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RIPE 73 annual General Meeting 
26 October 2016 
7 p.m. 

CHAIR: Good evening everyone.  For those of you who don't knee me, I am Nigel Titley Chairman of the Executive Board of the RIPE NCC, this is the autumn General Meeting, and welcome.  

Okay.  Let's start off with the presentations.  Obviously some of this has taken place already at the NCC Services Working Group, so you'll see in IX I will's presentation and Maria and Salem's presentation, so, we're now carrying on with stuff that we can't generally do during the NCC Services Working Group.  So I'd like to invite Jochem to start with the financial update of 2016.  

JOCHEM DE RUIG:  Good evening.  My name is Jochem.  I am the CFO of the RIPE NCC.  And I'll be presenting on the financial figures for this year.  They are year to date figures up to the 30th September.  

To start off, I think some of the key highlights and I don't think this comes as a novelty but we have seen enormous membership, or LIR Greenhost, I should say, and this has caused our he revenue to be well above budget.  The second bullet I want to note is redistribution consequent quite smoothly, I think most of you have seen the invoice, you received a discount on it which was the redistribution, later on I'll show you some of the figures, they are still small item left, which will roll on to next year.  

Expenses are below budget so far, and another big change for us this year is we're moving offices this year, by the end of the year, and there's quite some investments involved which are capital expenditure.  So far we haven't activated them, we haven't taken them as an asset, but that will happen by the end of the year, so overall for capital expenditure expect to be on budget.  

While showing this in the slide different perspective, here you see the figures.  You'll see the income is above budget as mentioned.  Expenses are quite well below budget at the moment.  I do expect working towards the end of the year it's going to go up a bit, so whereas Q4 is always a bit more expensive also with the RIPE meeting in it, we do see a RIPE meeting in a quarter kicks up the expenses quite a bit.  

So far for the first nine months we had a surplus of 3.8 million, so that is again very high, a lot higher than we forecasted and it's also a bit higher than last year.  Well, the membership, I already mentioned, it has grown, compared to budget the figure doesn't look so big, but do realise that, of course, that 2% all pays a signup fee so that really kicks in in the revenue.  

The average expense per member I'll talk a bit later about.  I just want to show you this graph, and it's continuing to increase.  This is a rolling forecast, so it shows a trend of a 12‑month average and we're actually above 2,000 members on a 12‑month period, and especially last couple of months it's been increasing even faster.  

That leads to the revenue, and ‑‑ will well, I have been speaking to this a bit.  I just want to highlight the big changing items which, of course, are the new member related, new LIR related fees, the sign up fees and the service fees, you will see they are more than 40% up.  Other income is sponsorship for RIPE Atlas and the RIPE meeting, and we do see quite good sponsorships, you'll see the back of your badge, there is a lot of sponsors there.  All in all very healthy revenue development.  

To make it a bit more visual how the expenses have developed, I put a, it's called a waterfall graph here,  on the left you see the 1.6 million surplus we budgeted for up to Q3.  You see the big change, the 1.4 million in additional income we received.  Other big items you see ‑‑ maybe I can just point a bit ‑‑ you see the depreciation.  We have had a change in accounting policy, we moved from a three year depreciation to a five‑year which actually has quite a substantial financial effect this year.  Why did we do this?  This is to align our commercial and fiscal accounting which is going to make it easier to forecast the redistribution.  

Well, most items, expense items are below budget.  There is two items which are a bit above budget, one is travel.  We have had a lot more trips within the regions, especially I think to Dubai and Moscow where an a big success and we do see a lot of trips within those regions, member lunches are successful and we do spend a bit more money on it.  

Consultancy is a bit up as well.  We do use external consultants for their expertise.  

This is the full expense overview, we won't go into much detail as our figures always show personnel is the biggest expense item, about 60% is on budget, and overall we're about 5% below budget for the first nine months.  

Then the average expense per member.  Well, this is to show you a bit what the expense on a per member basis, and you see it's steadily decreasing, this is on a per quarter basis, and at the moment it's just a bit below 1600 euros, and I do expect for the full year to be below €1,600.  To show it a bit differently in how the membership growth is compared to the expense growth.  Here you see I normalised it based on 2012, I put it at 100, you see membership growth is about 80% and the expense growth has been about 25%.  

Looking at your balance sheet, you see the usual items, the fixed assets, etc.  I won't go too much into detail.  I do want to mention that we did expect actually to see a slight decrease in our overall balance sheet with the redistribution, but with the high income coming in that hasn't happened and you actually see a small overall increase.  

I think the item I want to speak a bit to is the redistribution, there is still a bit more than 600,000 on the balance sheet which we still have to return to you.  And this actually comprises a bit when you pay per quarter, you get a redistribution per quarter.  So in October, we sent the final invoice for Q4, and about 300,000 was included in redistribution.  

We kept a safety margin in the tax ruling.  It's implicit that we're not allowed to return more funds to you, the tax authorities wasn't so favourable on that.  So, we always keep a bit of a margin that we don't return too much to the membership.  So all in all, this will flow back into next year's redistribution.  

Looking at the full year, as mentioned revenue is expected above budget.  I just want to show you the amount of income we have from new LIRs.  It's going to be about 7 and a half million for this year, so that's a very substantial number.  

Expenses, a bit below budget.  We're a bit under FTEs.  And capital expenses, well with the renovation costs, I expect it to be on budget.  

And that's it.  Are there any questions?  

CHAIR: Okay.  If there is no questions, thank you very much, Jochem.  

Next item on the agenda is the report from the RIPE NCC, but this has already been given during the NCC Services Working Group.  So, next on the agenda is me, with the report from the RIPE Executive Board.  

