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Minutes from RIPE NCC GM 1994

MINUTES ref.NCC(94)004
First Meeting of the Amsterdam, 29.9.94
RIPE NCC Contributors Committee
held on 21 September 1994 in Amsterdam


List of Participants:

ACONET Wilfried Woeber
BRITISH TELECOM Nigel Titley
CESNET Jan Gruntorad
CYPRUS Agathoclis Stylianou
DFN Martin Wilhelm
EARN Frode Greisen
EUNET Glenn Kowack
TRANSPAC SWEDEN Eric Malmstrom
HEANET Mike Norris
NORDUNET Peter Villemoes (1st half of the meeting)
PIPEX Peter Dawe
PORTUGAL Heitor Pina
RARE Kees Neggers (Chairman)
RARE EXECUTIVE CTTEE Paul Van Binst (1st half of the meeting)
RARE SECRETARIAT Tomaz Kalin
RARE SECRETARIAT Anne Cozanet (minutes)
REDIRIS Miguel Sanz
RENATER Isabelle Morel
RIPE NCC Daniel Karrenberg
RIPE Rob Blokzijl
TELEBIT Nicolaj Soerensen
UKERNA James Hutton

The following organisations had sent their apologies prior to the
meeting and expressed their appreciation and support of the RIPE NCC
activities:

ANS Guy Almes
ARIADNET Alexis Arvillias
BELNET Stephan Biesbroeck
CERN Olivier Martin
CHERNIKEEFF Ian Harding
DAXNET Tore Rasmussen
DAXNET Morton Neeb
ECRC Dave Morton
GTN Andreas Baess
HEPNET John Thresher
in2p3 Gilles Farrache
INRIA Annie Renard
NASK Tomasz Hofmokl
RosNIIROS Alexei Platonov
ROSPRINT Valentin Bakhov
SWIPNET Olle Wallner
SWITCH Peter Gilli
TRANSPAC Gilles Antoine
TUVAKA Mehmet Okur
UKRAINE Alexander Saban
XLINK Arnold Nipper



1. INTRODUCTION

Kees Neggers welcomes the participants and reiterates that the aim of
this meeting is to organise a workable scheme in the form of a
consortium of contributors for the operation of the RIPE NCC and to
define the relationship between the contributors and RARE, the
organisation which agreed to provide the RIPE NCC service for the
benefit of the European Internet.

The meeting is also informed of the impending merger of RARE and EARN
which will officially take place on 20 October next. The new
organisation (working title NEWORG) will be able and willing to take
over RARE's role of legal umbrella for the NCC.

Most of the invitees who sent their apologies for this meeting have
expressed their full satisfaction with the services and with the
positive influence of the RIPE NCC on the development of the Internet
in Europe.

Documents sent with the invitation were:

a. Terms of reference of the Contributors Committee NCC(94)002
b. Draft contract NCC(94)003

At the meeting, additional documents are distributed:

a. NCC 1995 Budget proposal, FIN(94)102
b. NCC 1994 1994 Payments FIN(93)130
c. RIPE NCC Customers (A proposed tariff scheme)
d. Copies of the slides for D.Karrenberg's presentation


2. REPORT OF THE RIPE NCC MANAGER DANIEL KARRENBERG

Daniel Karrenberg, the RIPE NCC manager, starts with the presentation
of the workload situation at the RIPE NCC, with nearly exponential
growth of the local registries, which cannot be handled anymore with
the limited present staff of 3.5 FTE. The present workload already
requires 5 FTE. The additional activities related to the routing
registry will require another FTE. So the intermediate need for the
last quarter 1994 is 6 FTE, with at least another engineer to be hired
in the course of 1995. The proposed budget for 1995 reflects these
requirements. If the growth rate in local registries continues,
further personnel will be needed.

The base workload of the NCC consists of the interactions with the
providers and the variable workload is related to the size of the
provider. New providers mean extra work because most of the time they
need to be "educated", so it is necessary to organise a course for
newcomers. However, with the present level of staff of the NCC, this
would be quite impossible.

Discussion on the report:

Peter Dawe thinks that the NCC's staffing plans are not ambitious
enough.

Glenn Kowack agrees that one cannot follow the exponential growth of
Internet traffic with an equal rate of personnel growth in RIPE NCC.

Daniel Karrenberg says that it is not the traffic growth that is a
problem, but the growth of the demand for NCC services, therefore NCC
staff complement must increase to maintain the quality of service.

CONCLUSION:

- The conclusion of this part of the discussion is to endorse the
plans for the expansion of the personnel in the RIPE NCC.

- NCC should start recruiting staff now.


3. PROPOSED ORGANISATIONAL SCHEME

Kees Neggers gives the proposal for the organisational scheme:

- NEWORG will operate the RIPE NCC as a cost centre on a non-for-
profit basis.

