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Stenography Transcripts

General meeting

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

At 6 p.m.:

NIGEL TITLEY: Could I call the meeting to order, please. Welcome everyone to the RIPE NCC general meeting, May 2018. This is the welcome. The report from the RIPE NCC has already been given by Axel in the NCC services group, and so now we move on to the report from the Executive Board, which is me.

This is the report from the RIPE NCC Executive Board which I give at every members' meeting, I am Nigel Titley and I am chairman of the Executive Board. The other Executive Board members are Remco, at the far end there. Christian, who I remember this time. Dmitry Burkov, who is there, Maria Hall, who is there, Salam Yamout and Janos over there. In alphabetical order of last names so nothing special about that.

Right, just to note Remco is the treasurer, Christian is the secretary, Dmitry looks after ICANN liaison, which means he gets the joy of going to ICANN meetings. Lets run through what we have done since the last general meeting. We have had two Executive Board meetings, one on the 14th December last year and one on the 23rd march this year, and you can always find the minutes of the board meetings, they are published on the RIPE website and completely transparent, summary of the decisions is also published just in case you can't read the whole time and these are always published within two weeks of the meeting. That is one of the rules we have.

And of course we welcome comments on the minutes to help with our discussions and we occasionally get comments, which is really nice. And you can talk to us preferably via the members discuss list.

What happened in December? Well, we approved the activity plan and the budget for 2018. We instructed the RIPE NCC management to redistribute the surplus amount to members, as you had voted at the last members' meeting. We approved the amended procedural document RIPE NCC audit activity, I will say a bit about this one.

This procedural document dates from the late '90s and it needs a smidgeon of polishing up mainly to put a bit more detail about what we do when we audit people and just generally, as I say, tidy things up a bit. A little bit more emphasis on assisted registry checks and so forth.

We then approved the amended procedural document transfer of Internet number resources and change of members' official legal name. The main reason for tidying this one up was to make sure that if we close an LIR we need to make sure that the accounting is sorted out for the member, and so there is a little bit of extra wording there, it's nothing particularly exciting or important, again you can find it if you want to look at it. And what else did we do? We asked the general meeting to replenish the RIPE NCC arbiters panel or we agreed to ask the general meeting, and I will do a presentation on the arbiters panel shortly, but basically we were running really short of ash text, therapy little bit worried and they asked us if we could find some more, so we started that process off.

March 2018. What did we do there? We approved submission of the financial report to the GM and you will need to vote on that and Gwen will give a very full report on that shortly. Gwen is our new CFO, by the way, so she'll introduce herself and give us a financial report. We also approved the RIPE NCC charging scheme to be presented to the GM so we didn't actually approve the charging scheme but we approved the version of the charging scheme that is to be presented to you to be voted on. We approved another procedural document, which is due diligence for the quality of the RIPE NCC registration data. This one was prompted by the fact that the RIPE NCC is getting increasing numbers of dodgy documents when LIRs are created, and this basically recognises that, it gives them a little bit of guidance as to what to do and finally, it says that if they do find dodgy documents, in particular dodgy passports and things like that, they are authorised to report this to the police and this will be done without exception. So that was just, as I say, tidying up a little bit.

And finally, we approved a budget extension of €250,000 to set up a high capacity K‑root instance. This is just, the not a prototype but a trial set‑up, it's something we have looked at for a while, we didn't want to commit the whole amount to it but we thought it would be a good idea to actually try this first and see how it worked.

Right. Following member discussions. You folk send notes to the members' discuss list and you also send notes to the Executive Board list and we do actually read them. We may not comment on them very much, although I do now and again, but we to actually read them and discuss them at board meetings. So, we had, there has been a number of things that have come up, one discussion that went on for quite a bit was location of the RIPE NCC, and there was suggestions that we might be able to move it elsewhere. The feeling was that having just moved and spent a fair chunk, that we were probably happy with the location in the Netherlands for the moment, but obviously this is something we will keep an eye on.

RIPE NCC charging scheme model. Again, we followed the discussions on the mailing list. There didn't appear to be any particular consensus, so we ‑‑ and a fair amount of support for the one LIR one account model, so that is what we are presenting to you. If we do seek consensus on another model, then obviously we'll look at that, but we do monitor these, we do look at what people say and we do hear what people say and there are some good arguments advanced in support of some of the models.

Cost control. We have always ensured that the RIPE NCC continues to implement efficiencies where possible and Gwen will show you later on how the cost per LIR is dropping quite markedly, so that was something that we have looked at.

Digitally sign documents. One of the thing you will see when Gwen presents the financial report is that the office costs are actually quite high. Now, office costs are not as you might think, the rent of the offices. They are actually the costs of operating the office and a fairly large percentage of this is shipping documents around. So the NCC would actually be delighted if we could digitally sign documents and we have basically instructed the legal team to actually start looking at this and looking at its possibilities. There are legal issues. Remember, we are operating over more than 80 countries, some of them don't even accept a fax as a legal document, and some of them do accept digitally signed documents, so we are having to do this on a country by country basis. We are also looking at the operational possibilities, how you actually preserve a document, a copy of the SSA for 20 years and still be able to read it in 20 years' time. So that is being looked at. And Athina has got the wonderful job of trying to sort it out.

We have also had requests to translate certain key documents, in particular the SSA. Understandably, some of our members are unhappy in signing a document in English which they don't necessarily ‑‑ able to read, and so what we are looking at is options on how we can actually translate vital documents like the SSA.

Obviously, the English document will still be the binding one but at least you will have some good idea of what you are signing, rather than just looking at it in English document and signing it without knowing what you are signing up to. So, that is going ahead. We are looking at how easy it is to do it, which languages which need to do it into, and advice on this would be very welcome.

And then finally, and this is a long ongoing problem, some members have difficulty in paying us. And this is a problem, in particular our friend across the pond, Mr. Trump, is causing problems with payments from our colleagues in Iran, because very few of the major banks will currently transfer funds out of Iran. So that is causing them problems. Our Russian friends have had long‑term problems in paying and we are trying to find methods of actually getting payments through without ‑‑ getting payments through, full stop. It's a bit of an issue. We tend to give leniency, extra extensions and so forth for people that are having problems due to their ‑‑ due to the banking system. So that is obviously a work around. We are trying to work out a method, a reliable method of transferring membership fees from countries that are having difficulty doing that. We will keep you informed, but, as I say, it's an ongoing problem and one going on for a long time, but we are trying to sort it out.

Executive Board outreach, which is us going out to various meetings, we have been to MENOG 18 which was in Tehran, and ENOG 15 in Moscow and SEE 7 in Timisoara, we are going to that one, that is in the future, MENOG 15 is in the future as well, too. We went to regional meeting in Kazakhstan in September, which was very well received and we are continuing our support for local NOGs, supporter of many local network operating groups and we will continue to do that.

And we attend other RIR meetings and industry events.

And this actually amounts to quite a lot of time. Some of us are just back from AFRINIC, where we held, it wasn't a joint board meeting, it was a meeting of the members of the boards, of the joint boards, so we talked to them, we had a chat with them about their problems, we told them some of the things we do to try and solve them and it was a constructive meeting, I think.

Okay. Ongoing work.

