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Minutes RIPE NCC GM 1995

RIPE NCC Contributors Committee
2nd Meeting
Minutes
____________________________________________________




Second Metting of the

RIPE NCC Contributors Committee

Minutes
Document: ripe-132



The meeting was called by Steve Druck, TERENA vice
president for services, and held on September 1st
1995 at the Hilton Hotel Schiphol Airport, Amster-
dam, Netherlands.

These minutes were prepared by Mirjam Kuehne and
Daniel Karrenberg of the RIPE NCC.

Participants


Bernward Averwald de.roka
Jens Baedeker de.csl-gmbh
Lajos Balint hu.hungarnet
Stephan Biesbroeck be.belnet
Antonio-Blasco Bonito it.garr
Daniel David de.ipf
Jim Dixon uk.vbcnet
Steve Druck TERENA (Chairman)
Lubos Elias sk.sanet
Yoshiko Chong Fong APNIC (Observer)
Daniel Karrenberg RIPE NCC
Rolf Krause de.roka
Mirjam Kuehne RIPE NCC (Minutes)
Siegfried Langenbach de.csl-gmbh
Humberto Lucas fr.eunet
Javed Mirza uk.cabletel
Isabelle Morel fr.renater
Kees Neggers nl.surfnet
Svend Moeller Nielsen dk.tbit
Arnold Nipper de.xlink
Mike Norris ie.heanet
Juergen Rauschenbach de.dfn
Pavel Rosendorf cz.eunet
Miguel A. Sanz es.rediris
Ian Smith uk.janet
Oliver Smith uk.demon
Nigel Titley uk.bt
Pavel Vachek cz.cesnet
Peter Villemoes dk.denet fi.funet no.uninett ...

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Wim Vink eu.eunet
Olle F. Wallner se.swipnet
Wilfried Woeber at.aconet



Apologies

The following people had sent their apologies prior
to the meeting:

Rob Blokzijl RIPE
Henk Hofs nl.ibm
Willi Huber ch.switch
Eric Malmstrom se.transpac
Joy Marino it.itnet
Olivier Martin CERN (sponsor)
Axel Pawlik de.eunet
Ivan Sedinic hr.hpt
Cliff Stanford uk.demon
Agathoclis Stylianou cy.univ
Dimitris Zisiadis gr.forthnet



1. Welcome & Preliminaries

Steve Druck welcomed the participants was elected to
chair the meeting. He welcomed Yoshiko Chong Fong
of the Asian Pacific NIC as an observer to the meet-
ing.

Wim Vink asked to re-add discussion of the Terms of
Reference. He explained that he wished to discuss
the voting procedures. This was added as point 7.

Later the discussion about waiving fees (original
point 6) was moved ahead of the charging scheme
(original point 5).














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Agenda

The final agenda for the meeting:


1 Welcome, Selection of Chair for Meeting
Steve Druck, TERENA VP for Services

2 NCC Activity Report Q1-Q3/95
Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC Manager
Presentation of reports already given.
For information and comments.

3 NCC Financial Report Q1-Q3/95
Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC Manager
Presentation of Q1/Q2 Report plus then avail-
able Q3 results.
For information and comments.

4 NCC Activity Plan and Expenditure 1996
Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC Manager
Proposal sent out July 31st.
For discussion and decision.

5 Procedures for Waiving of NCC Fees
Steve Druck, TERENA VP for Services
See discussion on mailing list.

6 NCC Charging Scheme 1996
Daniel Karrenberg, RIPE NCC Manager
Proposal sent out July 31st.
For discussion and decision.

7 Contributors Committee Terms of Reference
Wim Vink, eu.eunet
Voting Procedures
To start discussion.
















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2. NCC Activity Report, Q1-Q3/1995

Documents

"RIPE NCC Expenditure Planning 1995"
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/ncc-exp.ps
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/ncc-exp.txt

"Short (Monthly) Reports"
as sent to the mailing list.


Workload

The registration services workload is still increas-
ing beyond the expectations on which the 1995 budget
was based. There are currently 253 LIRs. This
reflects the general boom in the Internet business.
Consequently demands on registration services have
been much bigger than expected and planned for.

The NCC has given registration services priority
since the customers depend on this for their busi-
nesses. As a consequence other activities are suf-
fering significantly.


Actions

NCC is striving to automate as many standard activi-
ties as possible. A number if immediate actions
have been taken to deal with this situation:

o A request ticketing system has been implemented
and deployed.

o A request tracking (workflow management) sys-
tems is being implemented.

o A one day training course for new LIRs has been
developed. Presented 3 of them already, have
scheduled more.



