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Berlin ASO meeting minutes

  • From: Mirjam Kuehne < >
  • Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 20:04:25 +0200

Dear all, 

Please find below the minutes of the open ASO meeting held in Berlin,
Germany last week.

Mirjam Kuehne

Minutes of open ASO meeting 25. May 1999 in Berlin

Daniel Karrenberg summarises the current state of the ASO discussion:
The Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) are working on a proposal.
In the meantime a proposal has been submitted to ICANN by CIX,
EuroISPA and eCOM-LAC. Recently a number of open ASO meetings have
been held:
- at 27. January 1999 in Amsterdam in conjunction with the RIPE Meeting
- at 02. March 1999 in Singapore in conjunction with the ICANN meeting
- at 17. March 1999 in Minneapolis in conjunction with the IETF
- at 12. April 1999 in Atlanta in conjunction with the ARIN members meeting

Mark McFadden from CIX mentions the idea of using a facilitator for
the process, this had been discussed at the RIPE Meeting in Vienna.

Keith Mitchell confirms that, thinks its a good idea, however, no
individual has been identified yet. He summarises the function
description of such a facilitator: 
- the person should be reasonably independent 
- 50% of the time of one individual is needed

Daniel adds that this person would devote time to drive the
process, to organise meetings, to draft documents etc.

Bridget Cosgrave from ETSI offers a staff member for this function.

Rob Blokzijl stresses that the process is and will be open to anyone,
not just the membership of the RIRs, this is the way the RIRs operate

Rob Hall points out that there is a document out there (the proposal
CIX and others submitted), why produce a new one.

Daniel explains that going into detailed documents from the start is
not a good idea in a process that needs buy-in from many
constituencies, writing legal documents should not be rushed, first
agreement on a set of principles is needed. He further suggests to
then write a document that will describe how the ASO will work
de-facto. Only after this has been agreed, detailed legal documents
should be written.  The de-facto operations document should describe at
- how substantial policies are developed and passed to ICANN
- how this process is managed (for instance by an address council) 
- how ICANN board nominations are done

Rob H. thinks we should move forward, because ICANN exists and the 
concept of an ASO is there to be filled.

Keith stresses that there are much less open/contentious issues in the
address arena, there is no reason to rush.

Esther Dyson says that ICANN was hoping to get a ASO proposal from the
entire community for the ICANN meeting in August. A proposal that is
on the table then will be on the agenda.

Bridget asks what the crux actually is in the discussion among the two

Rob H. explains that the RIRs think that only RIRs should be on the
ASO, ISP Associations think there are other constituencies that should
be part of it, RIRs should only operate/implement the policies.

Rob B. clarifies that the registry processes and policy making are
open, no-one has to be a member of whatever organisation.

Keith points out that there are various possibilities to elect ICANN
board members :
- they could be purely appointees from RIR boards
- or they could be elected from the RIR membership
- or they could be elected from regional open forum participants
- or some combination of the above

Daniel is not confident in going into such details at this stage;
these details should be sorted out on a regional level.

In the group there is apparently some misunderstanding regarding the
actual functions of the ASO and address council. Daniel describes the
current structure in Europe: 
- RIPE is open forum that makes recommendations and decisions about policies
- the RIPE NCC is a membership organisation; the members decide about the 
  activities and budget of the RIPE NCC
- very close relationship between RIPE and the RIPE NCC

These constituencies want to be represented. RIPE NCC members and RIPE
participants are worried that they would have to attend different
meetings on different levels to protect their interests. 

Daniel also clarifies that the members of the RIPE NCC, almost all of
them ISPs, tell the RIPE NCC how to spend their money, but there is a
much wider forum who is involved in the policy making (RIPE)

Bridget asks what the problem is with allowing people that do not want
to be represented by RIPE etc. to be represented by some other
organisation on the ASO.

It could not be clarified who these other organisations would be.

John Klensin describes some of the issues related with IP address space.
There is currently nothing broken in the address allocation process.
There is nothing one could vote on wrt. address allocation policy,
it basically follows laws of physics (e.g. routing, IP address scarcity).

The suggestion is made to close the discussion here and to start
working on a proposal together with the facilitator.

Rob H. repeats that not only the existing 3 RIRs should be on the ASO.

Daniel stresses again that we should not take steps too quickly, 
we must get the principles right first before we worry about the details.

John mentions that most likely there will be more than 3 RIRs, and the
existing RIRs support that, they are open to this process.

Rob H. also doesn't like the idea that people are forced to go through
the RIRs.

At this point Esther asks if people in the group think that there is a
difference between the American situation and the European and if so, 
this should also get on the table.

A few people in the group apparently think that there is a difference,
it is felt that ARINs processes are not sufficiently open.

It is mentioned that ARIN was going to change this towards open
policy meetings and in general more open and transparent processes;
this had been decided at ARINs last member meeting.