Right.  Okay.  This is the report from the RIPE NCC Executive Board.  I'm Nigel Titley, as I have previously said, I am the Chairman of the Board.  

And here the other members of the board.  First of all, there's Remco, who is over there, Treasurer.  Christian is the secretary, he is over here.  Dmitry is there, he is ICANN liaison.  Maria is just a member, but a very valued member.  Salam is also a very valued member and Janos is in the middle here who is also a very valued member.  

Executive Board meetings.  We meet fairly regularly and we have had two meetings since the last GM, one on the 7th July, and one on the 8th September.  And the minutes of the board meetings are published after every meeting, we have deadline of two weeks after the meeting for publishing the draft minutes of the meeting.  And we also summarise the decisions made, if you haven't got time to read the full minutes or the inclination for that matter.  

And of course, as always, we welcome comments on the minutes, which always helps us with discussions.  We are here as your representatives, we need to know what you're thinking.  So you can e‑mail us, you can talk to us in the hallways and so forth.  

We have a strategy workshop.  And we held it in conjunction with the July board meeting, it was in Oslo, and it was a follow‑up to a similar retreat that was held by the RIPE NCC senior management earlier in the year.  And it lasted a day, and the RIPE NCC senior management there as well so they were able to feed in some of the things that they decided at their workshop, and together we sort of tried to chart the way forward.  

And so we did all the usual things that you do in strategic workshops, priorities and how the NCC is going forward.  Somewhat self‑evidently we agreed that we need to adapt to a changing Internet landscape and we also looked reasonably closely at the 2017 activity plan which you have all seen, or at least the draft version of it.  

We decided that one of the important things to do was to increase engagement.  This is partly because members that actually asked us to do this.  Governments everywhere have got really interested in the Internet.  They have finally decided it's going to catch on, and so we need to talk to them and explain to them what it is so we have actually increased the amount of budget that we have set aside for talking to governments.  

We approved the funding for the good of the Internet initially.  We have been talking about this for a couple of years.  We finally decided on the amount of funding we're going to allocate.  And we imparted that in supporting the sustainability of the IETF.  

And there are a few changes to the arbitration procedure, which has largely come from meetings with the arbiters themselves who have asked for a few changes, and also the RIPE NCC has asked for a few changes as well, largely to increase the responsiveness of the arbitration process.  

In the September board meeting, we approved the draft activity plan and budget for next year.  We passed a resolution to suspend the sign up fee waiver on LIR applications from legacy Internet resources holders and Janos will be talking more about that later.  We have also proposed amendments to the charging scheme for 2016 to 2017 which was related to that, and Christian will be talking ‑‑ no, Janos will be talking about that as well.  Lucky Janos! 

The RIPE NCC surplus 2016.  As always we are absolutely delighted that you folk now have control over the surplus.  It's a good mechanism to fix any slop in the budgetary predictions and it's also part of our agreement with the Dutch tax authorities that we don't pay tax as long as we give the surplus back to you guys.  We feel there are definitely enough resources to support a redistribution of the surplus and so we'd ask you to approve giving money back to yourselves if you wouldn't mind terribly much.  If you'd rather give it to the Dutch Government, that's fine by us also, but you know it would be nice if you had a little Christmas present.  

Ongoing work:   
Well, we want to finalise the activity plan and budget.  We have got to carry on with our membership and community engagement.  We, all of us, travel to various regional meetings, or Government roundtables, or other RIR meetings, taking quite a bit of time actually out of our day jobs.  We obviously take an active interest, as we always do, in the results of the RIPE NCC survey.  We are quietly pleased that had you seem to be reasonably happy with the way the Board is performing, and of course, we also keep an eye on RIPE NCC management.  Not that they really need to be kept an eye on, but we're there to keep an eye on them nevertheless.  And of course, we have liaison and cooperation with other RIR boards.  We hold joint meetings with APNIC and others as necessary.  

We do need to know what you want, because you are who we represent.  So, you need to let us know what you think.  Tell us now at the GM, on the members discuss mailing list which I know a lot of you do.  Informally, we're at coffee, in the hall, and also you can e‑mail us directly, and you will always get a reply.  

Questions?  Any questions?  

No, okay.  In which case I will sit down.  


CHAIR: And the next item on the agenda is the draft RIPE NCC activity plan and budget, which Axel is going to present on.  

AXEL PAWLIK:   Well, you all have memorised the draft RIPE NCC activity plan and budget for next year I'm sure.  Thank you.  That was it.  Any questions?  

All right... I go through a bit of it.  

So, you have asked us occasionally to make improvements to the document.  We thought ourselves of some of those, keep it shorter, keep it tighter, make it easier to understand.  Now we have those information boxes in there.  We have re‑ordered the line, the activities.  The idea is to have as much transparency in there as is possible.  Just for easier memorising, right?  

Of course, that's also from the feedback that we received from the surveys, from talks that we had with you.  

So, the focus points, again, quickly, for next year:   Strong, secure, accurate registry, active role in enhancing RIR stability through good governance and accountability, increase efficiency and cost‑saving through stream‑lining of processes and increase engagement you our members, the RIPE community and governments and regulators and any other folk who are interested in what we're doing.  

A couple of clarifications on the figures.  Full‑time equivalents is the total time staff spends on activity rather than the staff being dedicated to an activity.  I think that is understandable.  

OPEX is operational expenses, direct expenses, personnel ex pens allocated to this activity.  All the activities are made up of smaller things underneath that you don't see in the summary I give.  