Staffing

With the revised budget (see below) the NCC has pro-
ceeded to hire junior staff for registration ser-
vices.

o Have signed contract with Hatice Kuey from
Turkey in May, but have problems to get work
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permit for her due to recent change in Dutch
employment law. TERENA is pursuing this with
the Dutch authorities at the highest level.

o Els Willems started July 1995

o Nick Reid started 28th August 1995

o Have advertised for and will hire at least one
more part-time junior hostmaster this year.


NCC has lost a senior hostmaster (Anne Lord) who
went back to the UK to work for an ISP. NCC has
advertised fo her position, hope to replace her in
October.


NCC has advertised for deputy manager. The number
of useful applications was very limited. After
intensive negotiations no candidate fitting the
required profile remained. The plan is to change
the profile in the direction of a "business manager"
and to drop the required experience in Internet ser-
vice provision.


Other Activities

Implemented the new charging scheme together with
new procedures for invoicing and feedback to the
service level. This is automated to the maximum
extent possible now. This has cost more resources
than expected but has been highly successful.


New tool developed for reverse delegation requests;
automatic checking of zones before forwarding to
person who then delegates the reverse domains.


Discussion

Steve Druck reports that he is giving guidance to
the NCC concerning work flow management and supports
to expend the necessary funds for this activity.

Ian Smith, Kees Neggers and others suggest to change
the profile of the Deputy Manager position in the
direction of a business manager. Daniel Karrenberg
agrees.


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3. NCC Financial Report Q1-Q3/1995

Documents

"Audited Accounts 1994"
as circulated on the mailing list.

"RIPE NCC Expenditure Planning 1995"
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/ncc-exp.ps
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/ncc-exp.txt

"RIPE NCC Revenue 1995"
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/ncc-reven.ps
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/ncc-reven.txt


1994

The audited accounts of 1994 show a surplus of
40kECU. However at the end of Q1/1995 there were
still more than 80kECU in unpaid invoices outstand-
ing. At the present this is still slightly more
than 60kECU. The bulk of this is from LIRs no
longer in operation and sponsorships. Conclusion:
1994 will probably be closed with a slight loss and
no reserves.


Q1/1995

During Q3/94 and Q1/95 there was no agreed charging
scheme. NCC management and TERENA agreed that new
staff could not be hired on this unsecure basis.


Q2/1995

The situation changed drastically in a positive way.
The charging scheme was agreed. The funding depen-
dent service levels and tighter billing and invoic-
ing procedures started working. At the end of Q2
there were commitments for 700kECU and 443kECU have
been received (more than expenditure budget). As a
consequence of this and the increased workload a
revised expenditure budget raising total expendi-
ture from 407kECU to 529kECU has been proposed by
NCC management and approved by the committee and
TERENA. The bulk of the additional expenditure is
going into registration services.




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Q3/1995

The cash flow situation continues to be excellent
and according to expectations. Secondary indicators
such as the commitment ratio are improving.



Discussion


Olle Wallner asked what kind of pressure does the
RIPE NCC have for people that are not paying (apart
from denying them service). Daniel Karrenberg
answered that the model of two different service
levels is very successful. Also customers now sign
a formal agreement committing them to pay up. Kees
Neggers adds that it is clearly expressed in the
agreement every LIR signs that the customer agrees
to pay a financial contribution. There is also men-
tioned that the service can be decreased. Customer
takes the risk that he will not receive any service.


Olle Wallner asked who picks up a cash flow deficit
when it is established. Steve Druck explained that
TERENA would be taking the risk if there would be no
reserves inside the RIPE NCC cost center, this is
the reason why TERENA insists on building reserves.
We may not always be able to recover money, LIRs may
not exist anymore.


Ian Smith asked if it is not time to pursue those
who have not paid last year. Daniel Karrenberg
explained that TERENA and the RIPE NCC have done
this as much as possible: the total went down from
100 kECU to 60 kECU. The remaining bad debts are
difficult to chase because they are mainly
unhonoured sponsorships and registries not operating
anymore. He adds that this is difficult because
there were no formal agreements in 1994.

Ian Smith asked about the scale of the safety-net
for the RIPE NCC Daniel Karrenberg referred to the
distributed documents: 592 kECU in the bank now, 529
kECU planned expenditure 1995, commitments for 873
kECU expected by the end of 1995. We expect to
close this year with >300kECU reserves.