Barbara Dooley thinks this has only been proposed, it has not been
decided yet.

John tries to find out again what is the problem actually is people
are trying to fix. If it is the ARIN problem, the discussions
regarding the ASO are probably not the right place to do this.

Rob H. thinks that policies should be made on a global level, not
regionally, all experts should come together in one place.

John is not sure if the policies necessarily need or should be the
same in all regions. They are sufficiently different and there might
be reasons to develop different policies, because there are different
circumstances in the regions.

Barbara stresses again that ARIN is not open enough.

Bridget feels that people are trying to importing the ARIN problem to
the ICANN level.

A gentleman from FR Telekom thinks that RIPE should be formalised more,
it needs to be a legal organisation in order to have enough power.

Daniel replies that this question has come up regularly inside RIPE,
and so far the participants seem to be confident with the current

Mark says that in other regions it is not working like that; the goal
is to define a global ASO/ICANN with global representation, maybe the
European solution does not work everywhere.

Daniel responds that he is not suggesting to use the same solutions 
in North America, it should be left to each region to define their 
processes, and there are movements to open up the processes in 
other regions. 
We should not create a global structure to fix a regional problem.

Mark states that also another problem that at first appeared to be an
American problem later turned out to be a global problem (the creation of
new gTLDs), and the RIPE TLD-WG realised that.

Keith disagrees. He says, speaking for a ccTLD registry, this was
never seen as a global problem.

John thinks there is one hypothetical difference between different
regions: the number of very small ISPs related to the total number of
ISPs is very high in North America, therefor one can for instance not
implement the same allocation policies as the RIPE NCC.  If this
situation would appear in Europe the RIPE NCC's policies might have
to be adapted.  A single international policy would create problems.

Daniel explains that this is how policy development was handled over
the last years: making sure the polices are coordinated as much as
possible among all regions and defining where the differences are.
A framework has to be set to allow regions to define their own
procedures, for instance wrt. the election of ICANN board members,
this should not be defined on a global level, but should be left to
every region to find the right process.

Daniel stresses again what the question for (at least the RIPE)
regional constituency is: If there is a global level to it, do I need
to be represented on that as well. If the answer is 'Yes', people will
have a problem with it, because they will have to make sure they are
represented on all levels in order to protect their interests.

If someone comes and says that he or she does not feel represented,
Daniel would like to ask how one can make that person feel more
represented.  To mention the specific issue with the EuroISPA, the
problem is that the RIPE NCC membership overlaps with EuroISPA's
membership, and the RIPE NCC's members are saying that they are happy
to be represented by the RIR process (the RIPE NCC and RIPE in this case)
when it comes to address space issues.

Keith stresses that all meetings where these issues are discussed are

Rob H. thinks that only 'techies' go to these meetings, not the CEOs
of the organisation and they might have different opinions or concerns.

Keith believes that this distinction is meaningless.

Daniel gives an example how the RIPE NCC process work: at one of the
previous RIPE NCC Annual General Meeting some members proposed that
the RIPE NCC should also become a lobbying organisation. However,
consensus was reached that the RIPE NCC should not be doing this, this
should be left to the trade associations. Addressing issues should be
dealt with in a neutral and impartial environment, it should not be
confused by issues where not all members necessarily agree upon.

Rob H. thinks that CENTER is funded, staffed etc. by the NCC.

Daniel clarifies that this is not the case:
- the RIPE TLD-WG was created to discuss general TLD issues
- they came to the conclusion that there is some work that needs to be
  done by RIPE in an open forum, some work should be done by the ccTLDs 
- ccTLDs decided to establish a separate group to work on these items
- they then asked the RIPE NCC to help facilitating this effort
- the RIPE NCC provided office space and administrative support
- financially the group is independent (the funding is provided by ccTLDs)
  and the project will move out of the RIPE NCC offices shortly
- the constituencies are different, that is the reason why it was 
  appropriate to form a separate group 

Rob H. was asked what the actual problems wrt. address space are that
need to be addressed urgently and what his problems are to participate
in the regional processes. As an answer he asks the RIRs why they are
so afraid of having a more open process.

Rob B.: We are open, we cannot be more open than we are!

Keith thinks that the discussion is trying to bang a triangular problem
into a circular solution. Various people are not here. It is difficult to
discuss their issues. The RIPE NCC and RIPE has been working with ARIN
to make their process more open and hopes their members have been, too. 
Isn't this a way forward?

Mark asks, why not recognise that there are other possibilities than the
European model.  One approach to move forward is to find a facilitator
to find convergence between different points of view.  Another
approach is to use a facilitator to start from scratch and to document
the status quo as Daniel suggested.

Daniel answers that this is not what he meant. He repeats the proposed
process: agree on principles and then concentrate on a de-facto
document; don't worry about legal language right now. The ASO should
have a regional structure. It needs to be further defined what this
exactly means: which details need to be discussed on a global level,
which details can be left to the regions?