CAPEX is capital expenditure.  Also you see the ongoing increasing, decreasing labels, basically when we see an activity increases by more than 10% then we label it increasing, otherwise it's in the sort of the noise a little bit.  10% less than it's decreasing.  Well, it's logical.  

Registry maintenance, ongoing, same level of expense roughly.  Data accuracy again, fraud and hijacking cases, get to the bottom of those and deal with them appropriately, increasing number of transfers, things that keep us busy there.  And always, all of those things in the back of our minds we try not to be too annoying to you when we do things, but so we need to be friendly and you know, and all encompassing but we need to ask questions when we need to ask them.  

That's what the outcome is.  33 and a half FTE.  

Other registry services.  RIPE database ongoing.  RPKI expanding, basically it's the reimplementation of the validator there, and also the LIR portal, what we put underneath the LIR portal is expanding and that basically is the new ticketing system that we are looking at and hope to be rolling out internally again to smoothen out the processes.  

Training services, as Andrew has said already, and I have said earlier, very, very popular, so we do expand them, online training, the RIPE NCC academy and webinars, they are well used, when new material is out there.  Face‑to‑face trainings increased because it's so great to see you and have coffee with you.  And also more hands‑on technical workshops, the train‑the‑trainer programme on v6 deployment and things like that.  

RIPE Stat is ongoing.  In 2017, we look at more data set, integrate those, consolidate the existing ones, make everything prettier to take in the visualisation there, and like I said earlier, the country reports will be taken from the prototypes into the production set there.  

Atlas and RIS expanding.  Basically RIS is expanding because of a bigger network, more connecters in there.  But basically the main cost is the back end and the big boxes that we have to keep the data, as you imagine, loads of probes out there, loads of data, things to compress and keep and be able to find back so that we can use them.  So that is actually increased.  

Other services:   
Membership lifecycle management.  There are more members to interact with, that is reflected here.  

Other smaller things, the near realtime mirrors of the database, proxy service, and the registry are ongoing there as well.  

The DNS and K‑root operations is expanding.  Looking at resiliency there globally, security is on our horizon as well, we want to put some into that, and just like cycle upgrades, replacements for the machinery over the course of next year.  

External relations:   I think we heard a very good story there from Maria earlier to understand what our members are dealing with, to look at governments and regulators and just to get better understanding, more understanding, wider, also just geographically wider understanding there, and boosting our knowledge in a number of areas, including security.  

Member outreach:   Expanding, more members, more participation in events from member lunches to NOGs, to regional meetings, to all sorts of opportunities to talk to you in the end.  

So now we talked about the good of the Internet initiative, that is something that is totally new under this label basically in this grouping.  I think it's a brilliant thing that we can do, we are very happy that you allow us to do that.  

RIPE meetings, hey, there's more, the meetings are growing, hotels, the set that we can choose from is getting smaller, makes it a little bit more expensive here and there, so that's expanding there as well.  

IPv6 support, expanding, so general coordination services, data analysis, scientific support, RIPE Labs, RIPE policy, and community support, that is all ongoing on more or less the same level as this year.  

Internal activities.  There is a definition what we put under IT, there were questions about that earlier.  Management HR is education recruitment, secretarial support, HR policy, stuff like that, and information security, as we said earlier,  is expanding, we are putting some more effort into that internally.  

Happy slide, generally membership is growing, or we expect it will be growing.  The expense increase 9% increase in staff of 7 FTE, 5%, membership fee will remain ‑‑ as you know it already, does not change here.  Surplus probably about 4 million, just shy of 4 million.  We'll see where we end up in reality there.  And the really good number, cost per LIR decreasing by 5%, I think that is quite decent.  


CHAIR: Thank you, Axel.  


Next item on the agenda is an item called Charging Scheme Legacy Resource Holders, and this will be Janos.  

Janos:   Good evening everybody.  I hope you can hear me.  I am Janos Zsako, and I will try to present the decision which the RIPE NCC Board took with respect to the legacy resource holders.  

So, first of all, we, as a community, adopted a policy for the legacy holders back in 2014.  This policy defined several ways for the legacy holders to engage with the RIPE NCC.  And the reason for having this policy in the first place was to bring as much data into the RIPE database and to have an accurate database wherever possible and also to clarify the relationship of the legacy resource holders in respect to the services the RIPE NCC offers.  And one of the ways to engage was to become a member, and basically there is a signup fee for any other members.  However, the Board decided at that time that to waive this one‑time fee, and this also became part of the charging scheme later on.  

However, recently, just at the end of the summer, some entities appeared to be exploiting this.  The original intent was for the legacy holders who had gotten the addresses from IANA at that time to register their space in the RIPE database and become members.  However, some people thought it was a good idea to get some legacy address spaces as a small chunk as a /29 even, register in the RIPE database, and request immediately the /22 which a new member could apply for.  

And the fact that this was unfair, first of all, towards the other members and the other members of the community, because this gives an advantage which was not intended, and at the same time, we also felt that there is a danger of the deletion of the free pool.  That's why we decided on our September meeting to stop with immediate effect the waiving of the one‑time fee until the GM is able to decide on the outcome.  

So, we asked the NCC not to waive the one‑time fee for members who apply as legacy holders for membership, and to ask them to either consider other ways of engaging or waiting until the end of the GM.  

Now, of course, the legacy holders could continue to engage in the other ways.  One of them is the direct relationship and so on, which you can find in the policy.  However, we started a discussion on the members list revealing this problem, and asked for the community to discuss it.  And there has been quite some discussion and we had very positive feedback.  Basically all relevant replies or mails to the list were in favour of this resolution.  

