ARIN 46 Members Meeting Transcript - Friday, 23 October 2020
Members Meeting - Opening Announcements
John Curran: Good morning, everyone, or afternoon actually. If folks are ready, we will resume our ARIN 46 meeting. I’d like to welcome everyone back.
This is our ARIN 46 Virtual Meeting, and I’m very happy to see everyone rejoining us. We have gathered here, as typical, our volunteer participants from the ARIN community.
That includes our Board of Trustees. That includes our ARIN Advisory Council. Next slide.
And it includes our folks who work on the NRO Number Council, the group that coordinates with the other RIRs on global policy.
I have some brief announcements and then we’ll get into the Board of Trustees candidates.
So, first, the platform that you’re on, the Zoom conference platform – if you want to chat to one another, you can in the chat window. You can direct that. That’s not for questions. That’s for you to chat amongst yourselves.
If you have a question, then raise your hand. You can do that yourself at the bottom of the screen. Or you can submit it to the Q&A panel. There’s a Q&A panel that allows you to type a question.
We’ll recognize the raised hands when we get to the end of the period after we’ve taken the ones from the Q&A window.
So, that’s the platform. Next slide.
Reminders. Please be professional. Please stay on topic. We follow ARIN Standards of Behavior. They’re available online. They require one to focus on the point and be courteous to each other.
Rules and reminders. I’ll be moderating today’s session. Though, there will be times, like the open mic, when the ARIN Board of Trustees Chair Paul Andersen will be moderating. When you do speak, whether it’s entering in the Q&A, or whether or not it’s raising your hand and getting recognized, please remember to state your name and your affiliation. It’s very helpful for us. It lets everyone know where you’re coming from. Again, Standards of Behavior are in your Discussion Guide.
Go ahead. We are recording and live streaming the session. So there’s a recording of it. It will be available online. It’s being live streamed. The slides will be made available in the meeting report as will the transcripts.
If you need to access the materials right now, like the slides or the agenda, they’re all at ARIN46_materials.
Next. So, today’s agenda. We’re entering our election period, and so we’re going to hear from the Board of Trustees candidates, speeches that they’ll each give introducing themselves. And then we’ll have a Board of Trustees Candidate Forum, where we go through and ask them a couple of questions that have been posed by the community to get a better idea of their thinking on key topics.
We’ll have a break. During the break, the ARIN Advisory Council candidate videos will play. So if you’re interested, we have candidates for the ARIN Advisory Council as well and they have introductory videos.
You can learn about them during the break today. We’ll come back from break. When we come back from break, we will resume with the ARIN Advisory Council Candidate Forum.
And then that will be the same sort of format – questions for each of the ARIN AC candidates. Get an idea on key topics.
We’ll hear a Caribbean update on what ARIN is doing in the Caribbean. We’ll hear a report from the Advisory Council Chair. We’ll hear the Board of Trustees Report and our Financial Report. And then we’ll open it up to open microphone.
So that’s our sequence today. I’m going to start right now with the Board of Trustees candidate speeches. Take it away.
Board Candidate Speeches
Zoom Host: I would now like to introduce Mr. Dan Alexander, a principal engineer at Comcast. Mr. Alexander has served five terms on the ARIN Advisory Council, serving as Chair for three years. He was elected to the ARIN Board of Trustees in 2017. Dan’s experience extends beyond the ARIN region and includes working with other RIRs as well as participating in the ITU IPv6 Working Group.
While on the Board, he Chaired the Nomination Committee in 2018 and ‘19 and also serves on the Appointment and Compensation Committees.
Let’s hear from Mr. Alexander.
Dan Alexander: Hello. I hope everyone has been healthy during this very unique time. Looking forward to when we can get back to meeting in person.
I’m hoping to serve one more term on the Board of Trustees. While good progress has been made, there’s still important work to be done. So, I want to continue serving the community. The contributions to the Board have benefited from my experience with ARIN.
As an engineer for a member organization, I actively use ARIN services. Having been a member of the Advisory Council, I’ve written and shepherded a number of policies, including transfers.
I’ve also served as the Chair of the Advisory Council leading the group for three years. As I finish up my first term on the Board of Trustees, I often reflect how different the roles are, but also how valuable it’s been to be able to apply this experience as a Board member.
When I combine this with other past experiences – small business owner and my current role as an engineer for a large ISP – I feel I bring a wide-ranging and well-rounded perspective to the Board.
One key focus I’ve had in my current term has been on reducing technical debt. You can’t provide reliable services and justify your member fees without a strong operational core. As a kid, you couldn’t go out and play unless your room was clean. I feel an important priority in business is to make sure your house is in order.
It’s never about one issue, though. And the Board needs to manage priorities like RPKI and IPv6 and others. They should do this through their strategic plan, risk register, and budgeting to provide a clear path for the organization and provide value to the ARIN members and the community.
It’s important to note, though, that the Board should depend on the organization to execute the plan and not get too far into the weeds operationally.
The Board’s job is to make sure that the right leadership is in place to do that job and not try and do it themselves.
I’m confident my experience can continue to help lead this organization. And I’ve been thankful for your confidence in me in the past.
I appreciate you allowing me to serve the community through the years and I ask for your vote so I can continue.
Thank you all and take care.
Zoom Host: Now I’d like to introduce Ms. Nancy Carter, the Chief Financial Officer at CANARIE Inc. She was elected to the ARIN Board of Trustees in 2017 and has served as a Trustee and Treasurer for the past three years. This includes time on the ARIN Finance Committee as the Chair in 2018 to 2020, on the Compensation Committee from 2018 to 2020, as the Chair of the Governance Working Group in 2020, and on the Nomination Committee in 2018 and ‘19.
In addition, she is on the CIRA Nomination Committee as a member in 2018, co-Chair in 2019, and now Chair in 2020.
Let’s hear from Ms. Carter.
Nancy Carter: Hello, everyone. I’m Nancy Carter. And I’m thrilled to have been nominated for reelection to the ARIN Board of Trustees. I applaud the ARIN staff’s decision to prerecord these videos as a safeguard to ensure you could hear from all candidates.
My first ARIN meeting was at ARIN 39 in 2017 in New Orleans. Attending as an ARIN Fellow, I met many of you for the first time, and I sensed the inclusiveness of the ARIN community. In addition to feeling welcomed, I was inspired by the work of ARIN and its role in our digital world.
When I left New Orleans, I was driven to get more involved. I was elected to serve on the ARIN Board later that same year, and that has allowed me to contribute back to and feel part of the community that left me so inspired as an ARIN Fellow.
One of the most enjoyable things during my time on the Board has been working and interacting with you. Beyond the joy of being among so many intelligent and purposeful people, it’s the ongoing interaction that allows us to collectively enhance how ARIN serves its community, which is why, like many of you, I’m very disappointed that we’re not together in Seattle this year.
Speaking with you, sharing ideas, and strengthening our commitment is key to the success of the organization.
As you can tell when you read my bio, I come from the research and education sector; I’m the Chief Financial Officer for CANARIE; I’m very passionate about the Internet; I love new challenges; and I have a history of helping organizations adapt to new opportunities and new technologies.
I love technology and what can be achieved by it, yet I’m definitely the least technical candidate for the Board of Trustees.
What I do bring is important financial expertise to the Board. I believe having a diverse set of skills on the Board is critical to ARIN in its role of supporting the operation and growth of the Internet.
For the past three years, I’ve served as ARIN’s Treasurer. Over that time, the Board worked with management to increase the capacity of ARIN’s financial team; to streamline and strengthen financial reporting to the Board; to simplify the Finance Committee reports to you, the members; and to make numerous policy and process improvements.
Three years has flown by. I’m grateful for the support and ongoing efforts of the Financial Services Department and ARIN staff and management.