Well, you no sooner get one activity plan out than you have to start planning for the next one. So that is the next lot of work, and the budget of course for 2018, and we are actually doing strategy meetings, which is something we have comparatively recently instituted, and it's with RIPE NCC management and we are actually working on ongoing strategy. We try and engage with you guys, the membership and the community, and whenever ‑‑ basically online and wherever we see you. So, you know, any time you bump into a board member, you are welcome to talk to them, ask them questions, buy them a beer, whatever. They might even buy you a beer if you asked. We spend a lot of time liaising with other RIR boards and spend time supervising the RIPE NCC management. We also help the board with its work ‑‑ no, why do we help the board with its work; we do the work. Ah, no, this is you helping us do our work, that is what it is, and the Board is basically elected to represent you guys, so we need to know what you want. So, please let us know. You can do it now at the GM, you can discuss it on the members' discuss mailing list, which we do, as I say, which we do watch. You can always talk to us informally at meetings and events. And you can talk to the RIPE NCC staff, who will report back to us as well. And then finally, you can email us directly on the exec board mailing list, which is increasingly starting to leak through, but there we go.

Right. Resolutions. There are a lot of resolutions at this meeting. But they are mostly concerned with electing arbiters. There are a couple of really important ones which are to do with voting in the Financial Report, and of course, we have the Executive Board elections. We have two board members standing down by rotation and we have six candidates, so lots and lots and lots of choice, and at some point later on I will be going through and describing the procedure for doing that because Fergal at the moment is down with chickenpox and we didn't want to start a chickenpox epidemic by bringing him here.

We have nine resolutions to vote on, most of which are to do with arbiters, that is why we have got so many.

Think carefully about who you are electing for the Executive Board seats because they do represent you, they are your voice to the RIPE NCC and to the rest of the Board.

Questions? Any questions? You are all completely stunned?

MIRJAM KUEHNE: Hi, I am the chat monitor here and there is a question from ‑‑ can the Executive Board add some additional charge scheme models and let the members use their votes to select their preferred one?

NIGEL TITLEY: Yes, we have looked at that and it's something we are looking at. You probably wouldn't want to have half a a dozen to select from but at least to or three might be useful and we are definitely looking at that sort of thing for the next time around. Any other questions? No. Okay. Thank you very much. Who is on next? It's Gwen. Gwen is on next. She'll do the Financial Report. And here is Gwen.

GWEN VAN BERNE: Okay, hello everyone also here of course but also I understood that there are a lot of members listening to us remotely because I heard that we even broke a voting record for the registration so I think that is wonderful because it says something about the engagement and the appreciation for the work that this community does.

So my name is Gwen van Berne, I am the new CFO for RIPE NCC, I joined RIPE last December, I am the successor of Joachim who used to stand here before me presenting the annual financial reports and the charging scheme proposals, so I think his spirit is also a bit in the work that I am going to present because he has done most of it in 2017 but I am very thankful for the handover and the way how we were able to work together on this.

Maybe because I am new for this community, it's good to share a bit of my background. I have always worked in the financial services industry. I have a legal and accounting background. I have always been very fascinated by the interaction between rule making and optimising your business processes, and well I have been able to do that within the financial service industry but I think also the Internet industry, it's in a wonderful place and I see a lot of opportunities also to share my experiences. I have done a lot of work in risk management, finance, also in IT development, actually things are very of course have heavy IT systems and structures in place, so I really look forward to bringing that expertise to the RIPE community and also I will bring ‑‑ add some values to the CFO role. I think it's extremely important that when I present to you the reporting that we produce, that it's very clear and very transparent. So I will definitely bring that to my work. And also, I think it's really important that we create a maximum amount of value because in the end it is your money that we are using, so I really feel that it's important also for the CFO role to ensure that you get the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak. So that is also another element I would like to bring to the CFO role, to see how can we maximise the value with the financial assets that you give us.

I think the last element is, Nigel spoke about it as well, the cost control is crucial of course, prudent cost management and how we ensure that the things that we do are within the appropriate set‑up, is also very important.

Okay. That is about my background. I would now like doing to the Financial Report, I am going to use my clicker and I have to point in that direction, I have been told.

The agenda for today:

What I would like to do when we discuss the Financial Report, I am very aware that there are a lot of numbers in my sheet and I do know this community has warm feelings about Internet numbers, that is a good thing, but these are financial numbers and they have a tendency to be a bit boring sometimes and it's a great pity because there is a lot of details in my slides. What I will try to do is to point out the most important trends that I see in the balance sheet, in the profit and loss and also with regard to the financial statements and try to point to certain important indicators, I think, that have changed or that are relevant for you to know.

So first, we are going to discuss the highlights for 2017. I would like to then start with the balance sheet because it gives a beautiful overall picture of our financial situation, and you can already also assess a bit the future stability and continuity.

Then I would like doing to the profit and loss statements, total income, total expense, and I would like to end with some indicators, some visualisations about the most important, I think, financial performance elements that we can show you. I think the redistribution is crucial, of course, for you to know, how that developed over the last years, operational expenses, capital expenses, membership ‑‑ average expense per LIR, which is very important, efficiency metric which we use, and end with capital expense ratio.

What are the highlights for 2017? Again, I think the message that I have today is that it's a very positive story, so I think that is also very relevant for you to consider when you are going to vote and when you are hopefully going to discharge the board, it's a very strong story. The income growth continues, and that was a trend that was already gone on and we saw an enormous increase in the amount of LIRs, so that has of course again its effects. We were able to provide a full redistribution of the surplus to the members, that was around €6 million, and I think also the cost control in 2017 was very prudent and the expenses were below budget, 2% in fact. And I think also the investment levels were suitable. Of course you do want to innovate, and again it's very important that when we spend your money, that we try maximise the value that comes out of it. So investing per se is not a bad thing. The investments last year were quite low but it's good because it stayed under the budget.

If you look at the Balance Sheet, what I would like to point out here is, of course, the capital, that is very healthy. I have seen a lot of Balance Sheets and this is a good strong Balance Sheet. It also remains very stable. There is a very small negative result there that can be explained because the clearing‑house structure that is our capital reserve buffer that we invest for you, we invested in bonds and there were some negative effects as a consequence of the US dollar, the bonds that had a small negative impact on the capital, but I think for the rest of course it's very positive, you see again the redistribution, now you are looking at the fiscal amount and, yeah, I think for the rest of the Balance Sheet it's very stable and healthy and strong.

The profit and loss. I think here you see the development of the income and the expenditures, I think the 10% is quite relevant to you to see, because of course that shows the variance of 2016 versus 2017, and of course as a CFO, you would like to see a trend that you can explain, why are the expenditures more than the year before? Why was the income higher than expected? Well this was a good thing because we already saw it coming, and it happens again. And again, the negative financial results, the small deficit I have explained, that had to do with the clearing‑house.

If you look at total income. There again the positive trend in full detail. Of course the total income for us composes of three parts: You have the membership fees, which of course is the biggest chunk, we see a growth rate there of 17%. You have the signup fees of new members which also grew a lot, that is the amount you see, more than 6 million. And we have the Other Income. Other Income is mostly sponsorship income and for example also the income from organising meetings like this, that is roughly one‑third of the total amount. That was a bit less than the year before, that had to do with the Dubai meeting where I understand the tickets were the same amount but the amount of paying members was a bit lower and the sponsorship a bit lower than the year before, so a bit of negative trend there. I think it was well compensated by the other income loss.

And again there you see the redistribution, I will tell a bit more and explain and visualise that later on.

Okay. The slide with the expenditures and again policies for the full slide but I think also around prudent cost control and prudent management I think it is important that we give you full transparency and clarification about what it is that we are doing and how we are spending your money. Of course, personnel and consultancy is a big cost driver for organisation, it's mostly people that are working for you, so the FTEs and the consultants that we hire determine of course a big amount of the costs. I think Nigel also already spoke about the office cost. It's indeed true that there is a large postage chunk in there, around 200 K. Also in office costs there are other costs like organising meetings like this, allocation hire, external catering, but there is also mobile phones in there, it's quite a big bucket.