Now, the Board proposes to change the charging scheme for 2016 even, and obviously for 2017 as well, which has been already accepted in a way that the membership fee for legacy resource holder who apply for membership, the one‑time fee is waived as long as they don't request any further number resources.  As soon as a member who has become a member based on their legacy address space, requests some further number resources, the one‑time fee will be charged.  

And we therefore now ask the General Meeting to vote in favour of a decision to make these changes.  So the resolution basically is to amend the 2016 and 2017 charging scheme in the way we have presented.  

I think that's all, and any questions?  I see we have some this time

ANNA WILSON:  Anna Wilson, HEAnet.  I am a co‑author of the legacy resources policy, for clarity I'm speak for myself here.  I just want to say nice job.  This is something which was an activity which was clearly contrary to the spirit of the policy, which was always about legacy resource holder paying a fair price for the use of NCC Services, and that wasn't what was going on here.  I appreciate the Board needed to take immediate action.  I thought that action was proportionate and I think the resolution here is very well targeted.  So thank you.  


AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Wolf, do we have a number of people who use the loophole?  

SPEAKER:  How many people tried to abuse the system this way?  A dozen roughly as far as I know but ‑‑ 

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   There was a saying that it has no retrospective effect.  I want to know how many people actually successfully became members without paying the fee.  

SPEAKER:  I think I know the number but Andrew is back there, I would ask him to reply to this.  

Andrew Dell hey:  RIPE NCC.  In 2016 we had four members, four legacy holders becoming a member and also requesting a /22, they also, by the way, requested IPv6 address space fortunately.  So that's what they received.  Those were not the ones with the /29s from legacy space, they had bigger blocks, so there was just a regular case.  But at the moment there is just the /29s coming out of one block, we said, okay, here is something fishy going on and we reported it back to the Board.  There was four.

PETER KOCH:    So, if I understand Andrew correctly, the end use was the v4 part and the v6 part received allocations.  My question to the Board is why is the phrase phrased that way widely and not restricted to a ban on v4 allocations?  Assume a legacy resource holder v4 only signing up for membership and then having to pay the sign‑up fee when they ask for a v6 allocation, and all the concerns about deployment, that could be not so well received.  

JANOS:   Well, we thought that having a ban on any number resources is the way to go forward, because it does not necessarily mean that ‑‑ so the original intent was to have the legacy holders of the original blocks coming to the NCC to become members or to register in other ways, and this seemed to be the good choice.  

PETER KOCH:  I accept the response, but I don't think it's satisfactory because of course it seemed to be a good choice, otherwise you would have decided otherwise.  

SPEAKER:  Jochem.  I think we also took a bit into account that we thought surprise for v4 addresses.  So I think that's why we made it more general.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Lu.  I'd like to ask a simple question.  I mean, as a membership of the board are you proposing basically you know cancel out the whole thing.  Would it be possible that we go some of the middle ways like, for example, we would require the legacy holder to have a minimum /22 themself you know to waive the setup fee, so people cannot come with you know with a single IP /22 and announce the said... there you know.  Maybe that would be an option, putting encouragement still in place, but just... 

SPEAKER:  Let me understand correctly what you are saying.  You propose to waive the signup fee for legacy holders who hold at least a /22 and want to become members?  That's what you are saying?  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   And request another /22 from the RIPE NCC for example.  So, they don't come with a /32 and a request for a member fee

JANOS:  The problem we have seen is that waiving the one‑time fee and at the same time allowing to get a /22 basically free, is something which is against the original intent of the policy.  And this would ‑‑ as I presented in the presentation, would be an unfair advantage to those who acquire by any means some legacy address space.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Just a suggestion, but my concern, which is of a member new, you put in there basically kill the whole, you know, the encouragement for becoming a member of the RIPE NCC.  So that's basically my concern.  But thanks 

JANOS:  Sorry, I'm not sure I understand.  Would that be an encouragement to become a member if they could get a /22 without paying the one‑time fee?  

LU:  I think so, I mean there would be a financial reason for them to do so.  And we also bring their own /22 into the RIR system which, in my opinion, might be a good thing 

JANOS:  I'm not sure I understand.  

ERIK BAIS:  So, I'm actually against the option of getting the signup fee waived, and the reason for this is specifically with legacy space, I will provide you with an option.  You sign up for a free LIR for the waived fees, you get the /22, you move the legacy space to a new entity, and then you do it again, rinse, repeat, rinse repeat, rinse repeat, because it's in the policy, legacy space does not have a transfer restriction, so you can actually lend out IP space and do this whole thing again.  So we need to kill this with fire.  Thank you.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Nick Hilliard.  I just want to agree with Erik on this point.  I have one opinion on Lu's suggestion and that is no! 
ANNA WILSON:  I'll be quick.  The comment I want to make is, there are lots of alternatives we could think about.  However, with a situation we're in today, it is very clear that the loop hope must close, and we have a yes or no choice on whether to do that.  The proposal I think today, the proposal I think today is a correct one because it's unambiguous, it will close the loophole and we can spend time and we should spend time considering the impacts of that and encouragements we want to have, but the loophole must close today. 

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Hi there, Oliver pain from the RIPE NCC, I am chat monitor for people attending remotely.  Sascha Luck from Cork Internet Exchange asks, why not charge everyone and lower the signup fee?  

JANOS:   Why not charge everyone?  Well, we think that the legacy holders should be encouraged to join the RIPE NCC and register their data properly and keep them up to date and benefit from the services we offer.  So, I think it is a good decision.  Well, we can discuss at length about the legacy resources but I think this is the right way to go ahead.  Any other questions?  Then thank you.  


CHAIR: Thank you, Janos.  

And just a reminder that voting on the proposal will take place under item 10 along with the other resolutions.  