All organizations, both private sector and not-for-profit, must evolve to maintain their relevancy. CANARIE, where I work, and ARIN are no exceptions. CANARIE’s work today still supports advancing the digital economy, yet its activities are considerably different than when it was formed 27 years ago.
The same is true for ARIN. The scarcity of IPv4 addresses was unforeseen. In fact, last year at the Internet2 Global Summit, Vint Cerf noted that if he could do one thing over, he would have started with 64-bit addressing.
I’d like to believe that you’re involved with ARIN because you support its purpose and want to ensure its continued value and relevance to society. That’s what the other candidates and I are here to do as well.
My not-for-profit, financial, governance, and legal experience will continue to support ARIN’s mission not only today, but strengthen its value into the future.
I hope that I can count on your vote. I look forward to continuing to work with the ARIN community. I believe my first three years on the Board demonstrated my commitment to you and ARIN. Working with you again for the next three years would allow us to further advance the role of ARIN to the benefit of all.
Thank you for listening through to the end of this video. Stay safe and stay positive. I hope to see you in person very soon. Thank you.
Zoom Host: I’d like to introduce Ms. Tina Morris, the Senior Technical Business Developer for IP Address Strategy at Amazon Web Services for the past six years. Ms. Morris has been on the ARIN Advisory Council for the last seven years – two years as a member, two years as the Vice Chair, and currently three years as Chair.
She’s also on the North American Network Operators Group Board of Directors for three years as the Vice Chair.
Let’s hear from Ms. Morris.
Tina Morris: Hi, my name is Tina Morris. It’s weird for me to be here asking for your vote to serve on the ARIN Board of Trustees, especially via Zoom. It’s something I never expected to do. But as with everything in 2020, you learn to roll with it.
I have a deep understanding of ARIN’s functions, as I’ve been a customer for more years than I’d like to admit. And I’ve been attending these meetings for about 11 years.
In many ways I feel like this is my extended family, as you’ve helped me develop my career, leadership skills, and knowledge base.
In that time, I’ve served on a number of committees and volunteer roles in the ARIN organization, and – including the Nominations Committee, Fellowship Committee, Grant Committee, and of course, the ARIN Advisory Council.
I’m so proud of the work that I’ve done on the ARIN Advisory Council. This group of 15 is so conscientious that I’ve been honored to participate and lead critical conversations and develop policy for a varied community.
I’d also like to note that during my time as Chair we’ve expanded to include representation of the Caribbean community for the first time, and eight out of our 15 members are now women. This is a gender balance that we have never seen in our community and certainly something we’re celebrating.
In addition, I have volunteered on the NANOG Board of Directors for three years, dealing with the demands of the pandemic, organizations dealing with that, public meetings – trying to throw those during 2020 has been quite a challenge – as well as onboarding Executive Director and making numerous bylaw and charter changes to ensure the organization stands the test of time.
In my day job, I am a Senior Technical Business Developer at Amazon. I lead a team that handles IPv4 and IPv6 acquisition and distribution.
I also follow policy development in all five RIRs and have an understanding of the inner workings of each.
In addition, my team at AWS is one of the most prolific users and advocates of RPKI today.
I believe I have the skills required to help the Board through the coming years, bringing the necessary transfer market experience as well as a good understanding of RPKI deployment and usage.
I believe as ARIN’s function shifts to critical network infrastructure, they need to increase their operational capabilities by bringing greater transparency, network reliability, and a 24/7 on-call support center.
In addition, I plan to remove the RPA as it is a barrier to the adoption of RPKI. It is critical for the Board to push this in 2021 as widespread adoption is critical to the success of RPKI.
I will bring a realistic, collaborative nature to these discussions, and I believe I have the experience that ARIN needs during this difficult time.
Thank you for your patience with us and this process as we try to make the best of things. I sincerely hope to see you all in 2021. Thank you.
John Curran: Very good. We will now move – at that point, having heard from all the candidates, we will now move into holding the Board of Trustees Candidate Forum.
John Curran: So, in the Candidate Forum, we have brought online the candidates. And there’s a list of questions that we have. The list of questions are the ones that were submitted by the community. And these questions were then sorted by the poll done of the community of which ones are most relevant.
And, so, I’m going to go through for each question, and I’m going to ask each of the candidates to comment on their views on that question.
So the first question is: Should ARIN’s basic fee structure remain as is, or do you feel that there are changes needed? If so, what changes?
I’ll take Dan Alexander on the first question.
Dan Alexander: Good morning. I think, like a whole lot of things Internet-related, the current assumptions – or the current situation is very different from the previous assumptions that we are working on. And the fee schedule is no different.
ARIN used to only allocate blocks to ISPs, and I actually remember being on the AC back when we were debating on allowing end users to get their own blocks.
Now we have end users who can get a /8 and pay ARIN $150 a year while a small ISP pays a thousand dollars for a /20.
So we always need to revisit and look towards an equitable distribution of costs probably weighted towards those who benefit most.
But aside from that I think the top priority is to fix the fee schedule for v6 with respect to small providers because with the small providers you shouldn’t have to be bumped to a higher fee schedule just in order to get an appropriately-sized IPv6 block.
IPv6 should have a zero cost burden over v4, and that should be the top priority in promoting six. Thanks.
John Curran: Thank you very much. I’ll now move to the second panelist. Actually I see Nancy Carter – I see Tina’s ready. So, I’ll move to Tina.
Tina, on the same question of should ARIN’s basic fee structure remain as is, or do you feel there are changes needed? If so, what changes?
Tina Morris: I do support a review of the fee structure. Currently we have policy changes in development to support those extra small ISPs that are trying to adopt v6. Fees should never be a barrier to the adoption of v6. We need to look at that.
I do not support changing policy because the fee structure is flawed. We know more now. We should do better.
Also, we need to look at how our fee structure increments and how we notify people when those increments are coming.
An experience in my organization: we recently crossed the barrier where our fee structure doubled. That was a bit of a shock to our finance department that plans two years out for ARIN fees. The way that’s communicated needs to be revisited as well.
Also I don’t support increasing fees without increasing what the members receive for those fees.
I think we should really reevaluate that. While we need to support the organization, we need to be careful with fees.
John Curran: Very good. Same question. Should ARIN’s basic fee structure remain as is or do you feel there are changes needed? If so, what changes?
I’ll now turn it to Nancy Carter.
Nancy Carter: Thanks, John. So the Board of Trustees is responsible, as you know, for fiscal oversight. As Treasurer and as a Trustee, I take that responsibility quite seriously.
ARIN’s a not-for-profit organization and its operations are funded by its revenues. ARIN manages a global resource for its service region. And to manage that resource, we need an equitable mechanism, as Dan alluded to, to ensure revenues are sufficient to sustain the operations of the organization.
So, with my Treasurer hat on, I think the fee schedule should be revisited to make sure we’re able to keep up with the services that the community is requesting from us, as well as making sure that we can manage the operating expenses of the organization.
That said, I don’t have an opinion on what the outcome of a changed fee structure might look like. That should be done through consultation with the community, and the Board could provide oversight for that. Thanks.
John Curran: Thank you for that response.
Our next question is: What is your view with respect to the role of an RIR with IPv6? Is it to promote adoption of a new protocol, act as a neutral registrar, or something else?
And I’ll start with Nancy since I see you’re already ready.
Nancy Carter: Sure, thanks, John. So my view is that the role of an RIR and IPv6 is both promoting adoption of a new protocol and acting as a neutral registrar.
So, from ARIN’s perspective, both those activities are within the scope of its mission. ARIN’s mission, as you know, is to support the operation of the Internet through the management of Internet number resources throughout its service region – that’s the neutral registrar – and advances the Internet through informational outreach. So, that’s promoting adoption of IPv6.