Also, probably good to mention here is the contributions, because that is quite a big increase. That had to do with the community funding projects initiatives which cost us around 250K and also the ‑‑ a lot smaller amount but the initiation of the Rob Blokzijl Foundation. Maybe also good to mention, I think this is a wonderful amount because if you compare, I mean we are around 80,000 LIRs, we work in almost 80 jurisdictions, so the billing processes that we have are actually quite complex, and looking at a bad debts amount, I think it's quite remarkable and I am very thankful for that because when I joined RIPE I had anticipated a bit more problems in that area. Thanks to you, we see a very good number, so thanks for that.

Okay. If you have any questions of course I think we'll do that at the end of the presentation, but please, do ask me questions what you want to know better.

Okay. The financial performance indicators. This is what we believe is the most relevant set of indicators that we would like to follow in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of growth, what you see, the first indicator shows the redistribution amount; again the number is very positive, it's 6 million, that was a delta of 2 compared to the year before. The expenses saw 10% rise. Capital expenses, I have explained that. Membership development, average expense per LIR and the capital expense ratio.

Looking at the visualisation of the redistribution of the fiscal surplus, here you see the trends. We started with redistributing all excess paid contributions in 2015. As a consequence of the, how do you say that, the agreement with the Dutch tax authorities, we were able to ‑‑ we are an association according to Dutch law which helps us, so all the contributions that you pay us, which is not needed for the funding of organisation, we are able to ‑‑ we have two options: we can redistribute it to you or we can accumulate it in the financial reserves. But because the Balance Sheet is so healthy, we didn't have to do that the last three years so we are able to calculate a rebate per paying LIR and we were able to give that back to you on the invoice of the next year. But you also see in grey is the average rebate in euros on a yearly basis, so it started with almost €400 and then it went down a bit and again last year it went up. So that is a very good and positive trend, I feel.

Here you see the calculation and also see the numbers of LIRs that were eligible for the redistribution, and again you see how we came to the exact numbers for the rebates.

The expenses distribution also shown in visualisation, I think again what I already explained to you that personnel and consultancy is quite important, makes up a big chunk of our expenditures. Also, office costs of course is an important cost packet and again there you can see from very big to smaller what we are doing with your money.

And also I think again important to note, the budget was 2% under budget because that is very good because that is very important that we manage our budgets.

The capital expenditure. Last year, 2017, we didn't fully use the budget that we had planned to use. The year before, if you see the trend 2016, we did do that. That was also, as Nigel explained already, a bit the fact that we are located in Amsterdam and the costs attached to that. We are very aware of course in a sense it is of course a costly location. We did move in 2016, we had a very good reason to do that, because we were able to negotiate a very good deal which actually for Amsterdam it's ‑‑ the location in square metres it's a lot cheaper than what we did before. So that is a good thing, and I think it also really enabled us, the new office, to enhance our corporation and across departmental organisation, so I think that is a good thing.

Membership development also in a graph. In the light blue you see the growth on the yearly basis and then if you add it all up we end at 2017 with 17,601 LIRs, which, yeah, you see it's a very, very steep curve. I have to say if you are new to this business or organisation and if you look at that time for the first time, it's an impressive growth and, yeah, I will talk about it also a bit more how we foresee that, how it will happen, how it will develop in the future in the charging scheme presentation.

Average expense per LIR. This of course for us is the key metric to show to you how efficient are we are. But there might be more. I think it's also important that in my role, together with the finance team and the colleagues with the RIPE, that we continuously assess how can we measure efficiency for you and because there are certain parts of our organisation for some part of registration activities it's a bit easier to measure that and also on a yearly basis to see how many new members were we able to on‑board and how quickly were we able to do the transfers and what have you, it's a bit easier to measure that there than in other areas of the organisation, but we do want to continuously look at that and it's very important for you to understand what we are doing for you in that sense, we continuously challenge ourselves to become better there and more efficient.

The nice thing is here in this graph that you see a very good trend also, if you compare the growth in FTE ‑‑ and very good so it's not as high as the growth in LIRs, and that also is a good indicator, I think, and again the average expense per LIR is a very important trend line that we will continue to follow.

The last key performance indicator, the capital expense ratio, what I explained also before, that in 2015 we started with the redistributions, and that kind of stabilised our reserves there. Ideally you would like it to grow a bit more if the investment climate is a bit better, if we can make a better return with the assets there. But the last years it kind of stabilised. You do see of course that because the budget is becoming a bit bigger, so the expenses are growing; that the capital expense is going down a bit. It's still around 100 percent so it's good, so we are absolutely okay with it, but it's also I think for the future, something to watch and to keep a close eye on.

Okay. Any questions about the Financial Report?

ERIK BAIS: I have a question on the consulting fees, they are €2 million expenses on the consulting fees. Can you elaborate a bit about what are they about? Are they to help with the efficiency, internal restructuring, other stuff? Can you explain a bit about that?

GWEN VAN BERNE: I would expect most of the work was done in operational department and science department, in the database etc. But maybe it's good my colleagues help me there with painting a bit of better picture exactly what it was done there.

ANDREW DE LA HAYE: RIPE NCC. One of the main themes in our operations department has been a change towards more flexible workforce for the coming year, for example in customer services as we are now seeing a surge in new members coming in and we also know it's going to dry up in a bit, we looked at finding a more flexible workforce through consulting for example so we use external parties to support us there. That is one of the main changes.

ERIK BAIS: Is one of the changes well to merge the RS and CS organisations, departments?

ANDREW DE LA HAYE: No, that has not been considered yet. What Gwen and Nigel already mentioned is that there is a strategy programme going on at the moment and we first want to look at the top level strategy, then drilling down to more detailed levels of what kind of services are provided and how are those being provided, and based on those kind of outcomes, you are going to look at the organisational structure where it still fulfils the need. So that is something that will come over the next couple of months, I would say.

CARSTEN SCHIEFNER: Could you do me a favour and maybe go back to the slide with the CAPEX thingies. The other one where it was budget versus actual spending. That one. Right. So, just taking out the, say, speciality in 2016 where the funds were used to move the office, a sort of recognised throughout the last years, '14, '15 and also '17, that the actual spending is about a third, give or take, under budget, and I just wonder why that is? So, is it like that the NCC started to be overambitious in what kind of is being put on the plate for next year, and then throughout the year you guys find that you can't really do that in time, in particular that ‑‑ what is the reason for it?

GWEN VAN BERNE: I thank you very much for your question, I think it's a very good question. I think it was probably a combination of very prudent cost control versus budgeting and then did we really have the plans that were innovative enough and really able to invest in certain things that we could create really value for you. I think it's a bit of combination. I think we have to budget this a bit more appropriately because this of course is not ‑‑ it's not a good budgeting exercise, why would you do it, right? Ideally you start with the plans, and we have the plans and then we, according to those plans also define what we then need to invest, it should be the other way around I think and then we are able to spend it because you know what we are going to do for you there, and ‑‑

CARSTEN SCHIEFNER: The reason why I am asking that is, with other organisations I have seen that a couple of times, sort of like an indicator for poor project management, so I just wanted to make sure that this is not really the case here.

GWEN VAN BERNE: It's not. But it's also definitely something with my experience we will closely track and ideally the numbers will add up. We do use what we plan to use and also are very much able to show you the progress and the work we have done there.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: There is a question from Alex from First Telecom. And he is asking if the RIPE NCC is also thinking about optimisation to decrease the cost of the membership? The number of LIRs is growing but the cost is growing too.

GWEN VAN BERNE: Yes, that is also something that I will talk about a bit more when we are going into the charging scheme. I think what we see, that there are a couple of trends in the Internet landscape that also have their effects on our cost levels have, for example regulatory pressure or a higher need for neutral information and all those things also. And indeed of course growing LIRs. I mean there are just more members to serve, and all these things together add up, that is, indeed there is an underlying trend there but we will closely watch that in the future.

