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Minutes – RIPE NCC General Meeting May 2014

1. Welcome, Preliminaries

The RIPE NCC Executive Board Chairman, Nigel Titley, opened the RIPE NCC General Meeting (GM) at 18:03 (UTC +2) on 14 May 2014 and welcomed attendees.

2. Report from the RIPE NCC

The RIPE NCC reports for the General Meeting were presented in the RIPE NCC Services Working Group at RIPE 68. This took place on 14 May 2014 from 16:00-17:45. General Meeting attendees that were not registered for the RIPE Meeting were welcome to participate in the RIPE NCC Services Working Group session. The RIPE NCC reports were not repeated in the General Meeting.

The update from the RIPE NCC given by Managing Director Axel Pawlik is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/UpdatefromtheRIPENCC.pdf

3. Presentation of the RIPE NCC Financial Report 2013

The RIPE NCC’s Chief Financial Officer, Jochem de Ruig, presented the RIPE NCC Financial Report 2013. The presentation is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/RIPENCCFinancialReport2013.pdf

A member noted that much of the RIPE NCC surplus was down to the large number of new members, and that the average cost per member was lower than the annual membership fee. He asked if there was much discussion on the level of the sign-up fee and the cost per member. He said that if the sign-up fee was reduced there would no longer be a surplus and the RIPE NCC would go into debt.

Jochem said that trying to determine the balance between the level of the sign-up fee and ensuring that expenses are covered by the annual membership fee is a key consideration when developing the Charging Scheme. He said the Executive Board discussed whether the sign-up fee could be lower or higher, and it was decided that the current sign-up fee offers a good balance. He concluded that he and the Executive Board would continue to look at the sign-up fee and trends on new membership applications to ensure the balance was maintained.

A member said that the graph showing cost per member did not show whether the marginal cost per member was increasing or decreasing. He said he it was easy to maintain cost per member by adding more money to the budget when new members joined the RIPE NCC, but he would be uneasy about this being the approach.

Nigel said this was taken into consideration when the budget was being developed and he noted the member’s request for more detail to be provided on this.

A member said that the sign-up fee should remain where it is or even increase to prevent organisations signing up cheaply just to claim a last /22 of IPv4 address space. He also asked why the RIPE NCC was increasing in size despite the fact that the “Run Out Fairly” policy made life easier for the RIPE NCC.

Nigel said that there were many more members and that life at the moment was not necessarily easier. He noted that issues such as address transfers and implementation of 2007-01 required resources. He said that once IPv4 address space started to run out and the number of requests decreased, he hoped the number of staff at the RIPE NCC would fall.

The member said the outreach activities carried out by the RIPE NCC were good and should be continued.

A member said that he wanted to see the RIPE NCC stop accumulating money on bank accounts and reduce the reserves. He noted that by accumulating money on bank accounts, the RIPE NCC lost money on exchange rates in 2013. He recommended that the members who were actively participating at RIPE Meetings and at RIPE NCC General Meetings, either in person or remotely, should benefit from the large reserves. He said new members received free tickets for RIPE Meetings but the people who regularly attend and contribute should also receive some benefit for this.

The RIPE NCC Executive Board Treasurer, Remco van Mook, clarified that the exchange rate loss was a paper loss reflecting a difference between the valuation at the beginning and end of the year. He added that the situation already looks different because the exchange rates have improved.

A member asked if the Executive Board is maximising its returns on government bonds.

Remco said that the Treasury Statute is not tailored towards maximisation but to preservation of funds.

4. Adoption of the Audited RIPE NCC Financial Report 2013

Nigel noted that the first resolution to be voted on was as follows:

"The General Meeting adopts the RIPE NCC Financial Report 2013."

He added that voting for this resolution would take place under Agenda point 10.

5. Discharge of the Executive Board

Nigel noted that the second resolution to be voted on was as follows:

"The General Meeting discharges the Executive Board with regard to its actions as they appear from the Annual Report 2013."

He added that voting for this resolution would take place under Agenda point 10.

6. RIPE NCC Services to Legacy Internet Resource Holders Implementation

The RIPE NCC’s Legal Counsel, Athina Fragkouli, gave a presentation on the RIPE NCC Services to Legacy Internet Resource Holders policy implementation plan. The presentation is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/ImplementationPlanServicestoLegacyHolders.pdf

A member noted that section 2.6 of the RIPE Policy “RIPE NCC Services to Legacy Internet Resource Holders” offered the option of no relationship between the legacy holder and the RIPE NCC. He asked Athina to expand on this option so that members would be aware that this option existed.