So to the extent that we can provide content through benefits and advantages of migrating to v6 in a passive and educational way, while staying true to its mission and without turning itself into an advocate, an RIR should do so.
John Curran: Tina, same question: What is your view with respect to the role of an RIR and IPv6? Is it to promote adoption of a new protocol, act as a neutral registrar, or something else?
Tina Morris: I think awareness of IPv6 is significant in the world. At this point we need to work to lower barriers, increase adoption – whether that’s fees, education, training, availability – all of those things. And working with partner organizations in our ecosystems – other RIRs to share training materials, other NOGs, whatnot.
Everything doesn’t have to be created by ARIN by scratch. But it should be made available to their members. And I think we need to work on that.
John Curran: Good. Same question to you, Dan. What is your view with respect to the role of an RIR and IPv6? Is it to promote adoption of a new protocol, act as neutral registrar, or something else?
Dan Alexander: I think it’s all of them probably, and more. I worked with one of the largest ISPs out there to not only promote v6 but to get it deployed to work with vendors, to develop the capabilities, and to drive real usage.
Some cases, v4, it actually has been shut off and v6 only is fully functional. As a member, continue to push that to help people understand the advantages.
The RIR takes all of our successes and promotes those advantages through information and education, but the RIR also has to act as a neutral register because it’s not up to the RIR to mandate how the members should allocate capital and operate their network.
And it’s up to the members to determine the approach that best works for their individual needs and on what timelines.
But the RIRs should also make v6 effortless to obtain and should always be reviewing their policies and fee schedules that create any resistance. And they would want to eliminate that to make the members obtaining v6 resources effortless.
John Curran: Got it, very good.
I’m going to move on to the next question. Again, these are the questions submitted by the community and then ranked by the community.
The next question is: In your view – I’m going to ask this to Dan since we’re already working with you, Dan – in your view, how important is Internet industry experience to serving on the ARIN Board?
Dan Alexander: I think it’s extremely important, but you also want balance and desire. You wouldn’t want a Board of all accountants just like you wouldn’t want a Board of all engineers.
You want a range of expertise and opinions. Each election cycle is different. And you have to look at the makeup of the current Board, who is on the slate, and what skill sets would provide the best balance for the Board.
I think this is where I think where my industry experience is important in this cycle, along with my temperament, my success with v6, and my continued desire to do the work.
John Curran: Very good. Moving back across the panel. Tina, you’re next.
The question is: In your view, how important is industry experience to serving on the ARIN Board?
Tina Morris: I agree with Dan in most part; we can’t have everybody be technical or everybody be a special niche. We do need a balance. However, we do – I think I provide technical insight that the average person doesn’t have in regards to the transfer market and RPKI.
You need people that can bring real-world experience to that boardroom when you’re making choices. When you don’t know how they’re actually going to impact your customers, it is good to have somebody with that perspective.
For example, when we’re trying to push RPKI adoption – RPKI adoption, we consider it critical. But we’re getting pushback from our customers that ARIN’s operational stability isn’t reliable enough to put critical infrastructure on.
The Board needs to know that. They need to understand that and they need to make changes to fix that. And without people with real-world experience, you won’t have that in that room.
John Curran: Thank you. On to you, Nancy. The question is: In your view, how important is industry experience to serving on the ARIN Board?
Nancy Carter: Similarly to Dan and Tina, I think the Board and its members should have a reasonable amount of digital literacy. But beyond that, the subject area is just one small part of serving on the Board.
Board members should understand governance and bring diversity of thought, experience, backgrounds, and skills to the Board. Diverse Boards are effective Boards.
So “Internet industry experience” is a really broad term. It’s an interesting term. It could encompass a broad range of experience which would, of course, benefit the ARIN Board.
Some other characteristics that would be important include things like eagerness to participate at every meeting, willingness to prepare ahead for meetings, enthusiastic participation on committees, understanding fiduciary responsibility, ability to think strategically and stay out of the operations of the organization, and then finally the ability to apply sound business judgment.
John Curran: Very good. I’ll now move on – moving into more exciting territory. We’re going to move to the next question.
And I’ll continue at this end of the panel. I’ll continue with you, Nancy.
Nancy, do you believe that term limits should apply to ARIN Trustees?
Nancy Carter: Yes, I do. I believe term limits are important and they should apply to ARIN Trustees. Term limits enable the organization to continue to grow and evolve by adding new skills and new ideas to the Board at regular intervals and I think that’s important.
Term limits should be structured, though, and appropriately implemented and managed to ensure continuity of trustees and to make sure that we don’t, for instance, see a significant brain drain in any particular year.
An important responsibility that we have as Trustees is to ensure that we have developed effective Board succession plans; to manage orderly succession for positions such as Chair, Vice Chair, and Treasurer; and balancing that continuity and evolution needs to be carefully managed. And one way to do that is through the use of term limits.
John Curran: Excellent. Moving back up the panel, Tina, the question is to you. Do you believe that term limits should apply to the ARIN Trustees?
Tina Morris: I do. I’ve had this conversation a lot – many of the members of our community, I should say. I support term limits. It’s been an ongoing conversation in our community for years. There’s been resistance.
But I believe for continuity of knowledge, if we set a term limit for three years – or three terms, say, so a nine-year term. So, you’re asking somebody to take one year off every decade. I think that’s a reasonable amount. And it wouldn’t affect very many of our Board members.
But we do need that mechanism to refresh the Board, allow for new faces, new ideas and prevent stagnation.
John Curran: Very good. At the far end of the panel, we’re back to you, Dan. Dan, the question is: Do you believe that term limits should apply to ARIN Trustees?
Dan Alexander: I think a hard limit, I would object to. If it was you serve X number of terms or X number of years and you’re done, I think that – it takes way from this community a lot of experience out there that could serve very well.
But, like Tina mentioned, I actually do – I’m fine with the rotation aspect. If a Board member served X number of terms – Tina mentioned three terms – I’m even fine with two terms, where you have to at least stand down for a year, take some time off, recharge, stir up the election cycle and let somebody else step into that role.
But I also do think, as Nancy mentioned about the succession planning and the development, I think we’ve already put some good pieces in place around the Board, making it more clear to the community what they’re looking for in Board members for each election.
And there’s also the new candidate development programs that ARIN’s put in place to help new prospects understand what’s involved in the role and how to get involved in the election.
I think those are great steps towards getting a more diverse Board as well.
John Curran: Very good. I think we’ve done a good job with the ARIN Board of Trustees question.
We’ve got one more question for each of the candidates – gonna mix up the order a little. We’ll start this one off with Tina, picking from the middle of the panel.
The question is: How active in nontechnical Internet governance matters do you think ARIN should be? Tina?
Tina Morris: This is kind of a difficult one because it’s rather vague. So, I believe that our participation should be limited by the scope of the ARIN mission. But if it does relate to the ARIN mission and it makes sense, we should participate.
However, we should be cognizant of the funds spent and whether it truly aligns with what we’re doing. It’s fine for the org to be involved as long as the goals of that group and what it serves to our members make sense.
John Curran: Very good. Moving on to Dan. Dan, how active in nontechnical Internet governance matters do you think ARIN should be?
Dan Alexander: I was just glancing at the texts – the chats, and some people are saying how vague this is. Just to clarify how I read this is the non-registry/Whois support/transfers aspect of ARIN.
And I think there’s definitely a value to ARIN being in that nontechnical governance side of things because being involved in – for having ARIN being involved in the government discussions helps prevent unintended consequences being imposed on the members.
Having all the members be able to leverage kind of the trade association aspect of the RIR is a huge benefit.
I think ARIN’s government affairs and their law enforcement outreach efforts are critical to its mission to advance the Internet and support its members.
