NAIPR Message

Answer to Dave McClure's concerns

  > Michael Dillon <michael at MEMRA.COM> writes:
  > On Mon, 17 Feb 1997, Dave McClure wrote:
  ...
  > > BTW, if you'd like some really serious reading on the subject, look at
  > > the way that APNIC and RIPE were formed.  They were formed as a **true**
  > > collaborative effort by the ISPs who had control of the IP addressing
  > > systems. . .with open election of their Boards, ISP control of the
  > > system, and a real non-profit status. 
  > 
  > ... Perhaps the
  > people from APNIC and RIPE can comment on the open election questions.
  > I certainly do not find it unusual that an organization gets bootstrapped
  > into existence with no elections in the first year. As long as the
  > structure is in place for future elections I believe that the ISP members
  > of ARIN will ensure that the organization is above reproach. And ARIN
  > will certainly be far more open that the current privately run Internic.

The key element in this is establishing a level of trust of the
community.  The methods can vary widely.  In the case of the RIPE NCC
even at this point we have no elected board of [DT].*s.  The NCC is
currently run under the umbrella of TERENA, an organisation similar but
not directly comparable to FARNET.  For various reasons we now plan to
set up a sepearate legal entity early next year.  We are following the
ARIN process with interest in this respect. 

The key thing to be constantly aware of is that almost any formal system
works as long there is a level of trust that the organisation operating
the registry is neutral and does a good job and -maybe even more
importantly- that the people actually running the NCC are trustworthy. 
It has taken us more than five years to establish this.  It is with
great admiration that I follow the process around ARIN, especially the
speed at which the *people* involved succeed in establishing such a high
level of trust.  And I think they deserve it. 

  ...

  > > How about a proposed
  > > budget, any input from the ISPs who will foot the bill for this,
  > 
  > Yes, definitely. I agree 100% with you on these two points. However, given
  > the level of vituperative attack we have seen on this mailing list, it
  > doesn't surprise me that the Trustees are keeping the budget secret until
  > they can justify every line item on it. And I am confident that ISP's who
  > intend to become ARIN members or subscribe to ARIN's services will make
  > their views known to the Board of Trustees. Sadly, I expect a number of
  > them will not want to speak publicly due to the level of discord on this
  > list, but that is their prerogative. 

I also agree that open budgeting is an absolutely required key
ingredient to establishing trust.  Seperate but following from that is
open development of the charging scheme.  We religiously publish
everything concerning these two items.  Have a look at our website if
you want the details on how we do it:

    ripe-143     Alternative Models for RIPE NCC Revenue & Charging 1997 
    ripe-144     RIPE NCC Activities & Expenditure 1997 
    ripe-145     RIPE NCC Contributors Committee 1996 Annual Meeting 
    ripe-146     RIPE NCC Charging Scheme 1997 

However we also bootstrapped it at some point.  So I suggest cutting the
people who try to make it work some slack and allow them to get their
homework done before facing the tomato throwing crowd. 

Added remark in response to some other messages on this list: The
Internet is a constantly moving target.  Asking for five year plans is
not going to work.  The RIPE NCC's planning period is more than 15
months as budgets for the following calendar year get approved in
September.  We have had to ammend every single budget during our
existance.  Fortunately the changes required were not big enough to
cause us to keel over - just.  However I can tell you that in the
beginning we were several times seriously understaffed because of
changing and unforeseen developments such as growth exceeding our
wildest dreams - eh - most ambitious planning scenarios.  Of course the
customers were not happy about the resulting delays in service.  So they
cut us some slack because they trust us.  We were authorised to build a
decent level of reserves and received approval for necessary budget
ammendments ... retrospectively.  I believe this is absolutely
necessary for success and all comes back to the initial issue of trust. 
If you give noone a reasonable initial credit of trust you might as well
not do business or even function in society.  Of course the very trust
is an obligation to the one who is trusted and living up to it can be a
hard job. 

Daniel Karrenberg 
RIPE NCC Manager