Athina confirmed that this option existed.

A member asked if the RIPE NCC has the ability to enforce anything on legacy holders, and Nigel said that the RIPE NCC has no mandate to take any action against legacy holders.

A member asked if the Executive Board could explain how the fee structure for legacy holders had been derived.

Nigel explained that legacy holders who were already members would be charged in the same way as always. He said that legacy holders who became members would not be charged a sign-up fee because the Executive Board wanted to encourage these legacy holders to become RIPE NCC members. He said those who opted to enter into a contract with a sponsoring LIR would be charged EUR 50 per legacy resource because this was in line with the 2007-01 charge of EUR 50 per Provider Independent assignment. He said that the option to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC would involve an annual fee equal to the membership fee as well a sign-up fee. He said that the reason the sign-up fee would be required was because a number of contractual checks and other due diligence measures would be required. He added that it would not be particularly fair to existing RIPE NCC members to ask them to cover the costs of non-members.

The member asked Nigel if it would be easier for a legacy holder to choose the sponsoring LIR option rather than have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC.

Nigel agreed that this was the case and said that the option to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC was provided for those legacy holders who were unable to use any of the other options.

The member said that for the option to go to a sponsoring LIR, the RIPE NCC would still have to carry out the checks that would be necessary for the direct contract option or the LIR itself would have to carry out these checks.

Nigel said that the responsibility for the checks would be with the LIR if the legacy holder chose that option. He said the RIPE NCC would just require that certain contractual conditions were met.

A member said that the discussions at the Address Policy Working Group showed that the RIPE NCC did not trust the LIRs and double-checked the information that came from the LIRs. He said that it appeared as though the RIPE NCC did not want to implement the direct contract option for legacy holders so it added the extra expense to prevent people from choosing the option. He concluded that he would vote No on the RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2015.

Nigel noted that this agenda item was not discussing the Charging Scheme but rather it was discussing the RIPE NCC’s proposed implementation of the RIPE Policy “RIPE NCC Services to Legacy Internet Resource Holders”. He added that because the Charging Scheme was now voted on in the first General Meeting of the year rather than the second, members could vote against the Charging Scheme for 2015 and the Executive Board could present another one at the second General Meeting of the year in November 2014.

A member said that the intention in the policy in providing the direct contract option was to give an option to those legacy holders who could not find a sponsoring LIR rather than for those who had no option whatsoever. He said that the only difference between the sponsoring LIR option and the direct contract option was that the legacy holder would deal with the RIPE NCC directly rather than with a sponsoring LIR. He said the price difference between the two options was quite high considering this.

Nigel said there was a lot more work on the part of the RIPE NCC in dealing directly with the legacy holders.

A member said that the membership fee was discussed two years ago, and the main issue then was how the members would fund the RIPE NCC. He said he was in favour then of having one fee per LIR because it was not necessarily the large LIRs who consumed the most resources from the RIPE NCC. He said he was still in favour of this structure and would like all members to contribute to RIPE Meetings, Internet governance work and all the other activities the RIPE NCC carries out apart from its work with the RIPE Database and address allocation. He concluded that he believed all resource holders should become RIPE NCC members in order to ensure the stability of the current framework well into the future.

Remco asked attendees if they were satisfied with the implementation plan, setting aside the Charging Scheme issue.

A member asked if those choosing the direct contract option would have to pay more than those choosing to become a RIPE NCC member but receive fewer services from the RIPE NCC.

Nigel clarified that this would be the case and that those choosing the direct contract option would only receive registration services.

Invited observer and one of the authors of the RIPE Policy Proposal, Niall O’Reilly, said that the implementation plan proposed by the RIPE NCC was in line with what he and the other authors were hoping for.

Nigel noted that the third resolution to be voted on was as follows:

"The General Meeting approves the proposed implementation plan for the RIPE Policy ‘RIPE NCC Services to Legacy Internet Resource Holders’ as presented and documented by the RIPE NCC."

He added that voting for this resolution would take place under Agenda point 10.