NIGEL TITLEY: I think that is it.


There is one resolution that is associated with Gwen's report which is the adoption of the Financial Report, the resolution in full is:

"The general meeting adopts the RIPE NCC Financial Report 2017."

And we will vote for that along with all the other resolutions under agenda point 9.

Okay. Discharge of the Executive Board. This is something that we are required to obtain from you under Dutch law and basically it says that the Executive Board has done its job and hasn't run off with the money. So, it gives rise to a resolution which is:

"That the general meeting discharges the Executive Board with regard to its actions as they appear from the annual report 2017 and Financial Report 2017."

And again, we will vote for that under agenda point 9, unless there is any questions about it now? Okay. Super.

Right. On to the RIPE NCC charging scheme 2019, and Gwen shall be back again.

GWEN VAN BERNE: Thank you. The second topic for today, the charging scheme for 2019. Before we go into the proposal itself, we thought it was probably good to again share with you the underlying principles for the charging scheme as we have it today. I think also probably for the newcomers, for new members, it's interesting ‑‑ I mean, I wanted to understand why the charging scheme is as it is, and why we have defined it in such way, so that is what we are going to start with.

Then we are going to show to you the income development again, explained in a bit more detail.

We are going to discuss again membership development, trends that impact our continuity, I think that is also a bit further to the questions that were just raised about the financial future.

We are going to share with you a financial forecast for 2018 and 2019. Efficiency remains crucial, prudent cost control. We will sum up our considerations for the proposal that we are going to give you today.

We have prepared for you a funding matrix that will show to you what will happen if our funding needs will change in the future.

And of course at the end there is a conclusion.

So what are the guiding principles for the existing charging scheme? In 2012, there has been a task force led by Remco, which extensively debated our existing model, so what do we expect from the charging scheme? What should it do? What is the purpose? And also, what are the membership needs? Because we all of course have our expectations from the scheme, and so it was very good I think what the community then did, was extensively discussing together what should be the guiding principles of the composition of the current set‑up fee structure. And the group came up with five principles.

They told the community there should be equality between the members. The charging scheme should provide the best match to the organisational governance.

It should be a simple model.

It should also be sufficient to operate soundly, that is I think more the shorter term, so that is for the next year, maybe the next two years.

And of course it should be sufficient to operate continuously, have five years idea about the future, what will happen then, and then we look at our capital reserves and we assess the future and then we look at the charging model and we also kind of assess is this then the right model for us.

Because under this I think, what is very important, it's a funding model and what we need to do is ensure that the work of this community can continue in a sound and stable way.

So if you look at those principles and if you look at the existing charging scheme, which is one LIR account, one fee, we do believe that we have ticked all the boxes. We are very aware of course of the IPv4 run‑out discussion, we see that the coming. We want to be conservative because we don't know exactly what is going to happen for the income. There might be a dip in the income, but it could also actually be there will be other effects, but it's also difficult for us to properly predict that for the future but we do see the trend is coming, it's already happening, we are in the transition. So, for the continuity we are very much aware of this but again the existing charging scheme, looking at the principles, we do believe we are ticking all the boxes. But that doesn't mean, again what Nigel also said, we are not listening to you and we do want to propose a couple of alternatives in the nearby future to the Executive Board for consideration. Those are the principles.

The income development since 2009. I think here what is very interesting what you see, the effects of the one LIR account one fee model, which we introduced in 2013. Before, we had another scheme which did classify our members. We had extra small members, small members, medium sides members, large and extra large. We did have a certain segmentation and classification. We also used a certain billing algorithm that decided in which category you fell as a member. But also what I have learned from Joachim and other colleagues, there was a lot of debate about it, in which bucket am I, and classification. So, it was not so simple to manage from an operational point of view and there was some inequality in that model.

In 2013, after the task force, we did introduce the one LIR account one fee model and that is also quite nicely shown, that momentum in this particular graph, and what you also see the existing structure that we have €2000 for new members, and that is the light blue development which you see there, and of course the service fees. The light blue is of course, that is also quite an interesting trend there. And the green shows the service fees for the independent resources.

And legacy, you can't really see it because it's really very small, it's a very thin red line. What you also see in this graph is again a ‑‑ don't see it, but the momentum in 2015 we started also, we have a substantial income but we were also able to redistribute the excess paid contributions so I think that is important also to mention that here.

Okay. Membership development. So what do we see? If you look at ‑‑ unfortunately there are two blue lines but the one with the bigger dots that starts in 2011. That's LIR growth for 2011 until last year, 2017. If you then use that line to extrapolate a trend you will see the green line and we already, it's happening because already now in 2018 we are seeing over 80,000 LIRs and that is again, tins creasing and we expect that this trend also will continue in 2018 and '19. Actually we also expect that within 12 months we will reach the level of 20,000 LIRs, which of course for our community is a big thing and a big moment, I believe, because that is really, substantial number. But we can't fully predict is what will happen once the IPv4 addresses will run out. I want to be very conservative in this role because again we are there to ensure that the stability and the continuity of RIPE NCC and the RIPE community is insured so we are also anticipating that the income might go down because LIRs potentially could merge or there could be other effects. But of course it could also be, and time will tell us and we will definitely keep a very close eye on this, that we see unexpected trends upwards. That could also happen of course so we are very clean on that but we do want to be conservative for now because we do anticipate there will be effects from the IPv4 run‑out.

So again, the address space run‑out, what I talked about, what we also see are some elements that might have, I think the IPv4 address run‑out will have an effect on the income but there is also trends that will have an effect on our cost levels and I think it's super important that on a yearly basis when we prepare our activity plans, and ideally of course you have the voting for the charging scheme together with the activity plan, so you really know what you are voting for, I think it's super important when we present to you the activity plans that you are fully aware of what we are doing in that space, because of course there is a very high demand for our services in new areas, for example the increased desire for authoritative and neutral registry data, there are a lot of security concerns where we can create value with our community and also I believe that we have a lot of work in defending the consensus driven policy making model that we maintain here together. And I think it's also relevant to keep that in mind because we do not want only to show what we predict for the future with regards to our income but also cost levels. It doesn't necessarily mean we will rise our cost levels because that is in our discussion but we do want to see if we can prepare good investment proposals and to create value and if we can, I think it's important that we consider that.

So that is about the trends. Here, you will see a visualisation of the financial forecast for 2018 and 2019. Because that is of course important for you if you are going to vote on the charging scheme for 2019, what is going to happen this year and what is our expectations for next year? And luckily also I feel quite confident that we can predict quite well what is going to happen this year and next year, there will be big growth in the LIR membership base and we roughly estimated it that is going to be around 3,000, and that will have, I hope, positive effects on the income. The income line, you see that there in green, and we already know that we saw a budget trend with rising costs of around 8% per year. If you look at 17, 18, so the prediction is also for 2019 that the budget may go up a bit and then for 2020 I think that is really something still what we have to discuss, whether it should go up or again may be a bit down.

In everything that we do efficiency remains crucial, so again, I have mentioned it a couple of times today and I can't mention it enough, I think the average expenses, what are we do with your money, what is the average expense per LIR, we need to ensure in more administrative areas that we go down with the costs and also, everything that we do extra for you or other services, that we have a good solid discussion about what it is that we can do for you, where you feel that it's creating value and that you are willing to pay for it.

But positive trends until now of course continues and I think that is very good, and the number of LIRs again is growing faster than the FTE base. But I have shared that also in the other report.

