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RIPE NCC in Danger

Dear colleagues,

more than a week ago we have published the RIPE NCC Activity Plan and
Charging Scheme.  We have also asked for nominations of persons to serve
on the RIPE NCC Association's Executive Board.  Up to now there has been
very little feedback to us and no public discussion whatsoever.  A total
of 1 (one) person has been nominated for the Executive Board.  Only 13
of currently 796 contributors have so far registered for the
contributors committee meeting; that is less than 2% of the

I tend to interpret this data optimistically and conclude that you all
are basically happy with what the NCC is doing and how it is done.  Thus
you see no point to make the time it takes to take part in the
governance of the RIPE NCC.  If this interpretation is true the vote of
confidence is flattering.  However it would be very nice to hear it
explicitly rather than implicitly.  This would make the NCC stand
stronger and make the concept of industry self-regulation all the more

Given the low number of nominations, there is a real danger now that we
will not be able to elect a strong and competent executive board.  It
has become very likely that the executive board will be elected in an
ad-hoc fashion at a meeting of a very few contributors and that there is
no public discussion prior to that election.  This bears the danger of
electing persons who do not really have the necessary time and/or
expertise available to them.  This will make the NCC weaker.  NCC
management needs the executive board as a strong partner in developing
the NCC. 

I am personally quite concerned that the lack of interest in the
governance of the NCC may lead to difficulties in the long run. 
Minorities and/or special interests might gain disproportionate
influence.  The NCC itself may take up momentum in directions the
majority of the contributors do not want. Once this has happened
it is can be very difficult to correct. The amount of effort needed
to keep something on track is far less than to put it back on track
after it has derailed.

I urge all of you to take more of an active interest in these matters
and to nominate proficient people to serve on the executive board.  
We would also appreciate feedback and discussion about the documents
published, in particular the 1998 Activity Plan and Charging Scheme. 
More information can be found at


which contains meeting details and pointers to the relevant documents
and at


which contains an archive of the relevant e-mail messages in case you
have missed them. 

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Daniel Karrenberg
RIPE Community Member
RIPE NCC Manager

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