John Curran: Very good, our last panelist, last question. Nancy, how active do you think nontechnical Internet governance – how active in nontechnical Internet governance matters do you think ARIN should be?
Nancy Carter: Thanks, John. I may have interpreted this question a little bit differently. I think the interesting word in this question is the word “active”. So, should ARIN be aware of nontechnical Internet matters? Absolutely, yes.
John Curran: Got it.
Nancy Carter: No, I’m not done.
John Curran: Keep going, keep going.
Nancy Carter: Not done, sorry. And if there are areas that ARIN should be active in, like policies around Internet numbers, they should be active. So, ARIN has a role to play in the governance of the Internet and we cannot do that in a vacuum.
So as a Board member, it’s important for us to know that ARIN is paying attention to matters that relate to our core mission. And where it has no direct responsibility, ARIN should simply be monitoring.
But as Board members, we rely on the organization keeping an eye on the environment and ecosystem that we operate within.
John Curran: Got it. I’d now like to take a moment to thank all of our panelists, our Board of Trustees candidates.
That ends our questions. We’re actually well ahead of time. And we’re actually going to move up a presentation from later in the day. I’m going to have Bevil Wooding give the Caribbean Update. And that way we’ll get that done before we go to break.
So, Bevil, take it away.
Bevil Wooding: Thanks, John. Good day, everyone. I’m going to give a quick look at what has been happening in the Caribbean. And like so many of you have already said, this has been a year like no other.
So, I’m going to start with a bit of context. And then we can look at what we’ve been doing specifically in terms of our outreach and engagement in the Caribbean.
If I can get the next slide, please. The past few years, I think we all know ARIN has been investing heavily in its work and outreach in the region. The region has 22 of the 29 territories in the ARIN service region. But the participation of persons from the Caribbean in ARIN activities has historically been low.
The whole direct focus on the Caribbean has been designed to change that.
Next slide, please. So, it’s one of the main reasons why in 2018, we established the ARIN Caribbean Forum. And the Forum has really given us a lot more direct points of contact with our stakeholders in the region.
In fact, we’ve been able to deepen our engagement with the technical community, primarily through the partnership we have with the Caribbean Network Operators Group, CaribNOG. And we’ve been able to increase our interactions with governments in the region, both directly and through the longstanding partnership we’ve had with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union.
And one thing we’ve also been able to do a lot more of since 2018 is facilitate the collaborations between law enforcement and public safety officials in the region and their North American counterparts.
Now, this is all actually translated very positively and very directly in the amount of resource requests we’ve been seeing – the number of resource requests we’ve been seeing in the Caribbean and the total number of IPv6 network registrations we’ve been seeing in the Caribbean.
And so this is something that was a direct result of that heightened outreach with the formation of the ARIN Caribbean Forum. Next slide, please.
But we could not have known how important these connections and these initiatives would have been for this year, 2020. COVID hit like a wrecking ball, particularly on the territories in the region that have been heavily tourism dependent.
And this is where I think the small size of the Caribbean populations and economies really highlight some of the unique vulnerabilities in the region.
The lockdowns and all the restrictions that have been taking place around the world have led to, in the case of the Caribbean, an unprecedented surge in the demand for Internet connectivity and an unprecedented reliance on Internet for everything from government services to essential commerce and all of the other things that have been necessary for continuing life inside of these conditions.
Now, the opportunity side of that: it has also put a spotlight on ARIN, its role, the value of number resources, the benefit of autonomous networks. And we have used that opportunity to really build on our outreach work in the region. Next slide, please.
I want to share with you how we responded, particularly how we rounded up our partnerships and took advantage of the relationships that we’ve built over the past several years.
I want to start with a look at what we’ve been doing with the technical community. Next slide, please.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we polled the technical community to gauge what were the priority issues. We were seeing the immediate impacts of lockdowns and no-flies and all of these things. We knew we couldn’t get around in a way we’ve been accustomed to. And we also understood of course that we had to move everything virtual.
Based on that feedback we designed, together with CaribNOG, a webinar series called COVID-19 and the Caribbean Internet. This substituted for our planned ARIN technical forum event which was supposed to have taken place around the first and second quarter of the year. And it also substituted for the outreach work that we would have been doing with the technical community.
We focused on infrastructure, security, access policy, and network delivery. And it was extremely beneficial to those who attended.
The series – the 10 sessions in that series ran from April through to June. More than 200 persons would have logged on at various stages to participate in the sessions.
And the feedback has been extremely positive. Next slide, please.
We then shifted our focus to our work with the governments in the region. As you know, the Government Affairs Division has been making a concerted effort to reach out to the Caribbean governments to understand what the major issues are and how they impact global Internet policy.
And with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, the CTU, we were able to host four public webinars looking at – under the theme Accelerating 21st Century Government, particularly trying to understand what opportunities existed for accelerating how governments were approaching the buildout of Internet infrastructure in the region, and how they were approaching the issues around policy, public policy, that related to Internet governance issues.
And these sessions, again, were extremely valuable to those who attended. We had a nice range, going from government ministers through regulators and public policy specialists, and of course just general interested persons from the public.
We ran those over the course of a month. And we’re still getting feedback on the impact of the sessions.
All of those – next slide, please – all of this is part of what I think can be safely considered to be our evolving Caribbean outreach.
We can tell that these times are unprecedented. But what is also becoming clear is that the landscape is changing irreversibly. Some of the issues that are circulating around the buildout of the Internet infrastructure in the region are likely to have global implications for policy regulation, privacy, data sovereignty and so on.
And in a real way, to a large extent, our outreach in the Caribbean has served like a seismograph, allowing us to track where the tremors, where the quakes that can impact the work that we’re doing at ARIN, not just now, but into the future.
And you can already get a sense – based on the feedback we were receiving from technical community from the public-sector officials – that the more we track and the more insights we get, the better we’re able to plan for the future.
And for that reason, the intention is to continue strengthening our collaborations with the technical community and with the intergovernmental organizations such as CARICOM, the OECD, which we are working with to initiate data measurement and research project, together with the organization facing Caribbean states. Next slide, please.
And we’re also noticing that our work is getting the level of recognition and appreciation that really inspires us to continue pressing forward.
This statement from Dr. Jules, the Director General of the OECS – this is a 10-member country, intragovernmental agency – I think it speaks volumes: “ARIN has well earned its reputation as a trustworthy, committed, and reliable actor in the service of Internet development in the Caribbean.”
And these words are exactly what we’re focusing on going forward, to continue to be that trustworthy partner to the region.
Looking forward – next slide, please – our four strategic goals of the Caribbean can be summed up like this: To be recognized as a strong and capable partner; to have strong government relations; and to have our services well known across the Caribbean Internet community; and, finally, to support the strengthening and resiliency of the Internet infrastructure in the Caribbean.
This is the roadmap that we’ve set for the outreach work going forward, based on the foundation that’s been laid, based on the changing times and our understanding of what is or what are the priority areas for the region and for the ARIN organization.
Next slide, please. So, what we can say, our work in the Caribbean provides direct benefits, but not just to the islands or territories within the Caribbean.
I think it’s safe to say that the work that we’re doing, the models and patterns that we’re seeing provide benefit to the entire ARIN service region. And we hope to continue to do exactly that, to build those models, to understand the changing landscape of the community and to really deliver in ways that impact positively the entire ARIN community.
I want to close with this simple statement. We’re committed to the Caribbean. We are committed to its development. We’re committed to the technical community, the Internet infrastructure development work that we’re seeing and supporting, and, of course, facilitating the relationships that are so fundamental to the success, stability, and strength of the Internet going forward for us all.
This is a summary of what has been taking place in the Caribbean over the past few months, and I hope it gives you a sense of the track that we’re on and the path that we’re going forward with. Thank you.
John Curran: Thank you, Bevil. That’s been very helpful.