Okay.  We now have an item on ‑‑ in fact it's a general charging scheme model discussion, which has been asked for by both by direct e‑mails to us and also on the members mailing list.  So, Christian is going to give a quick talk on this, and then we'll be hoping the floor to questions and discussion, not too long.  

CHRISTIAN KAUFMANN:  So charging scheme again, same thing but different.  

The Board made on various occasions the comment that when you want to change something you have an opinion, and you want to talk to us, please do so.  So what happened in this case is that both on the mailing list as also personally, we got requests for changing the charging scheme, and you might have seen it on the list, and it went in various different directions.  So, we decided today to A) give a little bit of an overview where the charging scheme is coming from and why we have chosen so far the one we have, talk a little bit about the various options which came up, and then we try, let's see how good that works, to actually see ‑‑ get a temperature for the room.  

So, either having new opinions, new comments about that, or if the ones which were already weighted, giving us a little bit of an idea which ones you like more or less, because what we have seen on the mailing list specifically so far was very diverse so, when we had a conversation last time in the board meeting we couldn't figure out exactly what you guys want.  

So, starting with the charging scheme.  The charging scheme is a very popular topic.  We like to talk about it a lot and we also changed it a couple of times.  We started with a very easy one with three categories, then we decided later on to actually make it more granular, because that was our definition I guess of fairness and equality at that time.  And then in 2013, we have chosen the one which we have right now, which is one LIR, one fee, and the membership fee is no longer since then related to the amount of space you have, the amount of allocations, the size and all these kinds of parts.  

The current charging scheme again was coming in 2013, and it didn't just come.  The people who were on the mailing list might remember, we actually discussed it at lengthy, various options, and we actually went to the point where we found that a charging scheme Task Force, which went around had interviews, talked with various peoples to see what the consensus and what we actually want to achieve.  

We then presented in September 2012 various options and one of them was one LIR, one fee.  This is the one which then was chosen and this is what we have since then.  

What we did, based on that, since 2013 is, and you have seen that with Axel talking before, or with Jochem, the financial numbers, is changing the fee downwards, more members, more efficiency, so the price went down.  We had since then also voted twice I guess, on giving the surplus back.  So, for the case where the NCC got too much money through their charging scheme, we actually gave it back to the members.  

Looking at the charging scheme we have right now, it fulfils three big criterias, at least we as the Board like a lot, and one to also see ideally in a new charging scheme if you ever choose to go for a new one.  

One is continuity.  The Board looks after the financial part and we make forecasts, we make a budget.  So, having a charging scheme where at the end of the day there's a certain continuity and we know where the budget and things go makes it, of course, easier and increases the stability.  

Predictability, which the Board likes, but to be honest, the members actually like more.  One of the outcomes of the Task Force at the time was that people wanted to know exactly what they had to pay so that they can budget it and know about it.  So right now you know what you get, you might get money back but you know the maximum.  This wasn't necessarily the case with the charging schemes we had before.  

And we believe in equality.  So equality is not necessarily the same as fairness or probably not at all.  But we believe, as we are membership based organisation, and especially if you look, we have one vote per member and we are all equal, regardless of how much size we have.  This is something which we actually want to keep.  

So, a small amount of numbers.  Oh, who has a small amount of numbers should then... sorry, the other way around, who has a lot of space should not pay forth others.  

The NCC had quite a lot of membership growth.  So we have a lot new members in the last years, as we also have seen why Jochem's numbers, so I guess this is where the question about fairness came up recently, and this is why we are talking about that now again.  

These were the different concepts of fundamentals that people believed in which we could condense from the mailing list, what people wanted to achieve or thought that the charging scheme should be based on that.  So, based on the number of resources allocated, level of IPv6 deployments, resources trained, so kind of use basis version‑ish.  Some of you believe that the charging scheme should be a political method or vehicle to actually enforce IPv6 deployment.  And there was also concerns that the lowering of the fees could encourage the creation of new LIRs and therefore we run out faster.  

Fair enough to say there were also a certain amount of people who were happy with the charging scheme and said we should not change it and it should stay as it is.  

Before we open the mike, a couple of comments about what we as the Board believe and what our recommendation is.  

We believe that the current charging scheme, when you think about the criterias, I talked about predictability in these parts, actually fulfils it.  So we, from a board perspective, are happy with the current charging scheme.  It also has a couple of benefits. One of them is that it's easy to implement and easy to operate from an NCC perspective because everybody gets the same bill.  A very important point which I haven't talked so far about about it, it actually avoids uncertainty.  We talk a lot about and make jokes about the tax ruling and we otherwise have to pay tax, right now because we are a membership based organisation and it is not based on a per IP price in any way, we get a favourable tax ruling.  It is very unclear if that is something which we would keep if we actually change it.  So at the moment, where one could count it back and say you pay an X amount, that means an IP address costs whatever, then we are believing that we might lose that, which also means we will have to pay taxes, which means the fee goes up.  

What we want to do with this information?  So I hope we can talk about that, and you know, then we take your feedback, and at the next board meeting, which is in December, we then talk about it again, and see if we could, what comes up today in the room, but also on the mailing list, till then condense into recommendations, so that when we get a clear guidance from you, actually can go forward and make new recommendations and let everybody vote on.  But for that, as I said, it was quite diverse, the feedback we got, so we need a little bit more clear guidance so that we can actually present something.  

So, with that, I actually want to open the microphone, see if we have either new opinion or if someone feels very strongly.  Hopefully, like a minute a person or something, which wouldn't be too bad.  Erik?  