Nigel explained that the RIPE NCC Conflict Arbitration Procedure would need to be amended if the proposed implementation plan for the RIPE Policy on service to legacy Internet resource holders was approved. He noted that the fourth resolution to be voted on was as follows:

"The General Meeting approves the new RIPE NCC Conflict Arbitration Procedure”. 

He added that voting for this resolution would take place under Agenda point 10.

7. RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2015

The RIPE NCC’s Chief Financial Officer, Jochem de Ruig, presented the RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2015. The presentation is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/RIPENCCChargingScheme2015.pdf

A member said he understood the Executive Board’s desire to have a flatter fee structure but he felt that the proposed fee for legacy holders wishing to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC was priced so as not to be used and was not fully implementing the policy. He said it was up to the members to let the RIPE NCC know that the members wanted the RIPE NCC to implement the policy as it was written. He said if the members felt otherwise, then the members needed to go back to the RIPE community and explain why they felt the policy should not be implemented as written. He said he would vote against the Charging Scheme 2015 but that decision was made easier by the fact that a new charging scheme could be presented in November.

A member asked if there were figures on how the fees for legacy holders would influence the budget of the RIPE NCC if the Charging Scheme were to be adopted. He also asked how many legacy holders were currently RIPE NCC members.

Remco said the amount of people who would pay the EUR 50 per legacy resource was practically immeasurable. He said the potential revenue from those who chose a direct contract with the RIPE NCC would be in the region of EUR 100,000. He added that this amounted to roughly 0.5% of the budget.

A member asked what would happen if the Charging Scheme 2015 was rejected by the membership.

Remco said if the Charging Scheme 2015 was rejected, the members should explain what aspects they disagreed with and the Executive Board would return with an amended Charging Scheme 2015 in November. He added that the membership did not seem to be displeased with the proposed 9% reduction in fees that the Charging Scheme 2015 proposed. He concluded that any feedback from the members regarding the Charging Scheme would be welcome. He clarified that if the Charging Scheme 2015 were to be approved, the Executive Board would not propose another charging scheme in November.

The member thanked Remco and said that he did not think the charge for legacy holders to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC reflected the wishes of the RIPE community. He said the RIPE NCC membership should follow the consensus reached in the RIPE community when it approved the RIPE Policy “RIPE NCC Services to Legacy Internet Resource Holders”.  He concluded that all other aspects of the Charging Scheme were commendable.

Remco noted that voting on the Charging Scheme at the first General Meeting of the year was requested by the membersbecause they wanted to have more clarity on what their fees would be for the following year.

A member said that if the option for legacy holders to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC was a bad idea, then the right thing to do is to talk to the RIPE community rather than make it unattractive through the Charging Scheme.

A member disagreed, saying the mistake was that the RIPE community tried to impose a charging structure on the RIPE NCC membership. He said this was outside the scope of RIPE Policy. He said the membership decided some time ago to stop providing some services to non-members and start providing all services to all members. He said he would also like to see a lower annual fee for members, but on the other hand he would also like to ensure a stable RIPE NCC. He noted that those who recently became RIPE NCC members might wonder why they pay the same fee as older members when they only receive one small block of IPv4 address space, so differentiating within the Charging Scheme might open the door to other issues with other parties.

A member encouraged everyone to actually cast their vote regardless of how they felt about the Charging Scheme because this was the formal way to let the Executive Board know what the membership felt about these resolutions. He added that the way the RIPE community developed policy and the Executive Board proposed a Charging Scheme worked very well at present. He said the members could vote against the Charging Scheme if they wished and the Executive Board would then have time to discuss the reasons for the rejection and come up with a new proposal.

A member said that by providing certification for End Users, the RIPE NCC was moving away from providing services to members only. He suggested reducing the difference between the EUR 50 charge per PI assignment and the EUR 1,600 annual membership fee.

A member said he would also like a single-fee charging structure but he would like to know how many people fall into each category for charging for legacy resources, particularly those who are not currently RIPE NCC members and would therefore not be able to vote on the Charging Scheme 2015. He suggested separating items to be voted on within the resolutions so it would be easier for the Executive Board to know exactly what items members disagreed with.

Nigel said that the majority of legacy holders were most likely already RIPE NCC members and the number of people who would want a direct contract with the RIPE NCC would be relatively low.

A member said that his organisation was an NREN and many of his customers were legacy holders who would probably not wish to become members of the RIPE NCC. He said there might be some of them who would also wish to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC.