It’s open for questions, if anyone has questions for Bevil regarding the Caribbean update that he just gave, you can either raise your hand or you can post them in the Q&A.
I’m looking, I don’t see any questions. Great update, Bevil. Very good. Okay. I’d like to thank Bevil.
What we’re now going to do, we’re going to move into having the AC candidate speeches, and the AC candidate speeches are immediately followed by break.
I want to say a couple of things just to get it out of the way, and then we’ll start the AC candidate speeches.
First, we have Community Grant recipients who are just – we just announced the other day that our 2020 ARIN Community Grant recipients were all awarded. You can see the announcement online. You can see the details there. $60,000 worth of projects to help the Internet and infrastructure in this region.
Also, I’d like to note that we have some changes coming – next slide – in staff. Steve Ryan, our General Counsel. Steve and I have talked about this quite a bit. And we’re at a situation where ARIN’s got enough work to move to an in-house General Counsel.
Steve is still going to be doing work with us. But he’s going to be specializing in the litigation, mediation, regulatory, and advocacy roles.
And so this is a wonderful transition. And as part of that I’d like to give Steve a round of thanks. So just want people to know that.
Of course, that’s followed by a second announcement. Next slide. Michael Abejuela will be our General Counsel in-house. Michael has served well, and so I just wanted to note that.
And one of the other change that is coming up of some import. Val Winkelman, who many of you have dealt with in our finance organization, Val is retiring after many happy years of service.
We’re very pleased when our folks in the ARIN community and in our staff end up working with us and then make a whole career all the way to retirement. We’ve had quite a few of them.
I think it’s a sign of a good organization. So she’ll be moving on, and it’s been wonderful to have had her all these years.
Now we’re going to go in to the AC candidate speeches. And after that we’ll be on break. Make sure, one way or another you’re back at 1:30 because we’re going to do the AC Candidate Forum.
At this point, AC candidate speeches. Thank you.
Advisory Council Candidate Speeches
Andrew Dul: I’m Andrew Dul, and I’m running for reelection to the Advisory Council in 2020. First of all, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to serve the community over the past few years, and thank you to the Nomination Committee for their support for an additional term.
In the past year, like many of you, we’ve had to pivot on the Advisory Council to figure out how to continue ARIN’s work without the face-to-face meetings that we normally depend on to socialize, build consensus among members. This virtual meeting is just one of our efforts to continue that work.
I think we still have more to learn from our experiences this year. Specifically, I think we can learn how we can incorporate feedback from the community members who are not usually able to attend in-person meetings for any reason.
Along with a few of my AC colleagues, we’ve been putting in quite a few hours this year to work on an update to the Policy Development Process documentation.
We hope the new document is easier to read and follow. There will be a breakout group on the PDP this week, and I hope you can attend if you’re interested.
Over the years I’ve tried to come up with something interesting and different for these candidate speeches. This year I thought I’d reflect briefly on the question of ARIN’s greatest challenge, which was also part of the candidate questionnaire.
I believe one of ARIN’s challenges is continued and active engagement with many different types of networks and network operators.
Fundamentally, how do we get a diverse input from unique subcommunities within the Internet community? At this time, we seem to have a lot of local small operators actively participating in the Policy Development Process.
But we also need large content and other mid-sized providers to vocally participate. We run the risk of making policies that don’t work for the whole community if we only hear from a portion of the community.
ARIN works because the operators in this region have decided that ARIN does a good job of managing and maintaining the registry of numbers. We need to continue that trust to make – continue to be the registry of record.
I believe we also need to look harder at how ARIN can help with routing security. I understand there are risks and legal challenges to being more involved than ARIN is today, but the registry is the fundamental place for certain actions to happen because it is the source of truth for IP registration data.
Finally, I encourage you to check out the candidate questionnaires online. If you have any questions, I normally say find me in the hallway. But that just isn’t an option this year. So drop me an email this year. My email is Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your vote and take care.
Gary Giesen: My name is Gary Giesen, and I’m the Network Architect at CentriLogic, a network, managed services, and cloud provider.
Our present circumstances have led to a sea of change, an acceleration of the transition of workloads to the cloud, increased reliance on technologies such as consumer broadband and SD-WAN, and have tested the very limits of the scalability of all of this infrastructure that so many of us work hard to build and maintain.
Correspondingly, this has brought new demands on number resources and new challenges to both established players and innovators to continue to deliver the services we depend on, as well as advancing the state of the art and building the Internet of tomorrow.
I believe it’s key that we ensure efficient, fair and equitable access to new number resources and do everything in our power to advance the adoption of IPv6.
I’ve been fortunate during my career to have had the opportunity to both work for and with organizations that span a variety of sizes, industries and strategies.
I’ve also had the pleasure of sitting on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Internet Exchange community. I’ve been an ARIN policy author and IPv6 advocate. I believe it affords me a unique perspective, and with my technical governance regulatory experience as well as my knowledge of the ARIN Public Policy process, I can provide valuable insights and sound judgment to serve the needs of the community.
I ask for your vote because I believe I’m the right candidate for the ARIN Advisory Council. Thank you.
Anita Nikolich: I’m Anita Nikolich. I’m currently a research scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. And I am in a one-year advisory committee slot.
I started out life in government and running security at a very, very large ISP, which is where I first dealt with ARIN.
After some time in industry I’ve been in the research and education community for about 12 years. Research and education includes things like state education networks, scientific devices like large particle colliders, and access to cloud and content networks.
I believe that I bring a unique perspective to the Advisory Council because this combination of industry and research and education experiences.
I’ve also had to spend a lot of time dealing with navigating between multiple technical and policy interests to make everyone close to happy.
So the R&E community uses all of your commercial networks as well as their own versions of those networks at national, regional, and state levels. So this brings a lot of complexity both with operations and with IP space ownership, especially as so many more devices are added to networks.
There’s a lot of discussion in that community of how to best interact with ARIN, which is how I got interested in running for the AC.
The R&E community works as a cooperative community model. The downside is that there could be many, many legacy and convoluted relationships with old-time holders of large IP blocks, so making progress in a community like this is a lot harder than just dictating things within a company.
There’s a lot of strong opinions and I’m used to wading through both the technical and the social issues to identify the best policies for the community and respecting that while there’s ways things have been done, there’s opportunities for growth and for change.
In my day job, I work on the technical and research aspects of how to build a better future, a more secure Internet, including Internet protocols. While the reality is to look at even doing this we need to use the current, very complex Internet.
So I participate a lot in local security network hack-a-thons and community conferences, like CHI-NOG at the local level in the Chicago area, and one of the organizers of the AI Village at DEFCON, which is a big hacker conference.
It’s taken me these nine months on the AC to learn how to best foster conversations, make good policy recommendations, deal with the community. And I feel like I finally have more patience than in my younger years to appreciate that good community policy takes time and input. And it’s sometimes slower than you’d like but all that’s necessary to do the best thing for the community. So, thank you.
Gus Reese: My name is Gus Reese and I am running to be on the ARIN Advisory Council. I started out in this industry back in 1998 at a local dialup ISP doing frontline tech support. And now I am the Director of the Edge Engineering Group here at Cogent Communications. I’m also the IP administrator for Cogent and have worked closely with ARIN in the past few years specifically as it pertains to our legacy resources.
My team is responsible for all the IP allocations to our end users. And over the past 10 years I’ve become very familiar with the number policy resource manual, specifically sections 4 and 6.
Cogent has been quiet in the industry meetings for ARIN, NANOG, RIPE, et cetera. And I’m here to change that by participating in policy development and engage with the community, offering a perspective of a large network operator.
I have attended ARIN meetings in the past regularly for the past few years, mostly via virtual participation.