ERIK BAIS:  I am actually in favour for the current charging scheme that we have currently.  It is extremely easy.  I have heard some very positive feedback from other entities.  You know, it's for lack of a better word, I would even so it might even be too low.  From what I hear from, if I look at how easy companies decide for sign‑up, how it's actually being operated.  Obviously that may actually have other implications.  But if you look at where we are currently with the charging scheme, I am very, very happy with it.  So, I would not recommend changing too much on that.  So... 

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   I have a few questions from the remote participants.  First of all, Alexa from FAS telecom asks what makes a statement that the ARIN membership costs 500 US dollars whereas the RIPE membership costs €2,000.  What do you think of that?  

CHRISTIAN KAUFMANN:   We are going to see how many questions I can actually representative an answer for all of us.  I think there is a fundamental difference between other RIRs, especially like in ARIN and the RIPE.  We have never seen ourselves just as an RIR, right.  We give much more services, things which are getting voted in the activity plan on which, of course, have a certain price, and therefore, as our service and what we actually do for us as a community is much bigger, therefore, there is also a different price tag behind.  

NIGEL TITLEY:  I would just like to remind people of the name of the organisation.  It's a Network Coordination Centre.  It's not a source of IP addresses.  We do a lot more than hand out IP addresses.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   I might also remind everybody that a maintainer and RADB that costs money that adds up to the 500 bucks the membership in ARIN costs.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   I have a few more questions.  Sebastian Visinger says:  I agree that the current scheme is fair and it works.  We had a lot of discussions about charging schemes and a lot of the current discussions feel like a rerun of that.  

And there's one more from Elvis Velea and he asks ‑‑ he is attending remotely ‑‑ he asked what would be the expected surplus for each member?  What is the expected returns for ‑‑ 

CHAIR: Wait for the next presentation.  


AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   I suppose Jochem will cover that as well.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Could you go back a few slides.  So, on what the charging scheme should be based on, could we imagine adding the fact that an LIR has or doesn't have the right to vote, for example, the taxation without your presentation principle, this is one thing that we may think about.  And well another thing, if we are talking about fairness but we still want to keep the one LIR, one fee ‑‑ same charge for every LIR, could we imagine putting a charge on transfers, so each transfer does imply a cost because there are verifications to be made.  I just suppose that the cost is more similar to the opening of an LIR, since there is documentation to be checked.  Can we imagine a charge on transfers, for example, in order to introduce fairness?  There are more and more transfers which consume resources which would otherwise not be used.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Adding charges to transfers will decrease the exactly of the database.  

CHRISTIAN KAUFMANN:  Yes, that would have been my answer as well.  We talked about some other parts and sob honest I'm not sure what the tax implication would be, I'm not an expert on tax, but that was the component in the argument that at the moment a transfer would cost money, people would not register them, kind of do them under the hand and therefore whatever we try to achieve with the accuracy of the database would be at risk.  

Other comments?  I mean, I am happy, I have a dinner appointment, so I make it in time.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   A quick one.  Bounding the charge based on only IPv4 is ridiculous.  We're heading for v6 now, and riding a dead horse is a bit of a difficult thing.  Thank you.  

CHRISTIAN KAUFMANN:  Good... any other comments?  So, we will take the feedback from today.  Look again at the mailing list, have a discussion in December at the board meeting, and then you can see the outcome in an e‑mail which will be published to the mailing list and in the published agenda, and then we go from there.  Thanks a lot for your feedback.  


CHAIR: Thank you Christian.  We have already had a question about how much money Jochem is offering you.  He is about to come up and tell you.  

Jochem:   It's always a bit of a painful presentation, but I guess ‑‑ anyway, so, since the 1st January 2015, we agreed with the tax authorities a new ruling.  The new ruling gives us two options:   Either when we have a surplus, we give this back to the membership, or we, after paying taxes, we accumulate this in the clearing house reserve.  

Well, I showed this a bit in the beginning already.  I just want to look a bit at the green figure, it looks like we'll be heading for about the 4 million surplus for this year.  So, there is a substantial amount to redistribute, and as I also mentioned in the presentation before, there's also a bit left from last year, about €330,000, so in total it's about 4.4 million that's up for redistribution.  

To show you the reserve level, well in 2015 our reserve is actually decreased a bit because we ran a very small deficit, that's the difference between our fiscal and commercial accounting.  If we would add the funds to the reserve, it's about 3.3 million.  Of course the tax reduces the amount we can add to the reserve.  

Looking, then, at our capital, our total reserve versus our total expenses, in 2015 we were 114 percent, if you add to the reserve it's 119%, without the addition it's 106%, that means we still have a reserve which is more than our expenditure.  

The procedure we are following, today you can decide whether you want the redistribution, yes or no?  Well, Elvis, to answer your question, it's about €300 for the average member who pays €1,400, you see it at the bottom, it will end up to be about 1100 net.  

So, the resolution that's before you, the General Meeting, approves the redistribution of the excess contribution paid in 2016 by redistributing the RIPE NCC 2016 surplus to the membership in 2017.  It's quite a mouthful but this means a tax ruling, so that's why it's a bit full on.  If you vote yes, that means you get a discount on your service fee next year, on your invoice.  If you vote no, that means we will have the fiscal surplus added after paying taxes to the reserves.  As Nigel already mentioned from the management and the Board, we support the redistribution, the financial reserves are stable, we have got sufficient funds, so... 

Any questions?  

ERIK BAIS:  Jochem, I have a question.  Is the surplus being redistributed to the number of entities or the number of LIRs.  

JOCHEM:   Number of LIRs and it's based on the actual fee paid.  So if you became a member a little bit later in the year, you get a bit less than a someone who was a member for the full year.  