Kees Neggers expresses that a deficit would really
be the responsibility of the contributors committee
as the TOR states that the contributors take joint
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responsibility for financing the services and opera-
tions of the RIPE NCC.

Wim Vink asks what the liabilities for 1996 are.
Daniel Karrenberg replies that the employment
related liabilities are 380kECU assuming the sched-
uled termination of limited time contracts and ful-
fillment of indefinite contracts for the whole year.
He cannot say whether the last assumption is realis-
tic. Other liabilities have not been explicitly
evaluated but are regarded to be insignificant in
comparison.


4. NCC Activity Plan and Expenditure 1996

Documents

"RIPE NCC Activity Plan"
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/docs/ripe-125.ps
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/docs/ripe-125.txt

"RIPE NCC Activities & Expenditure 1996"
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/exp96.ps
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/exp96.txt


The "RIPE NCC Activity Plan" defines the activities
of the RIPE NCC desired by the RIPE community.
Based on that document the RIPE NCC manager
describes the activities which the NCC will be able
to carry out in 1996 and specifies the resources
needed. This has been circulated in July as "RIPE
NCC Activities & Expenditure 1996" The NCC Contribu-
tors Committee then produces compulsory advice to
TERENA about the activities they wish to see car-
ried out and the resources they will commit for this
as per point 3.2 of the committee's terms of refer-
ence.

Daniel Karrenberg gives a short summary of "RIPE NCC
Activities & Expenditure 1996": The main challenges
are consolidation of registration services and re-
start of technical activities neglected in 1995.
All activities are described in the document. Not
all activities can be executed. Some are no longer
needed. The total of the planned expenditure is
916kECU, 61% of which will be for registration ser-
vices.




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Discussion & Decisions


Wim Vink asked if junior hostmasters are clerically
or technically educated and suggested to introduce
different working levels inside registration ser-
vices. Daniel Karrenberg explained that this is
already being implemented. NCC will go towards two
levels of support staff for registration services.
The new junior hostmasters have a clerical back-
ground but the hiring profile requires an aptitude
to also learn technical issues. Since the purely
clerical cases are mainly dealt with by LIRs the NCC
staff has to have some technical insight.

Blasco Bonito: activity 3.10 PRIDE Tool maintenance:
This is very important for the European Internet,
the tools have been developed at the RIPE NCC, we
should take this opportunity and start new activity
in this field, it should be possible to find a way
of financing this activity. After some other
remarks in the same vein there was consensus that
the RIPE NCC has an important role in the develop-
ment of the European Internet and should take a
proactive role to influence technical development.

It was discussed if technical projects should become
core activities and funded by all contributors or if
this kind of activity should only be funded by some
contributors that are interested in a certain tech-
nical project. It was agreed that the activity to
track developments, coordinate developments and pro-
pose larger project plans (4.4) should remain in the
activity plan. The contributors can then decide if
they all want to fund a project or if it will be
funded by a subset of the contributors. It was not
recommended to decrease one of the other activities
instead. The RIPE NCC should put its energy in
finding a deputy or business manager. The RIPE NCC
needs a person that can relief Daniel Karrenberg
from administrative tasks, so that he can again con-
centrate on technical projects.

The activity to keep a record of operational contact
points has no resources allocated in the current
plan. Stefan Biesbroeck suggests it could be help-
ful to provide coordination in this area. Daniel
Karrenberg explains that he regards the existing
database objects and mailing lists as sufficient. He
agrees coordination could be better but asks for
suggestions of concrete activities, besides main-
taining mailing lists, the routing registry and try-
ing to bring ISPs in contact with each other when
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needed.

Steve Druck about activity 3.1: NCC serves larger
area (not only Europe). What is the geographical
scope of the RIPE NCC? After some discussion it was
agreed that an exact specification of the area is
not needed at this point. It was suggested to
expand the description of activity 3.1 to say
"serves Europe and the surrounding area".

Blasco Bonito missed activities on reverse delega-
tion that the RIPE NCC do and suggested to mention
this activity explicitly. It was agreed to explic-
itly mention this task in activity 3.1.

Blasco Bonito proposes to add resources to activity
3.2 in order to use more modern technologies for
searches in DB. Daniel Karrenberg explains that
sufficient resources are included in activity 4.1.

Kees Neggers proposed different presentation for
activities to clarify the relation between the
expenditure budget and the activities. Daniel Kar-
renberg explained that the description of activities
and the budgeting follows ripe-125. The correspon-
dences between activities and budget lines are
explained in the text of "RIPE NCC Revenue & Charg-
ing 1996". He agreed to include a table showing the
correspondence between activities and budget lines
in the final version of that document. He will also
make sure that this is better aligned in 1997 bud-
geting.