I will be the first to admit that I’m a newcomer to public policy development within the ARIN community. I believe because of my newness and my background in engineering and more recently, internal policy development, I can offer a fresh perspective to policy development within this community.
Thank you, and I would appreciate your vote.
Leif Sawyer: Welcome. Greetings. Programs. Bienvenue. Willkommen. Hola. Privyet. Sah wah dee khrap.
I am Leif Sawyer. I’m “that guy” from Alaska. Recently turned 50. Well, gosh, it’s been a year now. So, I’ll turn 51 here pretty soon. 48 years here in Alaska – the last 25 of that I’ve been with the same tech company with over 20 years in networking. The last five I’ve focused in the security industry.
This is my second term on the AC. And I spent the first term of that writing policy and helping guide the new proposals to fruition to become adopted on the Board.
And my second term I spent as the Vice Chair, being coached on how to lead the team by a great Chair and friend of mine, good colleague as well. She is running for the Board. So that means it’s going to be a difficult year for a lot of people – for me, for the AC, and for voters out there, because you know, it’s transitions – transitions are big.
There’s going to be at least one new face on the AC this year. And for the rest of it, we don’t know; that all remains to be seen. So our challenge on the AC is how do we maintain the pace in the face of the changing cycle of the members on the council.
Well, we’ve got to pass the baton at some point. Chairs come and go. Vice Chairs come and go. And council members come and go.
And there’s no guarantees for succession. So we all do the best we can. And as members change we hand off our information as best we can. Some of the things I’ve done – worked with my Chair, Tina, to help that line of succession is to develop better, a more streamlined way to keep track of the Policy Proposals as they’re going through the queue so we can see where they’re at and how to make assignments in a more timely manner without overstepping who is assigned to what based on working groups that they’re in or existing policies.
I’ve also helped extend some wiki documentation for Sean and the rest of the AC for keeping track of travel, where we’re going for our face-to-face meetings, for onboarding and a few other simple leadership things that I’m hoping to extend out as I continue being Tina’s Vice Chair, or somebody else’s Vice Chair in case of that succession planning going completely wrong.
But I don’t know. We don’t know. It’s going to be interesting. Next year, the following year is going to be very interesting. More virtual meetings. Hooray! As you can see, I’m missing my ARIN crew face-to-face and all the rest of you.
But to wrap up, there are lots of good candidates this cycle. And getting to know them virtually is very difficult. So make sure you’re reading bios, and you’re sending emails and asking us questions. We’re all here to help you make the best choice you possibly can.
But most importantly, the one thing you can do is vote. Thank you.
Chris Tacit: Hello, my name is Chris Tacit, and I’m running for reelection to the ARIN Advisory Council.
In my day job, I am the owner of a small law firm here in Ottawa, Canada called Tacit Law, with an active practice in information technology and communications law.
I first attended an ARIN meeting in Atlanta in 2010. I was there to create awareness for a policy required to meet some specifically Canadian needs.
When I got there, I got hooked. The community was very accepting. The issues were interesting. And I became very interested in developing numbering policy.
So with my background in engineering law and business, I threw myself into it.
In 2014, I ran for and was successfully elected to the Advisory Council. And I was reelected once again in 2017.
I’ve authored, shepherded, and assisted in developing numerous policies. Most recently I’ve been involved in efforts to streamline the NRPM as much as possible to make it more readable and accessible.
If reelected, I’m going to continue working diligently alongside my AC colleagues for the benefit of the community.
Some of the issues I think will require a lot of attention in the coming years are: Number one, continuing to balance needs-based policy with fraud prevention and directory accuracy; simplification of the NRPM; and finally adapting to any new scale and scope requirements for the AC that may be driven by changing community needs.
Please help me to continue being as effective as possible by voting for me in this election. But whatever you do, I urge you to vote. Thank you.
Matthew Wilder: I’m Matthew Wilder, an engineer at TELUS Communications, an ISP in Canada. My day job is IP address management, where I administer IPv6 and RPKI.
My day job requires that I distribute IP addresses fairly and efficiently across TELUS’ services. I believe and hope that I can bring that experience into the Policy Development Process with ARIN.
I’m greatly committed to ARIN, and I have helped TELUS to sponsor the connectivity to the meetings that have been held in Canada, and hope to do so in the future, once we get back to face-to-face meetings.
I’ve also recently volunteered with the ARIN Community Grant Selection Committee. I’ve done that the last two years, and I’ve been grateful to work with very competent and wonderful individuals.
Generally, I’m very committed to Internet innovation; it’s something very close to my heart. I’ve led IPv6 deployment at TELUS and currently I’m leading the RPKI deployment as well.
I’ve had TELUS sponsor NANOG and IETF meetings as well. I volunteer with IEEE, where I am an executive of the Vancouver branch. And I also write articles about network innovations. I’ve written about how networks have helped us stay connected despite COVID and the physical distancing we’ve had to endure this year, and I’ve also written about IPv6 and how it’s so critical to the future of the Internet and its innovation.
I hope also to write about RPKI in the near future and how it’s transforming the security of our Internet and exchange of Internet traffic.
I hope to bring the variety of my experience and passions to the advisory committee where I can help shepherd policy development at ARIN.
Thank you very much for your consideration, and I hope to be working with you soon.
John Curran: Okay. That concludes our ARIN AC candidate speeches. And a wonderful set. I’d like to tell everyone we’re now on break. I look forward to everyone being back here at 1:30 Eastern Time, where we’ll pick up and do our ARIN Advisory Council Candidate Forum. We are on break until 1:30. Thank you.
Advisory Council Forum
John Curran: Okay, I’d like to welcome everyone back to our ARIN 46 Virtual Meeting. I’m John Curran, President and CEO of ARIN. And we’re now going to pick up with the Advisory Council Candidate Forum.
This will be an opportunity to hear from each of the Advisory Council candidates and on its list of questions that were chosen by the community. We will do this for the next 45 minutes.
And I have all the Advisory Council candidates standing by. The questions that have been supplied – we have four questions today. And I’ll read the question and in turn ask each of our AC candidates to speak to this.
So the first question up is: Are there things that you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
And I see we have all of our panelists. I’ll start off with Andrew Dul. Andrew, are there things you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Andrew Dul: Thanks, John, I do think there’s things that need to be changed. And over the past year myself and a couple of other members of the Advisory Council have been working on an update to the PDP, a rewrite of the PDP.
And among the things we’ve included with that are clarity in language, clarity around the petition process, and additional information and process around how the emergency policy and the editorial process.
Largely what we’ve written is the same. But I think that additional clarity is definitely an area where we need some additional input for the Policy Development Process.
John Curran: Very good. Good to hear. I’ll move now on to Gary. Gary, are there things that you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Gary Giesen: The biggest challenges I see with the Policy Development Process is the speed at which policies are adopted. There’s always a fine balance between ensuring adequate time to allow stakeholders and communities to have input into the process; ensuring policy is fair and sound; and respecting the time constraints of all those who volunteer their time while ensuring the policy problems are addressed quickly to solve for real needs.
That being said, as many of the largest hurdles in the policy process have been overcome in the years following IPv4 free pool exhaustion and many policies have become less controversial, I believe this presents an opportunity to find some efficiencies in the time it takes straightforward and overwhelmingly supported policy process to make it into the NRPM.
John Curran: Very good. Thank you for that response.
I’ll move on to Anita. Anita, are there things you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Anita Nikolich: Yes, I think there’s three kind of main things. I think we tend to be a little passive by design to serve the ARIN region. I think we can be more proactive in looking to see: are there best practices or trends we can encourage in the PDP?
We’re coming up with a question on IPv6 while still not going beyond the scope of the AC. I feel like there’s a role beyond just the NRPM where we can have an impact by being a forcing function.