So, to sum it up, what are our considerations for the current proposal? So the proposal is to continue with the existing charging scheme. What were our considerations? To sum it up: We believe that through this proposal, we ensure that there is income stability, which is of course very important because we start with looking at the funding, what do we need and how can we ensure that we can maintain our work? Also, from operational efficiency point of view, we have assured that we can create more efficiency, not creating extra work because it will become more complex or more difficult with regards to billing or explaining what we are doing there. I think also the continuity concerns have been acknowledged, that is very good, we have done that, and also we have recognised your wishes. There were extensive discussions also with the Executive Board and all members discussed and also I have spoken to a lot of members with member lunches and I am very considerate of your needs there and I will also definitely use the coming periods to further discuss with you what it is that you would like us to achieve there because I think that is very important and I am very open and willing to look into new scenarios, very much so, so let's see what we can do there.

And... yeah, again I think this proposal is in line with the guiding principles, and again efficiency remains crucial and it will be measured, I. Think measuring efficiency is also something that we continuously have to do for you.

What I wanted to show to you, and I hope it's not too confusing, but I think it's important to keep in mind what might happen to the height of the fees once, you know, and it's too bad that the budget numbers drops off there, I see that now in the last iteration, that is too bad. What you are looking at is four different scenarios. If the amount of LIRs goes up or goes down, in blue you see three different scenarios. On your left side is our ‑‑ are the scenarios if the budget would be €25 million. In the middle you see what the average funding needs would be per LIR if the budget would be €30 million. And on your right side you see an indication of the average fund needed per LIR if the budget would grow to 35 million. That is not the ambition for now but I think it's important you see a bit what might happen and what is ‑‑ also for your future ideas and also when you are going to give me feedback again about the current composition of the charging scheme and your needs and your wishes to ‑‑ but the potential movement could be in the coming years. What you see now also in green, that is where we are now, if you look at the 2018 budget it's 28 .5 million, if you include all bad debts costs and also depreciation costs, which are not in the activity calendar, but that is the full budget. If you look at the amount of LIRs, it's almost 20,000. We will get there. You see we are a little bit in the green box now, I think we are around the average fee, the €1,400, it's a bit around that amount. But it's good to keep in mind how this potentially could move if we see more members coming in, it could very well happen we go down, or if the membership levels will decrease then we might go up. So that is I think important to keep that in mind, this funding matrix will use that more in the future to keep different options.

The conclusion:

No change from the charging scheme of last year. The service fee remains €1,400 and the signup fee remains €2000 and independent number assignment 50, all excess contribution will go back to the members, you do have to vote for but again I expect to see we are going to see excess in 2019. Also in this year of course and next year there is a good chance that will happen, and I think also it's super important that we continuously provide full transparency through our activity plans and reports that you can keep a close eye on what we are doing with the funds and with your money.

Any questions?

ERIK BAIS: I have a question. Do you also have a slide where you can see already the amount of LIRs that are being merged and closed, already been transferred out and then closed to see how that affects the actual growth?

GWEN VAN BERNE: We are currently investigating that and it's still ‑‑ we have some predictions and that might be indeed a merging effect. Again, what you see in the funding matrix, it won't be so substantial, you will see enormous drop but there could be potentially effects, we are currently in the middle of investigating the exact numbers but more than happy to share the information on that.

ERIK BAIS: Specifically for the Amsterdam meeting, if you can provide some figures on that, that would be awesome. Some slides. Thanks.

SPEAKER: Dmitry. Erik said half of what I wanted to say, so that is good. I would also like to see a coefficient of number of LIRs to one company. So basically let's say you have 18,000 and maybe out of these 1,000 is extra and maybe plot for worst case scenario if all of these say I have four accounts, I still have one vote. Okay, maybe I have two accounts. So worst case scenario is to make if all existing LIRs, just decide to keep one account. And I call it ‑‑ when you say new member, basically conflate two things, a new account or a new company. Maybe we should separate new revenue from new accounts of existing members and new revenue from new accounts by new companies. And likewise, the debt ratio of merge of account of existing members and disclosure of last or only account of existing member, I think this would be more useful to drill down for maybe next year.

GWEN VAN BERNE: Thanks so much for the suggestion, because I really like it, and I am already considering how can we visualise that and measure that more in the future, because there will be merging effects and stress scenarios almost where, what could happen, yeah, in the most negative situation. We will definitely add some more on that in the future, thanks.

SPEAKER: Piotr Strzyzewski: This is not a question, just a comment about the charging scheme. Digging back into the history to the September 2012 when we vote for the one LIR one fee, I would like to remind you that we voted then ‑‑ three options and option number 3, also got the majority of yes votes and it was about the categories, only the ‑‑ by the chance of the option with one fee one LIR was the first one and the voting was constructed in the way if it passes then the other options are basically not valued, we have one LIR one fee option right now but one can argue that members or some of them were actually happy about keeping the categories as well, that was about the option C. So just a comment.

SPEAKER: Tahar Schaa: A comment and a question. I would go for the thing Erik said, it would be interesting from my perspective if we think about the worst case, that every LIR since the last /8 policy was in charge, was founded only getting this 22 and perhaps what would be the case if they are all get consolidated since then? It won't happen, I assume, but it would be the worst case, so we have under the worst line. So we can make some estimation. For me, I am also more interested in the time‑line '21, '22, because we have this two years where you have to route the space and then you can consolidate so it should be a curve, something like this. And another thing you stressed this efficiency, I answered these GMs since 2011, I never had feeling that RIPE NCC is wasting some money, but my concern is somehow RIPE NCC is facing a huge challenges from politics side and all this stuff and perhaps we should focus on having good people, perhaps they are more expensive and so I would be interested in the count of per stuff income rate. So from my perspective, we are in an age where it ‑‑ I assume it should go up to have as good people as we had in the past.

GWEN VAN BERNE: For your last remark, I think it's very important that we prepare ourselves in the best way possible for the questions that are coming and so that is sometimes will require also certain investments and I think further to your first statement, what I am seeing but again I think the senior management of RIPE still also in the midst of calculating the exact consequences in negative scenarios, what I have not seen there is a good buffer now because we have a substantial amount in signup fees so if the consolidation will happen we can take a bit of a hit there, we have anticipated that it will happen and it might happen, and I don't expect that it will be bigger than the signup fees but I would like to give you a bit more details information on this in the nearby future. I very much realise it's important information.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: Another question by Arash Nadpeur: What is your plan for members who are facing difficulties with the current NCC payment methods? They are not available to all members as you may know, PayPal, bank transfer, credit card payments and others and they are not available in all the countries. What is your plan for making that easier?

GWEN VAN BERNE: That is a very good question, I think Nigel spoke to it, we are currently investigating what we can do about the Iranian situation, that is of course quite difficult because there is certain ledge solution and rules that we have to follow it doesn't mean we fully ‑‑ we fully acknowledge that those issues are out there and what we can do, we will do, and I also really would love to have one on one conversations with those members to better understand what it is exactly what is causing their problems and concerns to see what we can do about it. Please also approach me for that because that is why we are here.

NIGEL TITLEY: Any other questions? Okay. Thank you very much, Gwen.


We have one resolution that comes out of Gwen's presentation, which is, the resolution is: The

"General meeting adopts the RIPE NCC charging scheme 2019 ."

And again we will vote for this under a agenda point 9.

Okay. Presentation from me again.

Right. This is all about appointment and dismissal of arbiters. As you know we have an Arbitration Panel which is actually set up in our articles and it's designed to arbitrate problems between either members or between members and the RIPE NCC. We have a panel of arbiters and I will run through a little bit of how that works.

If you have been to the NCC Services Working Group, then Keith Mitchell actually gave a very good run through of the actual process arbiters use to fix disputes.

