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RIPE 88 - RIPE Community Plenary Minutes

RIPE Community Plenary Minutes

Date: Thursday, 23 May 2024, 16:00 – 17:30 UTC+2

Chairs: Mirjam Kühne and Niall O'Reilly

Scribe: Ulka Athale

Status: Draft

View the video recordings

View the stenography transcripts

View the chat logs

The RIPE Chair Team Report

Mirjam Kühne, RIPE Chair

The presentation is available at:

Mirjam provided an updated on the RIPE Chair activities such as promoting RIPE. She spoke about recent activities such as the DNS Resolvers BCP Task Force completing a report. She also thanked Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC for his many years of service at APNIC, RIPE 88 being Paul’s last official RIR event as Director General. She also provided a timeline of the upcoming RIPE Chair selection process.

Jim Reid asked if it was a good idea to stagger the terms of the RIPE Chair and Vice Chair rather than to replace them at the same time.

Daniel Karrenberg replied that he was the author of the RIPE document describing the RIPE Chair selection process and this was discussed in-depth when creating that document. The terms were not staggered as the expectation was that the two people chosen form a team and should be replaced together.

Cynthia Revström said that it was a good decision to announce the RIPE Meeting locations further in advance, as it helps with planning.

There were no further questions.

Summary of BoF "Building a Stable Future for the RIPE NCC"

Remco van Mook, Member of the RIPE NCC Executive Board

The presentation is available at:

Remco followed up from the BoF on Building a Stable Future for the RIPE NCC. He plans to share an updated proposed objective for “the RIPE Compact”.

Brian Nisbet, HEAnet, said that there have been examples of open task forces such as diversity. A working group seems to be the wrong vehicle for a discussion like restructuring the NCC. Whoever works on this shouldn’t constrain themselves. They could imitate what was done with diversity with clear objectives and a mailing list.

Franziska Lichtblau said that there should be some structure because without a structure to sort out ideas, set trajectories and have items next to names, there is a tendency to not get much done. There has been feedback that task forces are too closed. The other major feedback is that we need external input, so perhaps an open task force is a good idea but based on some structure.

Jan Žorz, speaking as the BCOP Task Force Chair, said that task forces can be as open or closed as possible. Having a very open task force like BCOP is an option.

Lars Johan Liman, Netnod, cautioned against making changes in a hurry. He said that changes have to be made carefully and it was important to be transparent with the process and learn from others about what works. To him, a working group seems like the right path forward because that provides a structure, names against tasks and transparency. If you move too quickly, it’s a risk that people might feel left out or left behind and it’s very important that the results of this are anchored in as wide a community as possible.

Remco asked what timeline Lars Johan had in mind for this.

Lars Johan replied that it was about four years.

Remco replied that he had 18 to 36 months as a timeline in mind, with his Executive Board member hat on. He said that while they were not in a hurry, dinner was not getting any warmer either.

Lars Johan agreed with him.

Malcolm Hutty said that if there was going to be a fundamental structural change, it would require a very high level engagement and community support. If it is very open without any consensus on what we’re trying to fix, there is a great potential for a very unstructured conversation on people pulling in different directions, because they haven’t agreed on which direction they want to move in. He suggested phasing this process.

The first phase should be about understanding and better documenting where we are and the key features, understanding challenges and what is perceived as problematic. There could then be a deep dive into issues in a more objective fashion so that it’s not about decision-making but producing a report to get the community a common vocabulary and language about what we are discussing. This document can be reviewed, after which we should seek the appropriate structure and if there is consensus in the community about these problems. People might not think there is a problem. There can then be a third and fourth phase where you look for solutions. You can only look for solutions when you have a real idea of what the problem is.

Daniel Karrenberg said that he had been involved in the previous iterations of this process. There were two stages – first finding out what the requirements were and then evaluating possible solutions. These are fundamentally different things. We have had bad experiences with design by committee, and he strongly suggested following Malcolm’s recommendation of having a first phase to gather requirements, and not get into “solutioneering”. The form this takes is less relevant as long as it’s open and transparent and solicits input from the community and beyond.

Remco agreed with Daniel and asked how long this process has taken in the past.

Daniel said those were different times, the first one took three RIPE Meetings – make a set of criteria, agree on the criteria and get volunteers to write the solution with advice from an accountant. There were three RIPE Meetings a year and it was much faster. KPMG provided advice on the text and legal structure and that’s how we ended up as an association.

Tina Morris, AWS, said that she wanted the project to be well-planned and organised, and emphasized the need for strong leadership through a working group or task force. She preferred not to have the development occur loosely over the mailing list, as it is challenging for her to follow due to time zone differences and repetitive discussions. Instead, she suggested a group from the community should come together to organize the project into manageable sections with a clear purpose, share progress openly, ensure consensus, and move forward step by step. She stressed the importance of a core group owning and driving the process to ensure timely progress.

Remco replied that he agreed and that he did not intend to be in the core group by himself.

Andrei Robachevsky mentioned the IANA transition, which was managed well with a structured and accountable team. The current project also needed thorough discussion, which hasn’t taken place yet. The BoF was a good start and he emphasized the need for more open conversations. He suggested starting with a simple mailing list, despite its drawbacks. Andrei agreed with Malcolm that once a problem statement is agreed upon and community consensus is reached, a more structured approach could be adopted, possibly involving consultants to develop the final proposal for change.