The second thing, I think, is that more voices should be heard. Traditionally in these communities we see kind of the same people giving their opinion.
I think cross-pollinating lists, maybe asking members via survey what’s your biggest pain in the rear with ARIN policy, just to get more input.
Finally, I think partnering and getting opinions and input from policy and legal people that are just not necessarily our voices to get more opinions on what we should be doing.
John Curran: Okay. Thank you.
I’ll now move on to Gus. Gus, are there things you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Gus Reese: Good afternoon, everyone. Can you hear me okay?
John Curran: We can hear you. I don’t see a video, but I do hear you.
Gus Reese: Sorry about that. Yes, I’m relatively new to policy development in this community here. The only thing that I can offer is a greater and varied community input.
As Andrew brought up in his candidate speech, including people outside of what has – let me rephrase that – including people outside the smaller communities, and coming from a large network operator, I can perhaps bring a different perspective there.
John Curran: Okay. Very good.
I will move on now to Leif. Leif, are there things you feel need to be changed in the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Leif Sawyer: Good morning, John. I think time has honed the Policy Development Process really well, and how that process is documented and communicated to the general member community has shifted over the years for certain.
But as Andrew mentioned, we are currently working on ways to enhance and simplify the language for improved clarity in that process.
But we absolutely need to hear from the community members if there are sticking points within the process. And without those, it’s very difficult to make changes in that vacuum.
John Curran: Okay, thank.
Now, I’ll move on to Chris Tacit. Chris, are there things you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Chris Tacit: Thanks very much, John. There are two areas that I’ve targeted. First of all, I did review the work that the PDP Working Group has done, and I made some contributions to that. But I reflected on this a little bit more since this question was posed, and it really kind of focused my attention on a couple of areas.
One is our emergency PDP and policy suspension, which doesn’t get much use, but I managed to see it working firsthand with the waitlist issue that came up in the last couple of years.
And what it led me to conclude is that we need, I think, something in both of those sections, 10.1 and 10.2 or whatever the new equivalent section numbers will be, that creates a bit of a sense of urgency for the AC to act.
In other words, we don’t just wait until the next meeting to start dealing with these things, but creates an incentive for us to act more quickly, perhaps start the process within seven days, finish it within 30 days.
There’s already a bit of a hint of that in the emergency PDP, where if the Board initiates a policy, it says the ARIN Council will review it at the end of the seven days at the end of discussion period.
There’s already one place where it may require us to hold a meeting more quickly than we would otherwise. But I think, where we do have emergencies, it’s important to act quickly. And, so, that’s one.
The other area of focus is on going from Last Call to the Board of Trustees. The way the rule is set out right now is that in order to advance, you need a roll call vote of two-thirds of the members of the full Advisory Council.
And I’d like to see that changed to two-thirds of the members of the Advisory Council present and entitled to vote at the meeting because that’s more consistent with corporate law requirements for special resolutions.
And I think we unnecessarily set an unreasonably high threshold if you end up having one or two members miss that meeting in order to get something advanced after you’ve already done all of that work up to that point.
I do agree you need more than a 50 percent plus one, but the threshold shouldn’t become really onerous because one or two members aren’t present at a meeting.
So those are my suggestions.
John Curran: Thank you, Chris. The final panelist for the question, Matthew Wilder. Are there things you feel need to be changed with the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Matthew Wilder: Thanks, John. I’ll take a slightly different angle on this, and I’ll say it’s not so much the process itself that I see might need some tweaking but maybe the tools.
So as creatures of habit or perhaps tradition, we used the policy mailing list as our primary tool. But maybe there are other tools available to us now for discussion and points that might invite more participation from the community.
John Curran: Excellent. Thank you for that. All right. We’re going to move on to our second question. The question is: As an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
So, I’ll start out – I’m going to start out with Anita. Anita, as an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
Anita Nikolich: In general I have a lot of strong opinions about things like Internet protocols and ISP operations, but when it comes to roles like this in an advisory capacity you have to be totally neutral.
I have no nits to pick; I’m not at an ISP or large company. My interest is really the good of the Internet, and it’s making sure these things are neutral. I feel like I could be a voice of reason for that.
I spent four years at the National Science Foundation funding proposals for science in new Internet proposals, many of which I didn’t agree with but you have to look beyond that. I feel like I’ve tempered opinions with doing things for a greater good.
John Curran: Very good, thank you. I’m going to ask the same question to Gus.
Gus, as an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
Gus Reese: Hi. I’d start by incorporating as many different opinions as I could. Use those to expose me to new viewpoints on proposals. Yet, still maintain a level of neutrality in terms of the industry that I come from and shaping policy there.
John Curran: Very good. Andrew, same question. As an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
Andrew Dul: Thanks, John. In this question, I think, it’s important to remember – am I here?
John Curran: We can hear you.
Andrew Dul: Okay, the screen just didn’t switch to me on video.
Anyway, as an AC member, I think it’s important to look at the different aspects of where the policy is in the process. And as an individual contributor, I think you have a role to play specifically on the policy mailing list during various points.
However, when I’m in the AC meeting itself, I represent the community. My representation, of course, is always influenced by my personal effects, but at various places we’re asked to judge what the community thinks and move the proposal forward based on what we see in the community. And I do that as part of my work on the AC.
John Curran: Very good. I’m going to move on to the same question with Gary. Gary, as an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
Gary Giesen: I think it’s important to draw on your experience and the experience of the other AC members because they represent a wide cross-section of the community. And so I think that judgment is valuable.
So, it’s important to use that expertise while at the same time explaining that to the community and taking the expertise from the community as well and working together to build critical consensus towards what you’re trying to achieve.
John Curran: Very good.
I’ll now move it to Leif. Leif, what do you think – as an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN committee?
Leif Sawyer: John, I think over the past six years I think I’ve done a pretty good job of finding the right balance between both my personal views – professional, corporate views – and those of the community, just by staying up to date with the mailing list and engaging with community members at both ARIN meetings and at NANOG meetings where I attend.
It helps to stay informed of how the different policies are impacting the different scopes of the member communities. But like all of the members of the AC, all of those impacts are taken into account both during Policy Development Process and during the adoption process.
John Curran: Okay. And I’ll move on to Matthew. Matthew, as an ARIN AC member, how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
Matthew Wilder: My primary role on the AC would not be to push my personal views or corporate views on policy, but rather sense the needs of the community and seek out opportunities to move those proposals towards consensus whenever possible.
And this is where I think the title of shepherd is quite apt. It suggests a role of gentle leadership. You’re not going to be able to force the community to do anything. It’s just a matter of seeking out, is there a path to consensus here and can I achieve that as a shepherd.
John Curran: Excellent. And final panelist question, final panelist for the question, Chris Tacit, as an ARIN AC member how would you balance your views on policy proposals with those of the ARIN community?
Chris Tacit: Thank you very much for that question. This is something I do all the time in my day job as a lawyer. I engage in a lot of advocacy. And a big part of good advocacy is understanding what other points of view are and trying to create as much of a win-win as you can.
In this case, it’s not so much trying to create a win for my own personal point of view but really for the community. So I look at my opinion as one of several that has to be taken into account.
I try to particularly focus in on perspectives that are unique or may otherwise be underrepresented. And then I put those through the filter of the three factors of our principles of Internet number resource policy and try to take into account how do each of those points of views advance those three objectives. And that’s kind of the discipline that I’ve imposed on myself.
By doing that, I don’t think it enhances my point of view than any other particularly necessarily.
John Curran: Very good. Thank you.
We’re going to move on to our third question. I’m going to ask each of the panelists: How do you think we should get more of the community participating in the ARIN policy process?
Let me start out, I’ll start out with Leif. Leif, how do you think we should get more in the community participating in the ARIN Policy Development Process?