So I am going to talk first about appointment of arbiters. The rules are, according to the arse, the arbiters pool must consist of 7 to 15 people. Currently it has eight so we are towards the bottom end of the range and we have to have minimum of seven arbiters. The arbiters themselves requested that the Executive Board put out a call for new arbiters to actually physical the gaps. And we made that call on 1st March 2018. Five people submitted an application. We had a quick run through them, we checked on their eligibility, they weren't bankrupt and all the rest of it, and they were all eligible. And but of course, only yourselves have the authority to approve them. The board doesn't have the authority to approve arbiters, we only can present them to you. So criteria:

You need a good knowledge of the Internet environment. The majority of the questions concern the Internet. Now it's a jolly good idea if you know something about it. You really need working experience in the IT sector and you need to know about RIPE NCC procedures and RIPE policies, again a lot of the questions or the disputes arise over policy and procedures and so forth. You must be impartial. That almost goes without saying. And the arbiters panel as far as possible should reflect a broad spectrum of the community. So it's a good reflection of the community as in the RIPE region.

We had five candidates as I say, Timothy Mahony, Thomas Okala, Miguel Illa Oliveras and Payam and Sander Stefann. They have all ‑‑ their bios are all up on the website so you should have a chance to look at them all, if you don't know them already. We are not inviting them up here to make a presentation, have a look at the bios. And you will vote on them, vote each one individually under agenda point 9.

The other thing that the articles require us to do is dismiss unresponsive arbiters. Okay, background and process:

If an arbiter is unresponsive for one year, then the Executive Board is supposed to propose their dismissal. This has never happened before.

Arbiters are considered to be unresponsive if, for a period of one year, they do not reply to questions related to their function made by the RIPE NCC or other arbiters. This is the case for Nick Williams who has not responded to any questions from other arbiters or from the RIPE NCC for more than year. Only you guys have the authority to dismiss him. We don't know what has happened to him, unless somebody here knows? No. Okay. So we will be putting a resolution for dismissal. If we hadn't been getting an additional five arbiters that would actually take us down to seven which was the absolute minimum but luckily we have five proposed arbiters as well. So there is a resolution for the general meeting to dismiss this gentleman and I would ask you to consider it. Questions?

CARSTEN SCHIEFNER: I just wonder whether we have any word from Payam because he also stands as a candidate for the NCC's board, and I just wonder whether, although there might not be a formal conflict of interest according to the by‑laws of the RIPE NCC and the arbiters' procedures and so forth I wonder whether he has given you guys any word about how he would like to deal with the situation when he is on the Board and also on the arbiter, which I think is sort of unfortunate, let me put it this way.

NIGEL TITLEY: It is rather unfortunate. Remco was an arbiter prior to being elected to the board. He stood down. He made it quite clear from ‑‑ in his speech that he would stand down and he did so. I would expect Payam, I would expect Payam to stand down if he is elected to the Board.

CARSTEN SCHIEFNER: Okay. But he hasn't given ‑‑

NIGEL TITLEY: He hasn't given us that indication, no.

CARSTEN SCHIEFNER: Thanks. I just wanted to point that out.

NIGEL TITLEY: Exactly. It could well be the shortest arbiter appointment in history. Any other questions? We will vote on each arbiter independently under point 9, I will read it out when we get to point 9 and not now. I usually read out the resolutions as we go through.

Right. So, we now move on to the RIPE NCC Executive Board elections. We have six candidates for two positions, and the way we are going to run this is I will offer each candidate the ‑‑ an opportunity address you. Payam is unfortunately stuck in Iran, his visa expired, his Shengan visa expired two days before travelling so he hasn't been able to get here, but he has submitted a video, a short video which we will be able to play. So let's go through in alphabetical order of surname. So I invite Dr. Falk von Bornstaedt to come out here and say a few words.

DR. FALK VON BORNSTAEDT: I am with the Internet for quite a while and I was one of the earliest for Deutsche Telekom working on the Internet, a little bit later than Rudiger so I was not at meeting number one. So I have brought up several IP products at Deutsche Telekom, the IVPVN, the IP‑IX, I made Deutsche Telekom tier one, so I have a lot of experience. I am with the RIPE meetings for more than a decade now and some people know me from many meetings in the past. So I would like to put stress on relationship with the academic area, I'm a teacher, a professor, visiting professor at technical university in Berlin. What differentiates me from the others: I am not an engineer but coming from the economic side and looking forward very much to working with the RIPE community and also with the existing board. So thank you for considering to vote for me.


NIGEL TITLEY: Does anybody have any questions for Falk before he goes down? Any other questions? No. Okay. Number two, Dmitry Burkov.

DIMITRY BURKOV: Good evening. I am very happy that I have got a chance ‑‑ I have good chance last years to serve the community as a Board member. We did significant progress for last ten years from organisational point of view and I am proud to participate in this. But we said at some point this idea for depletion, where numbers run‑out, no matter, it's end of the history. After that we think about the IANA transition. It's the next history. Nothing. Life just began. We have got new challenge. And there is now for me it looks very important as our fast growing membership, our fast growing community is not the end, it's just the beginning. And we will have huge challenge because even soon we will get dozens of thousands membership, it's absolutely will require, maybe, I have my personal prediction, for in our life we will see hundreds of thousands, a separate story but we should be ready for such scenarios. And it's absolutely different organisation what we all need.

Regarding post IANA, we lost umbrella. In fact we are very angry against  the position but in fact we lost umbrella, and now Internet stability and all risk of potential fragmentation, all trends, what is really happening in our crazy world, it depends on us, how we build now a new relationship with the routing world. What is our new unions should be. To protect the Net from the risks. I don't want to continue because it can be forever. And I hope that my knowledge and my experience still can help our association in future. It will be honour for me if you will support me on this elections. Thank you.


NIGEL TITLEY: Any questions for Dmitry? Okay. Thank you very much. Next up is Dmitry Kohmanyuk.

Dmitry Kohmanyuk: I think that was good and can I say good evening and I would like to thank you all for being here. I think the fish is not as Dima said but it's true we have some dark swans there, we really don't know what we don't know. And only message I want to say here that we need maybe more transparency and more trust and also we should prepare for new challenges which do not know.

I think Board rotation is good. It doesn't mean we should replace our our candidates too often but I think some of that is good, and unfortunately we all die at the end. So the good news we have more people and more continuity and I think the organisation is changing and I see new faces all the time, and I think that gender diversity is good and I am kind of sorry only 6 guys applied for the seats today. I think this is bad. I hope next election will be better. That being said, I think that the umbrella didn't really exist for us and we always had been our own because I don't think that US Government or any other people can protect us from ourselves and I would like to trust our membership and our staff and shadow of self tout is not good but some internal reviews are good. So I would like to see more of that. And also I would like to thank the Board for holding this meeting and I hope you will have a quick resolution and I wand you all guys to vote with your heart and I am thankful for being here.


NIGEL TITLEY: Any questions for Dmitry? Thank you very much. Now I think we have a video from Payam because he couldn't make it here.

PAYAM POURSAIED: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, thank you for having me on screen here. I wish I could have been with you there, but I'm not and the story is long, I will share it with you because it's somehow related to it the election. My current visa is valid until today so and my next visa from May 29, which is two‑week away. And to join you guys if I had joined you I should have left the country by midnight and there wasn't any flight, any train get me out of the Shengan area and if I would have stayed I would got ‑‑ if I had stayed I would have got big red mark from one of the border officers, and you might ask why too late? The story is back to MENOG 18. Although I had some intention to be part of this community to serve, to become a candidate for this position but I thought there would be more eligible people than me, that is why I didn't step forward and in doing MENOG 18 a friend of mine approached and we had a chat and at the end he strongly encouraged me to step forward and by, within a few hours let's say, 519 members nominated me and I would like to thank them for the great support they have.

