The 50/50 Vision:

An Ambitious Plan for Localizing Internet Traffic

50/50 Vision Blog - 20 May, 2022

Most people rely on the Internet without giving much thought to what makes it work or who makes it possible. Its stability gives us stability and freedom, allowing us to move seamlessly between our offline and online lives. But globally, approximately three billion people are still unconnected to the Internet, especially in developing and least-developed countries. Other parts of the world struggle with inadequate local infrastructure, making Internet access slow, expensive, unreliable, and impractical.

The Internet Society has been helping address connectivity gaps for many years, including building and supporting IXPs to improve traffic flow and helping people get cheaper, faster, and better service. Working in collaboration with local champions, we have made a lot of progress. In 2021, we supported six new IXPs in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Mexico, Pakistan, and Peru. We also strengthened 20 existing IXPs by donating equipment and providing technical training. We're continuing that work this year, and plan to develop at least three new IXPs, strengthen 10 existing IXPs, and amplify the efforts of IXP development organizations like Euro-IX by supporting their work.
This year we're also introducing our 50/50 Vision—an ambitious but achievable strategy to rally multi-stakeholder efforts and international and national resources to ensure that at least 50% of all locally generated traffic in selected economies remains local by 2025. Reaching this ambitious target will strengthen Internet quality and reduce access costs for individuals.
We've seen that this is possible. Starting in 2010, we worked in collaboration with the African Peering and Interconnection Community on a vision to have 80% of African Internet traffic locally accessible by 2020. A 2012 study established a baseline at IXP hubs in Kenya and Nigeria, and a follow-up study in 2020 showed that levels of local traffic jumped from 30% to 70%. The effort helped increase understanding of the impact of peering on the local infrastructure. While not 80%, it did lead to significant cost savings for participating networks and put these two countries in a stronger position to participate in the digital economy. Meanwhile, South Africa localized over 80% of its local traffic, and now enjoys stable, resilient, high quality, and affordable Internet.
This year, we are expanding our work beyond Africa. We'll select key economies across the world where IXPs can play a fundamental role in ensuring that the under- and un-connected have faster, cheaper, and more resilient Internet access.
We hope you will join us as we develop our vision more fully and build an action plan to support it. We will seek regional input on how we can improve policy and regulatory processes, foster relationships with IXPs and technical communities, attract investment into local Internet ecosystems, and more. We'll reach out periodically with our progress, but in the meantime please reach out to us at if you'd like to get more involved.


Internet Society - ISOC

The Internet Society is a Patron of Euro-IX