Mike Norris and Juergen Rauschenbach suggested that
the current model of IANA - RIRs - LIRs might not be
sufficient; maybe another level of hierarchy below
the NCC could be introduced to decrease workload for
the RIPE NCC. Daniel Karrenberg explains that this
has not been pursued yet because it will make it
more difficult to maintain homogeneous assignment
criteria and procedures. This has to be introduced
carefully. It definitely is on the agenda for 1997
and procedures should be discussed within RIPE.

At this point consensus is reached about the activi-
ties. It is agreed to take the formal decision
about the expenditure after the charging scheme is
agreed.





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5. Procedures for Waiving of NCC Fees

The committee has discussed issue on the mailing
list. Daniel Karrenberg circulated the list of
options he had developed together with a short sum-
mary of pros and cons.


Discussion & Decisions

After a short but intensive discussion there was
consensus that NCC fees should not be waived for
anyone anymore. Every LIR should pay the appropri-
ate fee. The rationale being that sufficient
sources are available for those in real need of
sponsorship. It was agreed that it is not the task
of the contributors as a group to sponsor networking
activities nor is it the task of the NCC to evaluate
requests for sponsorship.


6. NCC Charging Scheme 1996

Documents

"RIPE NCC Revenue & Charging 1996"
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/inc96.ps
ftp://ftp.ripe.net/ripe/new-registry/ncc-co/inc96.txt



Daniel Karrenberg summarises "RIPE NCC Revenue &
Charging 1996" which proposes to continue the cur-
rent model for 1996 with a decrease of all ISP reg-
istry fees by 25%.

He regrets that no usage based charging scheme could
be prepared because of lack of resources. The NCC
has looked a different options (allocation rate,
request rate, time spent) but had no time to seri-
ously keep track of the data and to prepare differ-
ent models. Also no serious feedback was received
on questions to the committee about the basic
assumptions for the usage based charging.

Daniel notes that other RIRs are moving towards
charging models similar to the one currently imple-
mented at the RIPE NCC.

He also notes that only slightly more than 50% of
the expected income from sign-up fees is used for
activities specifically directed at new registries.
Nonetheless he proposes not to decrease sign up fees
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because they form an effective discouragement
against the establishment of many very small reg-
istries especially towards the end of the year when
regular fees are low.

The predicted revenue in the document is still valid
when corrected with more recent numbers; there are
slightly less registries than expected, but the com-
mitment rate is higher.


Discussion & Decisions

Humberto Lucas and Wim Vink expressed that they are
happy with the service of the RIPE NCC but that they
are worried about the status of the usage based
charging scheme. The RIPE NCC has financial
resources but did not manage to put usage based
charging scheme in place. Wim Vink added that he
considers it not acceptable that there was no time
to prepare a usage based charging model and sug-
gested that a consultant could have been hired.

Daniel Karrenberg repeats that he regrets this as
well and adds that the RIPE NCC is still in a catch
up mode, he re prioritised activities to serve cus-
tomers, other activities had to suffer from this.
There was only a stable funding since May. He
explained that the situation would not be solved by
hiring a consultant. Without sufficient data col-
lected a consultant could not have done very much.

Arnold Nipper described how usage based charging has
been implemented at the DENIC: 20% equally split
over all customers, rest is dependent on usage (how
many domains requested). Daniel Karrenberg
explained registering domains is largely administra-
tive. The technical registration work can be highly
automated as the NCC has recently done with reverse
DNS delegations. This cannot be directly compared to
second level evaluation of IP address requests.
Arnold agreed. Daniel also reported that he knows
the DENIC charging scheme and plans to incorporate
elements from it in the NCC proposals if they are
applicable.

Wilfried Woeber noted that it was already known for
two months that the NCC will not present a usage
based charging scheme at this meeting, the proposal
on the table was also presented. Nobody else has
proposed a model. He adds that any charging scheme
must produce verifyable bills that can stand up to
auditing by the auditors of the contributors.
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Steve Druck said that everything that is not as
unstable as the situation at the beginning of 1995
is acceptable for TERENA.

After more suggestions and discussions there was
consensus not to re-open the issue of whether usage
based charging should be introduced at all, but to
have the NCC develop concrete proposals first.
Everyone was encouraged to participate as much as
possible in the development of such models.