John says that he is personally very reluctant to see a ASO that is
only comprised of RIRs. But because of the technical issues related to the
address allocation, the RIRs should have a strong majority. 

He also has another concern and that is the direction and the scope of
these constituencies and SOs in ICANN. Is his organisation required to
be part of all these groups to protect its interests? This is not what
he wants!

Rob B. would be horrified if the ICANN structure would lead to the
fact that many people would not be able to attend the RIPE Meetings
anymore on a regular basis.

Mark says that in his organisation there are people that fear that
they cannot influence the address policies

David Randy Conrad explains that also historically the RIRs didn't set
policy in a vacuum, IANA would also listen to other sources,
e.g. the IETF.  Decisions were made based on technical considerations, not
political ones. He would be very worried if this were going to
change. There might be other 'technical advisory councils' to advise
ICANN. The IETF might not necessarily be the appropriate forum in the

Barbara has not yet heard clearly what the objection would be to allow
regions to define their own mechanisms to participate in the ASO
outside the existing RIR structure.

Keith thinks the following steps have to be done to move forward:
facilitation has to be used to extract principles and to define where
the parties differ.  In addition to that all individual regions have to go and
solve their individual problems.

A person from eCOM-LAC reports that his organisation is currently
working together with the academic community in Latin America in order
to form a LatiNIC. He also mentions that he is not happy with the
ARIN services. He believes that commercial organisations (ISPs?) must
have their own constituency in the ICANN/ASO. In the end customers
of ISPs are paying for the next generation of IP.

Nii Quaynor from Ghana reports that the organisations/ISPs in Africa
seem to be satisfied with the services provided by the RIPE NCC. He is
also not aware of anyone in the other part of Africa that is served by
ARIN that has complained about services provided by ARIN, also they
seem to be happy with the status quo. However, Africa is working
towards its own RIR in order to have more influence. He mentions that
they get a lot of support from the existing RIRs.

A gentleman from Japan emphasises that it is very difficult to
effectively participate in many meetings, because of travel expenses
and the time spent; it will certainly be difficult to attend even more
meetings. He admits that his organisation is not totally happy with
the current APNIC services, but still wants to be represented by the
RIRs on the ASO.

John says that ARIN is as anxious to 'get rid of' Africa and Latin
America as those are 'to get out'. These matters will be handled
differently in each region. We should not create mechanisms to solve
problems that might never occur.

Daniel explains that an AfriNIC is expected to be formed and that
the RIPE NCC supports these efforts.

David asks if the RIPE NCC would force someone in the region to
go to AfriNIC for services and not to the RIPE NCC anymore.

Daniel replies that the RIPE NCC would strongly encourage that
organisation and that the NCC would also try to help the AfriNIC to
provide such services that the ISPs in the region would want to receive
services directly from them.

Keith thinks that this is typically something that should be discussed
on a global level.

Keith summarises the discussion: it has been agreed that there should
be some regional structure, there is however no agreement if this
should necessarily be exclusively. There is agreement on the idea to
get a facilitator to work on the further process and to move forward.
ETSIs offer is noted. Keith takes an action to go back to the RIRs
boards to discuss this, it needs to be agreed by all RIRs.

Because the RIPE/RIPE NCC structure is a working mechanism, someone
suggests a possible way forward: an assignment with a clear deadline
to the RIRs to submit a proposal. This may then only be on probation,
the process will then have to be reviewed in two years time for
instance, because there is the concern that not all stake holders agree
with this structure. However, the RIR structure is in place and
working right now, therefor the RIRs should be allowed to start.

Mark notes that this would then not be based on consensus, and that
ICANN is looking for consensus.

Esther explains that ICANN is not recognising groups but bylaws. 
She also does not think that the process needs to be rush at this point.

Izumi from APIA says that his organisation has no clear point of
view at this moment. One problem is that the interest of the ISPs in
the Asian region is not as high as it should be, because of the
economic situation, they basically hope that someone will take care of it.

Esther stresses that the model should be flexible enough to change,
but it should not purely be a placeholder.

Barbara seconds Keith' proposal to move forward.

Keith adds that the proposal needs to be ready for the ICANN meeting
in August; there will be additional open ASO meetings at INET in June
and at the IETF in July.

Esther confirms that the deadline for submission of a proposal is end
of July, beginning of August.

Daniel believes that a de-facto document should be ready at that
point. It will be however too soon for details such as bylaws and
The following issues need to be addressed in the de-facto document:
1. how is policy developed
2. how is the process managed
3. how are ICANN board nominations done
4. what will be defined at the ASO level, what at the regional level

Keith and Daniel agreed to update Kim Hubbard from ARIN and 
Paul Wilson from the APNIC about the discussion and discuss the facilitator 
idea further among the RIR boards.

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