Back to the visa issue for this case, that is why I didn't have any plan to be here and then I started to try my best to join the meeting. I approached all the embassies I know, let's say France, Netherlands, Germany, even the German consulate of Switzerland Vancouver because they issued my current visa and the next visa and the first response was from the steam guys from Vancouver which is 20,000 kilometre away, that they were willing to help me but the way they advised me was not working well so I didn't have any chance although waiting to hear back from other embassies. The next response was from Netherland embassy, they instructed the visa facility office to call me and arrange the next day appointment for me, and thank you guys, it was holiday when they called me and I started to gather all the documents, it took while, I tried to collect all the documents and you know how it would be missed and the next day I went to the office and I stayed four hours there and I submit all the documents and still I am waiting to receive it. Not a funny story, as a few days ago I received the first response from the France embassy in Tehran, it was totally irrelevant, no link to help at all and my French ‑‑ that is the way it works in Tehran. I will let you know why it's important, why I shared it with you later.

You guys read about my background, I have graduated from industrial engineering and computer engineering, I hold bachelor and masters degree, I was researcher in ‑‑ for a while, it was a short period of time which I did some research in the area of cyber security and for those who are not familiar with industrial engineering, it deals ultimately with optimisation, I have been working in an ISP for more than 16 years and my first interaction with RIPE NCC is back to 2004 when for the first time became an LIR and I am currently chief quality officer in the largest national and privately held ISP in Iran and they have been ranked number one for past six years by local regulator who conduct assessment based on EFQM methodology.

I would like to emphasise my motivation to serve this role and that is about bringing more diversity. You heard the story I told you regarding my visa. This is the story should be weird to you, most of you guys, not resending visa, wasn't there even ‑‑ wasn't there even any person who was willing to help for that single day extension, no, there wasn't. And late response, no, that was ‑‑ you guys don't expect to receive one week response from a mission whose role is to serve you but that has happened, that has happened. And I believe this is it's pretty good source all the embassies because they charge quite a lot, all the applicants regardless of issuing or not issuing the visa and they don't care, they don't care, that is the first‑hand experience I do have. This is where I would like to say someone from ‑‑ people from different part of this region have different experience and the person who has this experience, this first‑hand experience can make ‑‑ bring it to the community, can share it, can share the ‑‑ among others, can make.. can use of it and make the community better because because if the problems within the community looked from the different angles better solutions would come up, fair solutions would come up and that is it. And I believe that diversity would lead to innovation, silicone valley could be a good example, I am not sure if from now there would be more diversity but so far it was sample of diversity which led to huge innovation which we are using all the days. And that is why I think bringing more diverse people in would help the community to be a better place to serve members better. And that is it. As one more example which might help to realise, another experience, today if someone from Iran wants to pay the fee of the RIPE NCC, it's illegal. Government blocks all the free market, foreign exchange, a few days ago and today banks do not recognise these fees or it takes time to, for banks to recognise this fee and make a way of paying that. And so as an Iranian member, what to do? Do I nearly go or wait or not paying the fees and other bad behaviour. But if the community be aware of these experiences, they would think different.

And thank you for listening to me. I hope with your support you would help to let another, to let have more diverse board at RIPE NCC and for those who are going to vote me I would like to thank all you guys in advance. Wish you all the best, I hope you enjoy your stay in Marseilles and enjoy nice communication with all the guys there are participating there. Thank you very much.


NIGEL TITLEY: I am told that we are having very serious streaming problems, and I have been asked to just stop the meeting for five minutes while they restart the streaming equipment.

(Short Break)

NIGEL TITLEY: If we can settle down. Let's continue with the presentation of candidates. It's now, it's Piotr Strzyzewski.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: The comment that Payam made on the chat channel, I don't know if you wanted to mention it now, I wanted to clarify the question you had earlier about Payam's role in the arbiters and Executive Board, Payam confirmed on the chat channel that he is definitely willing to step down if the arbiters council whatever it's called, if he gets elected on to the board.

NIGEL TITLEY: Did everybody get that, Payam if he is elected to the board will stand down immediately as an arbiter. So the shortest arbiter appointment on record.

Piotr Strzyzewski: My name is Peter Strzyzweski. As some of you probably remember last year I lost going for the ‑‑ this office but I didn't give up, I don't give up, and quite a number of you have voted for me and I am truly thankful for this trust in my canned see, and some of you encourage me to do this again and thank you for believing me in me and I will not let you down. This is the reason I am here. The other one is that I am one year older, I think I am one year wiser, I hope so and due to the fact I can probably see better, I am truly I think that I can see better and what organisation need, and one of the things is that we cannot avoid discussion about the charging scheme, we had it already here. The level of the membership fee can be an entry barrier for some smaller LIRs. We have to take this into your mind and we have to discuss that. We have to encourage smaller LIRs, not discourage them from joining our association and as I said, we will not avoid this discussion. So we have to keep in mind that after everything single member of everyone here, there is a person, and people between our communities, the most valuable asset and most important one. And what I would like to promise you I would like to go to the small RIRs, make contacted with them and listen to their need and listen to their ideas and bring them to the board. I truly people that people which could be engaged in the work of LIR association will bring a better future for our association.

I think that my qualifications, my skills and my easygoing personality can be perceived as a good idea to speak and to represent under‑represented countries and under‑represented small LIRs. This thing is, let me ‑‑ this idea that I am a candidate for the board and if you think so please do vote for me. Thank you.


NIGEL TITLEY: Any questions? Okay. Thank you very much. Last but not least Janos.

JANOS ZSAKO: Good evening everybody. For those who do not know me I will try to shortly introduce myself. As far as education is concerned, I have a master's diploma in computer science from a Romanian university in management from a French university, and a diploma in finance from a Hungarian university. I have been an active member of the RIPE community in the last 20 years or even more, I have attended most of the RIPE meetings from RIPE 21 in Rome. I have given several presentations, I have participated in several task forces. So therefore, I'm familiar with the problems which the community faces. And as a Board member, I try to protect the values of the community and I used all my professional knowledge and expertise to help the Board take the best decisions.

I decided to stand again because I'm permitted to serve the community and I'm convinced that I can contribute to the stability of the NCC and I can help keeping the NCC a flexible company who can deal with the challenges which are posed by the changing environment which, from an economical, political and even technical point of view. If I get re‑elected I will concentrate also on some minor issues like improving the administration and processes and I think that the introduction of the digital signatures is one way to do that. So I will try to investigate the legal and operational requirements for introducing and widening this ‑‑ spreading this technology. I also think that we should look for ways of improving the communication between the NCC and the members and also between the members themselves so to find new ways, perhaps. I will also keep an eye on and pay special attention to the personal data protection which right now is an important and hot topic but I am convinced that this is long‑term process so we always have to make sure that personal data is gathered and processed in accordance with the regulations.

I will also encourage the RIPE NCC and the RIPE community to participate in discussions and talks about I O P because ‑‑ and so that we can get involved in the coordination of it because I'm convinced that this is one of the ways to implement and deploy IPv6. I ask for your vote and support to be ‑‑ to continue my work on the Board and if I get re‑elected I will be very honoured by your trust. Thank you.


NIGEL TITLEY: Any questions for Janos? Okay. Thank you very much indeed.

Right. Okay. Now, we move on to agenda point 9, which is the actual voting for resolutions on the Board. And I have a presentation to give on this, apparently. Fergal would normally give this but as I say he has got chickenpox and we didn't want to start an epidemic. Right, okay.

Voting in the RIPE NCC general meeting. It's been a bumper members' meeting, we have got over 16,045 eligible voters and 1,623 votes registered which is a record, and furthermore, it's 10% of the eligible voters, which is something we have not hit for a very, very long time, if ever, so this is really, really good. And representatives of 72 countries, which is the pretty well over the entire service region, absolutely marvellous. Just to give you some idea, the election, when, I was elected first, there was 17 attendees, 17 votes cast. So we have gone a little bit beyond that, which is wonderful.