The issue of the "time permitting" service level was
raised. Daniel Karrenberg reports that currently
this is equivalent to no service. After some dis-
cussion Kees Neggers proposed a change for 1996:
Organisations that have signed a contract with the
RIPE NCC but do not pay as well as organisations
that do not sign a contract with the RIPE NCC should
not receive any service from the RIPE NCC. The risk
for the Internet is bigger with an unstable NCC than
with some organisations that do not receive service
from the RIPE NCC.

Ian Smith asked what the consequences were for the
Internet when the RIPE NCC does not serve people.
Would this destroy the Internet regarding to CIDR?
Would this create possible multiple address assign-
ments? Daniel Karrenberg explains that the RIPE NCC
has a de-facto monopoly for address space assign-
ments in Europe. He expects complaints and accusa-
tions of building a cartel if we do not provide
basic service for free. However Internet wide opin-
ion on this issue is certainly changing in favour of
cost recovery for all such services. Double assign-
ments are not likely to be caused by this move.

After through discussion it was agreed to abandon
the "time permitting" service level. This means that
the RIPE NCC will provide registration services only
to registries in good standing, i.e. agreement
signed and no overdue payments.

Kees Neggers raised the question regarding the sta-
tus of Last Resort LIRs that do not contribute to
the RIPE NCC. He suggested that they should either
be closed or pay a normal fee. Daniel Karrenberg
agreed that Last Resort LIRs can be closed as most
of them do not serve a useful purpose since enough
provider registries are available and addresses
should be aggregatable anyway. It was agreed that
closing Last Resort LIRs is a good idea and that
those remaining should pay a contribution according
to the appropriate category.
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There is also consensus that the amount of the sign
up fee shall not be decreased in 1996. Even if not
all money is spend on explicit activities for new
registries. The rationale being that new registries
do provide additional workload on the RIPE NCC in
the beginning.

EUnet stated that they are still convinced that they
pay too much in comparison with other contributors.
After a lively discussion it was agreed to introduce
a new registry category dubbed "supernational".
Daniel Karrenberg raised that the agreement with
EUnet last year was made without a decision about
operational impacts. This left some ambiguities to
be resolved by the NCC. He would not like this to
happen again. Therefore the operational impacts of
the new category need to be clearly defined.

At this point the chair called a short break during
which a small group proposed the following defini-
tion of the "supernational" category:

o Pays a fee of n times the fee for the LARGE
category, where n is an integer >=2.

o The "maximum" number of contact points to the
NCC is equal to n.

o The "maximum" address space allocation for a
"supernational" registry is n times the normal
maximum (currently /16) for n<5 and 1.5 times n
for n>=5.

o For n>=5 there is a 10% discount to the total
fee.
(This was later deleted)


Daniel Karrenberg stressed that the address alloca-
tion figures are "maximum" values and allocations
are still determined by documented need and subject
to normal allocation rules.

Kees Neggers was against any discount: there is
already a discount of 25% for everybody. After a
lively discussion it became clear that consensus on
a discount could not be reached. At that point Ian
Smith proposed to reduce the fee for large LIRs to
8,500ECU as this would produce the effect desired by
EUnet while being applied equitably. This was
agreed.


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So the agreed charging scheme for 1996 is now:

+----------------------------------------------+
| Category 1995 Fee 1996 Fee |
+----------------------------------------------+
| |
|Supernational ISP n*8500 |
| Large ISP 12000 8500 |
| Medium ISP 6000 4500 |
| Small ISP 2000 1500 |
| |
| Enterprise 1000 1000 |
| |
| Last Resort 0 1500/4500/8500 |
| |
| Sign-Up Fee 2000 2000 |
+----------------------------------------------+

At this point the "RIPE NCC Activities & Expenditure
1996" was also formally agreed with the amendments
agreed earlier.


7. Contributors Committee Terms of Reference

Discussion


Wim Vink raised the issue of voting procedures: Vot-
ing should be proportional to contributions.
Isabelle Morel seconded that proposal. Kess Neggers
explained that the contributors committee does not
vote, because it is a consortium, that works by con-
sensus, based on the money committed. Wim Vink was
satisfied with this.

Wim Vink then proposed to form a board that meets
more often than once a year, is more active and can
provide more continuous guidance. Daniel Karrenberg
appreciated this idea. Steve Druck will send E-mail
on the contributor's list asking for volunteers who
are willing to advise TERENA and can find the time
to meet around three additional times a year. He
expects that these meetings would take place immedi-
ately before a TERENA executive committee meeting to
provide input to that meeting.







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