Rüdiger Volk said that he planned to stay out of the core content of the work. He said that a typical task force might not meet the requirements for openness and structure needed for this process. He suggested dropping having a specific nomenclature and to essentially have an open working group – just looking at names, the task force or working group is for a specific topic. Further, working groups are often unproductive between in-person meetings which would not provide enough output for what we need.

Remco replied that indeed a lot more iteration was needed than once in every six months during a RIPE Meeting. He said it was important that work continues between meetings and to find a suitable structure, whether a task force or a working group. He said he was indifferent to the specific name or title of the structure but emphasized using predefined settings if they fit, or otherwise adopting a practical approach without creating unnecessary processes. He highlighted the need to proceed deliberately and methodically, avoiding hastiness, but also cautioned against overcomplicating the organizational setup.

Leo Vegoda offered a contrasting view to that of Andrei’s. He said that the success of the IANA transition hasn't been tested yet. He acknowledged that while the IANA team performs excellently operationally and their governance appears stable, the real test will come when something goes wrong. From this perspective, he supported Tina's call for strong leadership and a well-thought-out approach. Leo said that a mailing list would be an inappropriate tool for this purpose and there was a need for highly engaged individuals with the skills Tina mentioned during the BoF.

Shane Kerr said that he had never attended a general meeting and, not working for an LIR, he had tried to distance himself from the discussion because he felt that it wasn't his place to tell an organisation how to run its business and interact with their members. Shane asked about the expectations of the process. He said that there had been discussions about open engagement and including many voices but he was concerned that some voices might hold more weight than others.

Remco replied that one of the main reasons he wanted to bring this back to the community rather than do this inside of the NCC was that this discussion is bigger than something that relates only to the membership. It is about wider structure in which the NCC was set up and in which it operates. If you reflect on the operating landscape and the governments and everything else, these were uninvolved back in 1997. There is a substantial rethink needed, and there might not be a drastically different outcome but it’s important to affirm that we are on the right track.

Benedikt Stockebrand suggested monthly video meetings in addition to the mailing list.

Remco said that he has been subjected to many 40-person Zoom calls and they have not been the most productive but he appreciated Benedikt’s comment.

Tom Hill, British Telecom, pointed out that there had been the extensive discussion about structuring a task force and suggested that it might be beneficial to seek external help. He recommended finding someone with a methodical approach and experience from an impartial perspective outside the community. This would help avoid internal conflicts or endless debates about process and structure. Tom proposed the idea of having someone act between a chair and a program manager. He also referenced a previous external review by KPMG mentioned by Daniel and inquired if there was room for such an approach once proposals are set.

Remco said that expert advice was crucial, particularly legal counselling. He agreed that there was structure required and said that getting someone external to sort and enforce an agenda and timeline was important. He added that he appreciated everyone’s contributions.

ASO AC Update and 2024 Perspective

Hervé Clement, ASO AC Chair

The presentation is available at:

Hervé shared an overview of the work being carried out by the ASO AC, chiefly the review of the ICP-2 document that outlines the criteria for the creation of new Regional Internet Registries. The review will take place over 2024 and 2025.

Sander Steffann, a former ASO AC member, explained that he resigned from the ASO AC in order to be eligible for the RIPE NCC Executive Board election, which required his resignation prior to the election. Although he couldn't complete his term, Sander offered to assist his former colleagues whenever needed.

Daniel Karrenberg thanked Hervé and commented that it was an ICANN-style presentation - full of process but thin on content. He asked Hervé what was required to strengthen ICP-2 and share more information on where things are going and not just in terms of process.

Hervé replied that the criteria for ICP-2 are available on the ICANN website such as being a not-for-profit organisation, having primary functions such as delegating resources, and managing those resources responsibly, and there are discussions about the size required to function as a regional registry. He said the document was public and contains more detailed examples and core criteria.

Rüdiger referenced the plenary presentation by Randy Bush at the previous RIPE Meeting, which highlighted ICP-2. He wanted to clarify whether ICP-2 addressed concerns about sustainability and stability of the overall system under adverse conditions. Rüdiger wondered if these considerations were already part of the ongoing discussions. He also recalled discussions involving Remco and asked about potential relationships and preparations for adverse conditions at both the global and European levels.

Hervé said that he couldn't speak specifically about the European level but acknowledged the legitimacy of the questions. He noted that the NRO NC / ASO AC had requested an update of the criteria. This involves consolidating updates and correspondence over time, which is a necessary step. The other step is to be able to use these criteria not only for the creation but also for the entire lifecycle of an internet registry. This, he believed, would address part of the questions raised.

There were no further questions.

35 Years of RIPE

Mirjam Kühne, RIPE Chair and Niall O'Reilly, RIPE Vice-Chair

The presentation is available at:

Mirjam shared that the previous day marked 35 years since the very first RIPE Meeting, held on 22 May 1989 in Amsterdam. She mentioned that 40th anniversary of EARN, marked at the South East Europe meeting in Greece a few weeks earlier. She thanked everyone in the community who has contributed to it over the years, making a special mention of Daniel Karrenberg, Arnold Nipper and Rüdiger Volk who were present at RIPE 1 and are still active participants.

She invited everyone to enjoy some cake.

Blake Willis asked if there will be stickers of the 35 years of RIPE logo.

The session was concluded with cake.