- The annual programme of work and the necessary budget will be
determined in the following way:

a. NCC Manager will produce a workplan using RIPE's technical
expertise as the input.

b. NEWORG will determine the budget necessary to provide the
service.

c. The Contributors Committee should then give a compulsory advice
on the minimum required set of services and on the tariff
structure on the basis of these elements.


A discussion developed on this proposed model:

Isabelle Morel says that RENATER hopes that voting rights on the CC
will be proportional to the yearly contributions.

Rob Blokzijl reminds the meeting that a list of local Internet
registries (ripe-118) is available and updated regularly.

The discussion clarifies the definition: the entities which are the
institutional RIPE NCC customers are the local registries. Whether
registries of last resort should remain a free service or whether they
should disappear completely is a topic for future deliberation.


CONCLUSION:

The Contributors Committee accepts the proposed organisational scheme.
Annexed to these minutes are the Terms of Reference of the RIPE NCC
Contributors Committee, ref.NCC(94)002v3, and the Agreement on the
Provision and Use of the RIPE NCC Services, ref.NCC(94)005.


4. TARIFF SYSTEM

The tariff system proposed in the tabled documents uses flat charges
for different categories:

"enterprises" = 1000 ECU
small = 2000 ECU
medium = 6000 ECU
large = 12000 ECU

- Bearing in mind the required budget estimated at 407,500 ECU,
which was acceptable to the meeting, the majority of the
participants agree on the proposed tariff system.

- Martin Wilhelm describes the German charging method, which uses a
basic flat fee of 20% based on the whole bill and distributes the
80% of the costs according to the usage of the services.

- Daniel Karrenberg explains that the categorising into 3 regular
categories [small, medium, large] was done on a best effort basis
by the NCC and can always be discussed and reviewed if it is
considered unfair by the contributors.

- Glenn Kowack proposes that there should be an additional category
for multinational entities such as EUnet, Unisource, PIPEX, etc...
and that these should be seen as one entry.

- Peter Dawe does not agree that EUnet should be one entry on the
list of NCC customers. Several others support Peter's position.

- Glenn Kowack does not agree on the cost recovery model if EUnet
stays split into national entities, as proposed, since they all
together do not contribute 25 % of the RIPE NCC workload. He
makes an offer for a lump fee of 50,000 ECU for 1995, with EUnet
as a single entry multinational entity; after determination of
actual usage for 1995, when it becomes available, they will adjust
their payments accordingly.

- The majority of the participating contributors express concern
that this approach may lead to an arbitrary aggregation of
networks which would bring an uncontrollable situation.

- Some of the representatives indicate that they consider
categorisation of the national EUnet entities justified in
comparison with the other networks in their country. DE EUnet is
the largest user of DE-NIC, according to their charging records.

- A proposal to charge every newcomer an entrance fee of 2000 ECU,
which will include a course on the registry functions and how to
deal with and use the RIPE NCC, is accepted

- Kees Neggers proposes that those who have not paid their 94
contributions should pay the newcomer's fee next year if they want
to continue using the NCC. The proposal is accepted.

- Wilfried Woeber says that a payment status report should be
circulated regularly to the CC.

- Since a consensus on tariff scheme could not be reached at the
meeting, a method for reaching an agreement on the tariff scheme
is accepted. The RARE Secretariat will send the proposed tariff
scheme to all RIPE NCC users and ask them either to accept it or
request a change in the categorisation of their organisation in
the scheme. Once the replies have been received, the
contributions for each class will be recalculated using the
proposed 1995 budget (with the necessary margin) as the target.
The new scheme will be redistributed to the users. It is hoped
that the procedure will converge in few steps.

- A number of participants express their requirement to introduce
effort-based charging (by time, by activity, etc...) in addition
to a basic flat rate depending on size and other parameters. The
NCC Manager will work on this idea with input from the CC. It is
decided that the RIPE NCC should start immediately to analyze cost
allocation schemes. Data will be collected in 1995, a decision
for a further scheme decided in 1995 and applied as from 1996.


CONCLUSIONS:

- The cost recovery model should be agreed by the NCC contributors
community;

- RIPE NCC users from the "RIPE NCC Customers" list that have not
payed yet will be invoiced for 1994;

- Users who do not want to contribute should not receive the same
level of service as the paying users;

- The RARE Secretariat will start the iteration of the tariff system
for 1995 based on the current scheme;

- Tariffs from 1996 onward will be volume-based; The RIPE NCC will
start analyzing charging schemes as soon as the personnel
situation permits.


5. FUTURE MEETINGS:

The question posed was whether the RIPE NCC Contributors Committee is
actually needed to continue this work, and if so, should it be
organised by email or in another form?

CONCLUSION:

The Contributors Committee will use the Email distribution list for its work and will meet once a year.

Kees Neggers thanks all the participants for having taken the time to
attend this meeting and for their active and positive contributions to
the future planning of the RIPE NCC.