ERIK BAIS:  It's one member, one vote.  And currently there is a change that entities can have multiple LIRs.  Would it be a suggestion to give, next year, I see that for this year it's not going to make any impact any more, but perhaps for next year, give the option to do the surplus rebate per member, per entity, so that if there are entities that have multiple LIRs, then they still get one discount, not for, you know, the amount of LIRs that they have.  

JOCHEM:   What the current setup is it looks at the fee that's being paid.  So whether you have one LIR or ten, it doesn't really matter.  It matters how much fee you have paid.  So, that's what the redistribution is based on.  

CHAIR:  We can always look at that, but there are tax implications that we'd have to check that out with the tax lawyers first, but that's a good suggestion, thank you.  

KURTIS LINDQVIST:  You have to help me with the math.  You had a deficient last year the reserve went down, yet you have leftover surplus from last year, you lost me a little bit there.  

JOCHEM:   What happens is the process isn't ideal from a financial perspective, because we send the invoices quite early in January.  At that point in time I don't know exactly what the surplus will be, because we only finish the books by the end of February.  So, we have to make an estimation.  That estimation is always lower than the actual redistribution, because the tax authorities did say you can't redistribute more, because that will be sort of giving a dividend to our members.  So that's the one piece of the redistribution.  

Commercially, we run a very small deficit, that's because fiscally there are some items which fiscally are accounted for differently, for instance, like depreciation.  So that's why there is a slight difference.  The fiscal surplus was exactly zero for last year.  I hope that clarifies.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Wolf.  There is the ‑‑ the wording says fees paid.  So, does that include the signup fee if somebody became a member?  

JOCHEM:   No, it doesn't include the signup fee.  Service fees paid.  

CHAIR:  Any more questions?  Okay.  Thank you very much, Jochem.  

Right.  Next item on the agenda is amendments ‑‑ just to remind people that voting on that resolution will again take place under Item 10.  

Number 9, amendments to the RIPE NCC conflict arbitration procedure which Athina is going to present on.  

ATHINA FRAGKOULI:  Hello.  I am Athina, I am head of legal of RIPE NCC.  

So, it hasn't been a long time since we last updated arbitration procedure.  But, since then we have gained some more experience.  We had seven arbitration cases over the last two years and we had an arbitration meeting in May, where we discussed these cases with the arbiters, we received their comments and their experience, how they saw the procedure really worked, and they suggested some improvements.  So based on their feedback, we propose these four amendments to the arbitration procedure.  

And I'm starting with the first amendment.  It has to do with availability of arbiters.  Arbiters are volunteers, and we appreciate the fact that they offer their time, they are offering their effort and so on.  At the same time, being an arbiter is a serious function, and it requires commitment.  So, we see that some of the arbiters are not responsive to our e‑mails or to e‑mails between the arbiters, and even their contact details are outdated.  

So, what is the point of being an arbiter if you are not committed to this function?  So, we proposed to tackle this with three amendments, three additions to the arbitration procedure.  One is the arbiters must explicitly commit to being responsive to the e‑mails by RIPE NCC and the other arbiters.  To the RIPE NCC actively will reach out to the arbiters and ask them to reconfirm their availability and their commitment and their engagement.  And three, if an arbiter is not responsive for a period of one year, then they are up for dismissal.  

The second amendment has to do with time frame for arbitration requests.  When the dispute between two parties occur, either party has one year to request arbitration.  How does that actually work?  They are filling in a form, the request for arbitration form, and they submit it to the secretariat.  So the secretariat does an an administrative check whether all information is indeed filled out.  If some information is missing, the secretary will not reject the form and the request just like that, they will ask for more information, they will help the requesting party to fill in the form properly.  

So, we have noticed that sometimes, although this first form is submitted within this time frame, when information is missing, the requesting party might take a bit longer to give this information back.  And the arbiter may receive the request after this one year deadline.  So, it wasn't that clear in the process when the request for arbitration is considered to be submitted.  

So we proposed to add some more clarification there.  We keep the same time frame from the time the dispute occurs, they have one year to submit their arbitration ‑‑ their request for arbitration.  But, if they do not submit all relevant information, they will have two months to do so.  And this two‑month period cannot exceed the one‑year deadline.  That was the second amendment.  

The third amendment had to do with the legal support offered to the arbiters.  The RIPE NCC helps the arbiters and they do offer legal support if the arbiters ask for it.  But, if the RIPE NCC is a party in a conflict, then the arbiters currently have to ask a third party for legal support.  We have noticed that sometimes the legal questions they have are on minor issues, and there isn't really a conflict if they ask these legal questions to the RIPE NCC.  

Also, engaging a third party for a minor thing might cause some disproportional expenses, and these expenses will be reimbursed, let's say, by the losing party.  

So, we propose to give the arbiters some flexibility and give them the chance to decide whether, for a very small legal advice, they can ask the RIPE NCC or if they want to ask indeed a third party for that.  

Finally, the last amendment has to do with transparency.  The arbitration ruling is shared only with the parties involved in dispute.  It includes confidential information we don't publish the ruling.  What we publish is a report with a summary of the case.  And this report is fully anonymised.  The members are not named.  Actually we call member A and member B, and this is not very transparent and it's not in line with the current practices in arbitration procedures and core procedures.  

So we propose to change that and include in this public reports the names of the parties involved.  And that was the last amendment.  


AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Hello.  Alexander.  You said there was a few cases in the last two years, and how much of these cases lead to the expenses of the third parties or something like you can state exactly how much, how many of these cases were hitting or led to these amendments?  So is it reasonable?  Again, how many cases during the last two years led to each of the amendments?  If only one, well it's not a reason to make this amendment.  If all, yes for sure, we'll do this.  