Okay. This is where we saw the registrations from. I won't go through these all but the top five countries were Poland, Germany, Iran, UK and UA and all of them have less than 10% in total registrations.

Okay. How do we do it? How do we vote at the GM? There are two ways to vote, is paper ballot, which is only for use by attendees, and otherwise it's electronically, which can be done by remote participants or attendees. Voting starts at agenda point 9, as I have been saying all the way through. Paper ballots must be handed in before you leave the room, do not take them with you, back to your hotel rooms, they will not be valid. We have had people chasing after us on the way ‑‑ with a ballot box and it's just not valid, we seal it up here. Electronic votes, on the other hand, can be cast until 9:00 Friday morning, local time. So you have a good day and a half to cast your votes. We do this because the service region is so huge that people are at all sorts of different time zones and it lets them vote when it's convenient for them.


They are all ordinary resolutions, so each of them needs more than 50% of the yes votes to be approved. Abstentions are noted but they don't affect the count. So, what we will ultimately count is yes votes against no votes and there needs to be basically more yes votes than no votes, that is the way it works through. Electronic voters receive the link to the voting application today. This is slightly untrue, you actually received two links, you can use either of them, they sent out an email twice, either of those links will take you to the appropriate voting place for your organisation, you can use either of them. Don't try using both of them because once you have used one the other one becomes invalid so nobody can vote twice, but don't be confused. Use either of them. Right. Paper ballots, this is how things look: Piece of paper, make a mark in one box only for each resolution, so you have a chance to say yes or no or abstain. If you put a mark anywhere else or you vote yes and no and yes and/or abstain, or whatever, that particular vote will be invalid and not be counted at all. So just go through the resolutions and mark yes or no or abstain. As I say, abstains are noted but not counted. The yes and the nos actually count towards the resolution. And there are resolutions on both sides of your piece of paper, so turn it over when you have done the one side and vote on the other as well. Okay.

On to the Executive Board. Six candidates in the Executive Board election so again you will have a piece of paper, if you vote on pieces of paper, we use instant run‑off, and I will explain that later. What you need to do is on the paper or on the electronic link, you need to rank the candidates in order of preference, one is the highest preference, 6 is the lowest preference. You can select just one if you want or two or three but if you don't select all six you are effectively wasting your votes. So try and put them in order of preference, the whole lot of them, if you want. Obviously if you ‑‑ if you have no wish to vote for one particular candidate don't mark them but it's quite helpful if you actually do put people in in order of preference.

Here is how it works. A candidate needs over 50% of the votes to be elected. So, if, at the end of the first round, no candidate reaches 50%, then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second preference ‑‑ votes are recalculated. Okay. So people will eventually bubble up until somebody reaches 50%, at which point they are elected. After the process, and one person has been elected, they are struck off the ballot and their votes are ‑‑ and the process is repeated again, okay? And again, we go around and around and around, reallocating and striking people off and recalculating votes until finally the second person gets 50%. Is that relatively clear? It's all done automatically by BigPulse, not like the old days, I don't know if any of you remember that where we used to do it all on paper and at one point we would be here until 10:30 with 17 rounds of ballots and we all missed dinner that day. Right. So is that clear? I guess so.

Right. Paper ballot. This is what it will look like. It's got six candidates on it, all you need to do is mark 1 to 6, 1 for your most preferred and 6 for least preferred, or you can actually abstain. You either mark abstain or mark the candidates. So don't put candidates and abstain, otherwise the ballot is invalid and we will throw it out ‑‑ well, we will note it but it won't be valid. Okay. So that is understandable. So either mark abstain or rank the candidates in your preferred order. That is the paper ballot. And this is only one side for this piece of paper.

Electronic voting: You will have been sent an email if you have the voting rights. It will contain a link, in fact you will have two emails, but that is neither here nor there. Click on one of them, go to one and click on that link and and it will take you through to the voting page. Right.

How we do it: We use the third party BigPulse system, we have done this for years, it works quite effectively. What we do to count the paper ballots is we store them in the hotel safe overnight, one of the independent tellers, I presume we have tellers organised usually from other RIRs and they are escorted down to the safe, locked in the safe and taken out at 9:00 on Friday morning. The only teller I know is Edmund Teller who invented the hydrogen bomb. There we go. At 9 o'clock the box is taken away to somewhere private and observed and the paper ballots are entered into the BigPulse system. You are welcome to escort the ballots down to the safe if you want and you are also welcome to see them taken out of the safe on Friday morning if that floats your boat.

After the voting deadline passes, as I say, the paper votes are fed into the BigPulse system, and independent observers, that is the word we were looking for, isn't it, rather than tellers, and they oversee the input of the paper ballots into the system. The results will be announced at 10:45 in this room. Basically what will happen is after this agenda point we will adjourn the meeting and then we will reconvene it in this room on Friday morning and I will announce the result. And we will also broadcast the results live for the remote participants on the URL below.

Any questions? Any questions?

Dmitry: I guess the idea would be to publish the algorithm and I am looking this and see the top candidate is removed and the rest are counted, it looks like there could be multiple interpretations for what happens when the elected candidate is removed. Do we start from the very beginning, every ballot doesn't have this or do we just keep the remaining votes? I don't want to use this ‑‑

NIGEL TITLEY: What we actually do is publish a complete breakdown of how the voting went and that is done after the ‑‑ after the results are announced. So if anybody wants to know exactly how the algorithm works and exactly how the votes work then that is available and we always publish it. Thank you for the question.

Dmitry: I guess it's a got a point if you don't put all 6 numbers I like three guys ‑‑ it's a good point.

NIGEL TITLEY: Any other questions? No. In which case, I shall do the reading of resolutions.

I have also been asked to say that even though we lost the stream for a bit, the stenographer has been diligently typing away and that stenographic transcript will be published the same as it usually is just after the meeting closes. So if you lost the stream and you are remote you do still have a transcript, which helps.

Okay. So the resolutions.

  1. "The general meeting adopts the RIPE NCC Financial Report 2017".

We discussed that under agenda point 4.

Resolution 2:

"The general meeting discharges the Executive Board with regard to its actions as they appear from the annual report 2017."

We discussed that under agenda point 5.

Resolution 3:

"The general meeting adopts the RIPE NCC charging scheme 2019."

And we discussed that under agenda point 6.

Resolution number 4:

These were all discussed under agenda point 7, which is about the arbiters.

REsolution 4:

"The general meeting approves the addition of Timothy Mahony to the RIPE NCC arbiters panel."

5: "The general meeting approves the addition of Thomas Tomas Okala to the RIPE NCC arbiters panel."

  1. "The General Meeting approves the addition of Miquel Illa Oliveras to the RIPE NCC arbiters panel.

Resolution number 7:

"The General Meeting approves the addition of Payam Poursaied to the RIPE NCC arbiters panel."

Resolution No. 8:

"The general meeting approves the addition of Sander Steffann to the RIPE NCC arbiters panel.

  1. "The general meeting approves the dismissal of Nick Williams from the RIPE NCC arbiters panel."

Of course the next part is Executive Board elections.

At this point I would normally adjourn the meeting until Friday morning. However, Andrew de la Haye has been with us for a number of years and I think it would only be appropriate for us to give him a round of applause and some thanks for all the work he has done over over the years.


Thank you Andrew. And with that I adjourn this meeting.

I need to open the voting. The voting is opened. Voting is open. The meeting is adjourned until Friday morning at 10:45. Thank you.

[The meeting then adjourned].

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