destination a few blocks away. Traffic exchanged locally results in faster, more affordable, and reliable Internet access.

The Internet Society and Meta have supported the development of IXPs in multiple countries including the first IXP in the Maldives and Pakistan. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now has three IXPs while Burkina Faso has two that exchange close to 40Gb/s. As a result, network operators in Burkina Faso are saving on international Internet capacity costs. The savings can now be redirected to extend access and upgrade network infrastructure. 

Recent events–a global pandemic, natural disasters, and Internet shutdowns–have highlighted the importance of a resilient Internet. Partnerships that bring together technical knowledge, capabilities, and resources can make a tangible impact in narrowing the connectivity gap, and collaborations such as this play a key role in expanding Internet access.”
Michuki Mwangi, Distinguished Technologist, Internet Growth, Internet Society

The partnership over the next three years will address issues that include:

  • Barriers to affordable, quality Internet access. In many places, Internet access is marked by slow speeds, high costs, and unreliable service, delaying the adoption and growth of local Internet ecosystems.
  • The absence of adequate local technical capacity to build and maintain Internet infrastructure. Local technical communities are essential to sustainable local Internet ecosystems through the provision of an essential platform for increasing the pool of local technical experts and knowledge sharing, as well as increased innovation for addressing community-specific issues.
  • A lack of comprehensive aggregation and analysis of trusted Internet data for understanding the health, availability, and evolution of the Internet. This information is critical for better informing policy and infrastructure development and decision making for improving Internet ecosystems.
Meta is excited to continue supporting the Internet Society as they serve as an important partner, supporting an open, efficient and secure Internet. Our partnership with the Internet Society complements Meta’s infrastructure investments like subsea cables that help make the internet ecosystem more reliable and lower the overall cost of providing Internet access.”
Aaron Russell, Head of Edge Infrastructure, Meta
About the Internet Society

Founded in 1992 by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society is a global nonprofit organization working to ensure the Internet remains a force for good for everyone. Through its community of members, special interest groups, and 120+ chapters around the world, the organization defends and promotes Internet policies, standards, and protocols that keep the Internet open, globally connected, and secure. For more information, please visit

About Meta

Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. When Facebook launched in 2004, it changed the way people connect. Apps like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp further empowered billions around the world. Now, Meta is moving beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like augmented and virtual reality to help build the next evolution in social technology.

Media Contact

Allesandra de Santillana, Internet Society
[email protected]

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