A member said he would not like resolutions to be voted on in small parts because they were usually interdependent and needed to be voted upon as a whole.

A member disagreed, saying that the relatively small issue of charging legacy holders for a direct contract with the RIPE NCC was now merged with the much larger overall Charging Scheme. He also said the RIPE NCC should not be inflexible in offering services to non-members.

A member said it would be good if members had the option to vote on different charging schemes, including ones with higher fees.

Remco agreed that this would be good but you would then need to decide on the order of the various charging schemes to be voted on, which could also be controversial and might lead to more than one charging scheme being approved.

A member said he was one of the recently joined RIPE NCC members and he did not wish to pay a lower fee but he had PI customers and would rather not have to pay the extra EUR 50 for each one. He said some members made a large number of allocations of PA address space and paid no extra fee while he paid for each PI assignment he made. He concluded that charging for PA allocations might also encourage members not using number resources to return those resources to the RIPE NCC.

Niall O’Reilly said it was difficult to say why people might choose the option to have a direct contract with the RIPE NCC but it should be assumed that they have legitimate reasons. He suggested that RIPE NCC members ask them about their reasoning for choosing that option. He added that the RIPE NCC should also meet the needs of the Internet registry system, and in some ways the members of the RIR community take on some responsibility for the Internet registry system when they become members. He said the Charging Scheme 2015 did not get this balance quite right and he encouraged members to send it back for revision.

Nigel noted that the fifth resolution to be voted on was as follows:

"The General Meeting adopts the RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 2015."

He added that voting for this resolution would take place under Agenda point 10.

8. Report from the Executive Board

The Executive Board Chairman Nigel Titley gave the Report from the Executive Board. The presentation is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/ExecutiveReportGMMay2014.pdf

There were no questions or comments.

9. RIPE NCC Executive Board Elections

The RIPE NCC Executive Board election was to fill three seats. The Executive Board Chairman Nigel Titley introduced the six candidates, who all spoke about their candidacy to the membership:

  • Fahad AlShirawi
  • Maria Häll
  • Christian Kaufmann
  • Piotr Strzyżewski
  • Bjørn Vik
  • Salam Yamout

Fahad announced during his speech that he wished to step down from the Executive Board.

Nigel noted that voting for this election would take place under Agenda point 10.

10. Voting on Resolutions and for Executive Board Seats

The RIPE NCC’s Membership Communications Officer, Fergal Cunningham, explained the voting procedure for the resolutions and for the Executive Board election. The presentation is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/VotingattheRIPENCCGeneralMeeting.pdf

A member asked what the formal procedure was now that Fahad had withdrawn from the election but was still on the ballot.

Nigel said that it was possible that Fahad would be elected and then it would be up to Fahad to decide how he would proceed.  

After rereading the resolutions, Nigel declared voting to be open. The General Meeting adjourned at this point until the announcement of voting results on Thursday, 15 May at 15:45 (UTC +2).

11. Announcement of Resolution and Election Results (Thursday, 15 May at 15:45)

The General Meeting reconvened at 15:45 (UTC +2) on 15 May. The RIPE NCC Executive Board Chairman, Nigel Titley, announced the results of the voting on the resolutions.

All five resolutions were approved by the RIPE NCC membership.

The following three candidates were elected to the RIPE NCC Executive Board:

  • Maria Häll
  • Christian Kaufmann
  • Salam Yamout

The full voting report is available at:

https://www.ripe.net/lir-services/ncc/gm/may-2014/voting-report

12. Close

Nigel Titley thanked the members for their participation and closed the General Meeting at 15:55 (UTC +2) on 15 May.

 

Important Dates
  • 27 Feb - Open GM registration
  • 27 Feb - Call for nominations to Executive Board
  • 27 Feb - Open electronic voting registration
  • 16 Apr - Publish all GM documents, including RIPE NCC Annual Report and Financial Report 2013
  • 23 Apr - Close nominations for Executive Board elections
  • 30 Apr - Deadline for proxy vote nominations
  • 30 Apr - Deadline for members to propose resolutions
  • 30 Apr - Deadline to publish final GM Agenda
  • 13 May - Close registration for electronic voting
  • 14 May - RIPE NCC General Meeting May 2014 begins with main meeting
  • 15 May - RIPE NCC General Meeting May 2014 ends with vote announcement