ATHINA FRAGKOULI:  Right.  So, okay, for the first amendment, the responsiveness of the arbiters, well this happened a lot, sometimes you know there are questions for the whole arbitration panel and we don't get answers from the same arbiters sometimes.  

With regards to the the time frame.  This happened once.  But, this clarification needs to be done, because otherwise there is no deadline.  So, we really had to clarify when the request is considered to be submitted.  

The legal support to the arbiters.  It can happen.  It can happen.  It has ‑‑ I think it has happened, but I don't remember how many times.  But, again, this is ‑‑ it adds some flexibility to the arbiter.  The arbiter may decide to go and ask for third party legal advice.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Hello.  I have a question about time frame of two months.  If you limit the time you can fully submit your forms with the correct information, shouldn't there also be like a limited time for the RIPE NCC to give the response to the missing information because that's what I don't see here is there's no obligation for you to reply to me in a certain time frame.  

ATHINA FRAGKOULI:  That's a very good point, and we are always trying to be responsive immediately, and I see your point, I see your point.  Yes, we are trying to be diligent and responsive.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   Then it's best effort and if you put on a time frame for us, there should also be a time frame for you.  

AUDIENCE SPEAKER:   I have a question from Sacha, a remote participant.  He asks, would it not be better to ask ‑‑ or would it not have been better to require the consent of the parties for the legal support and transparency amendments?  

ATHINA FRAGKOULI:  Well, this is ‑‑ well, for the legal support, it's up to the arbiter.  The arbiter may, indeed, reach out to the parties and ask or not.  We'll leave it up to him.  With regards to the reports, if it is in the procedure, the parties have to agree to the procedure before they start the arbitration.  So, it is ‑‑ this is considered as a consensus, they agreed to that.  

CHAIR:  Any more questions?  I would emphasise that all of these changes were ‑‑ came out of meetings and discussions with the arbitration panel itself.  So the arbiters are, are, in general, agreement with this, as I understand it.  Any other questions?  Thank you very much, Athina.  


Right.  We're on to agenda item 10, in the final strait.  This is the voting on resolutions, we are having a quick presentation by Michael, I think, on actually how to do this, and then I will go through the resolutions once again, and then we'll do it.  

MICHAEL FREARSON:  I'm Michael, I work for the RIPE NCC, you might have noticed I'm not Fergal.  He can't be with us this time, so I'm taking his place.  

So we're about to come to the voting time.  At the last count we had just over 13,000 people eligible to vote in the GM, we had a total of 896 votes, which is around, it's just under 7% of that eligibility count.  70 of them were paper ballots that we'll be collecting today in the room.  826 were electronic.  

So, as I just mentioned there are two ways that you can vote in the GM.  One is by paper ballot.  The other via the link that you would have received in your e‑mail if you registered to vote electronically.  Voting will start at this point.  

The most important thing on this slide is that you don't leave the room without handing in your paper ballot please.  Otherwise it can't be counted.  Make sure you hand in your paper ballots to us before you leave the room.  We'll have a few people walking around with some sham bane buckets to collect them from you.  So stick around.  Look out for those people, make sure you have cast your vote.  

The electronic vote on the other hand, can be cast any time until Friday morning at ten o'clock.  

We have three resolutions, and for each resolution to pass, it needs to receive more than 50% yes votes.  We do note the abstentions, they are counted in the voting results report that we get from the software.  But, they don't count towards the official final percentage.  

Everybody with electronic voting should have received a link in their e‑mail, I'd say at about 6:30 today.  

If you vote by paper.  Here is more or less what your ballot will look like.  The three resolution items, three boxes for each, please mark one box only:  Yes, no, or abstain.  

If you opted to vote electronically, this is what the e‑mail will look like that you received from the electronic voting system.  The red arrow points to the link, you click on the link, it leads you to the voting software.  As I mentioned, we use a trusted third‑party software called BigPulse for the electronic voting.  Once the voting period is closed at ten o'clock on Friday morning, we input the paper ballots into that electronic system to create a grand total.  

I have arranged for independent observers from the other RIRs to oversee the procedure to make sure that it's all legitimate.  

Then on Friday morning, at around about 11:45, we'll read out the results.  I think that's going to be in the coffee break after the first Plenary session.  

We'll get Nigel to announce the results.  It's also going to be broadcast on the webcast live for anybody who is participating remotely.  And there is the link to the webcast.  

Does anybody have any questions about the electronic voting or the paper voting?  

CHAIR: Okay.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Michael.  


I'd just like to say that the reason Fergal is not here is because he and his wife have just had a baby towards the end of last week.  


Right, I will now read through the three resolutions, and then we suspend the meeting until ten o'clock on Friday morning.  

So, off we go.  

Resolution number 1.  The General Meeting adopts the amendments to the RIPE NCC charging scheme 2016 and the RIPE NCC charging scheme 2017.  The amendments will take effect from the closing of this general meeting onward and will have no retrospective effect.  

Resolution number 2.  
The General Meeting approves the redistribution of the excess contribution paid in 2016 by redistributing the RIPE NCC 2016 surplus to the membership in 2017.  

And finally, the General Meeting adopts the amendments to the RIPE NCC conflict arbitration procedure.  

And you can vote yes or no or abstain on each of those three resolutions by either paper or electronically.  

I now adjourn the General Meeting and I will re‑open it ‑‑ I adjourn the General Meeting until announcing the voting.  Remco says I need to open the voting.  

The voting is open! 
Then I adjourn the meeting.  We will re‑open this meeting at 10:45 local time on Friday morning.  

Thank you very much everyone.