Leif Sawyer: Obviously, as history shows, what we need is more contentious issues. [Laughs]. No, no. Reality is, people aren’t really interested in developing policies on a day-to-day basis. And kind of even occasionally unless something impacts them specifically and disruptively.
So, if we’re trying to figure out how to engage the community without being contentious or disruptive, well, we need to reach out to those community members and find out what they feel is going to help them become engaged.
We’ve got the Fellowship Program and ARIN on the Road. Both of those try to reach out and increase that participating community.
And we’ve done some things at NANOG as well, both in the smaller policy showcasing meetings and just the overview speeches where this is just what’s happening.
And that’s a way to keep our voices being heard by the different segments of the community. But it’s difficult, and I don’t know that I have an answer yet that meets everything.
John Curran: Okay. Good to hear. I’ll move on to Gus. How do you think we should get more of the community participating in the ARIN policy process?
Gus Reese: I like a little bit what Leif said. Policy development can be a very dry subject there. And I believe that definitely we need more community outreach to engage other parties and draw them in, whether that be from social media or Anita mentioned on a couple of questions prior about sending out surveys to the community to see, to get their feedback.
John Curran: Ask the same question of Andrew Dul now. Andrew, how do you think we should get more in the community participating in the ARIN policy process?
Andrew Dul: Thanks, John. What I think is important for us to look at is who are participating now and who is not participating. And one of the things that I think we’ve seen over the years is that the Public Policy Mailing List, while good as a discussion forum perhaps, is perhaps not always the best way to engage people and bring new people into the process.
And we need to figure out how to engage people in a manner that isn’t on a mailing list. And communication styles change over time, and what was appropriate 20 years ago may not be appropriate now. So, I think we need to use different technology to communicate.
And, third, I think we need to figure out why large organization voices cannot be heard in a public forum. I know some organizations don’t like their employees speaking publicly, whether either individual contributors or not. But we need to hear those voices from large operators because they’re part of our community, they fund our community to a large extent. But we need to hear from them.
John Curran: Matthew Wilder, here’s the question. How do you think we should get more of the community participating in the ARIN policy process?
Matthew Wilder: I think some of the answers here have really touched on what I would say is – partly, it’s a matter of what’s contentious and maybe, dare I say, the elephant in the room is the maturity of the policy itself.
And we’ve seen a transition from a free pool to being one of transfers satisfying the needs of many of the members.
So it’s now more a matter of maintenance and tweaking, I’d say, than sort of blazing that trail. So, part of it is just what are the particulars that come up in policy development.
And I think also technology can play a role in how we collaborate and bring in those voices. I think there is opportunity to bring in more from the community, but it’s that challenge of just making sure there’s a pathway for people to speak. I think ARIN has done some things to make sure there’s outreach. And just continuing to do that will engage those voices that can be reached.
John Curran: Very good. Chris Tacit, how do you think we should get more of the community participating in the ARIN policy process?
Chris Tacit: Thank you. COVID taught us we could do a lot more collaboratively online than we ever, A, wanted to; and, B, thought we could do. And I think leveraging that necessity in two ways could be very helpful.
One is to take the ARIN on the Road model and put it online. In other words, create ARIN on the Web sessions that would have the same sort of structure as ARIN on the Road. But bringing them online. I think you might end up getting participation from more people who either can’t get the time to travel to them even if they’re somewhat local events or close to them, or don’t have the travel budgets to go to the nearest one.
The second thing is to perhaps have some mini online PPMs. We have PPMs at NANOG occasionally and so on. But there’s no reason we couldn’t – especially where there’s either some very important or very contentious proposed policies – do some online PPMs and try to hold them at times of day that are likely to work best for the multiplicity of time zones involved, just like we have with this meeting. Thank you.
John Curran: Thank you. Gary, I’m going to ask you, how do you think we should get more of the community participating in the ARIN policy process.
Gary Giesen: I agree with Leif that policy in the last few years has generally become less contentious since v4 runout. And that’s maybe dissuaded some people from participating.
And I think the best way we can increase participation is to increase outreach and reduce barriers for adopting v6. I think if we can increase adoption we will see more interest from the community as they encounter new problems and use cases that we haven’t yet considered.
And it will also help bring in new members and help bring old contributors back into the fold.
John Curran: Very good. Thank you. The final panelist would be Anita. Anita, how do you think we should get more in the community participating in the ARIN policy process?
Anita Nikolich: I think cross-pollinating communities. I come, by and large, from security communities. I think cross-pollinating to broaden communities to include security.
There’s a lot of up-and-coming generational people looking at machine learning and networking. These people think a lot about address space and where they need to go, what they need to do. So I think reaching out to them, I think constantly also reminding people that they can make a difference.
I saw this, again, at the small R&E community where there was a lot of buzz a couple years ago about RPKI. And it’s not necessarily numbering policy, but people were, like, how do we make a difference at ARIN?
So, I think, getting people interested in certain topic, and I think also being proactive and saying, like, we see these trends in a lot of forums talking about this; is somewhat interested in addressing policy on this? Maybe it’s not necessarily one of people on the AC, but it’s someone in the community. So, I think urging that could make a difference, too.
John Curran: Excellent. Thank you very much.
Okay, our Candidate Forum is moving on to the final question. And I’ll ask each of the ARIN AC candidates what they think.
The final question is: Do you believe a role of the Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Starting out, I’m going to start out with Matthew Wilder. Do you believe a role of the ARIN AC should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Matthew Wilder: What a great question. I think this is one that I considered a lot over the last few years. And it’s a tricky one because ARIN is not a regulator, so it doesn’t have teeth, nor should it.
So on the other hand, obviously IPv6 deployment is critical for the health of the Internet in light of IPv4 exhaustion. So weaving in IPv6 deployment as a must for even things like transfers of IPv4 addresses, that is something that could be done. But then, what are the consequences that we can expect?
So others have raised the point that you could see sort of meaningless ceremonies with IPv6, either someone just getting their IPv6 address to check off that box, or even deploying it in a way that doesn’t actually affect the IPv6 deployment across the net.
So those are the pitfalls, I’d say, to watch out for. But I think if the community does support this idea, that’s one where I think there is something for the AC to explore, but just being mindful of those pitfalls.
John Curran: Thank you. Going to move on to Leif. Leif, do you believe the role of Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Leif Sawyer: The Advisory Council, as members of the community, are absolutely able to write policy proposals on any pertinent topic, including IPv6 adoption.
The deeper question, I guess, is whether or not policy that encourages that adoption can meet the tenets of the development process, right – whether it’s fair and impartial and technically sound and if it’s supported by the community.
And does it pass any operational or legal challenges by ARIN staff? And then the Board of Trustees’ alignment to the business model. It’s got to hit all of those things.
So, yes, we can do it. But it’s got to hit all those things before it can ever be adopted. And I guess that means I’m looking forward to the next IPv6 adoption encouragement policy proposal.
John Curran: Thank you for that. Moving on to Anita. Anita, do you believe a role of the ARIN Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Anita Nikolich: Yes, I 100 percent firmly think so. I think if you have IPv4 already, do with it as you please. But I think it’s just the right thing to do, to encourage IPv6 adoption.
We’ve had this discussion for a decade now. It’s the right time, and I think it’s the time for the AC to be proactive in this.
John Curran: Thank you. Moving on to Andrew Dul. Andrew, do you believe a role of the Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Andrew Dul: Yes, I think there’s a role for the Advisory Council to play for the adoption of IPv6. But I think the primary issue that we face right now with IPv6 is education and actually going out and doing it.
I don’t think the address policy, at this point, is specifically prohibiting or really slowing down v6 adoption. I think the three largest areas that we need to see to move things forward with IPv6 is educating enterprises about turning on their IPv6, getting home broadband routers by default to use IPv6 because if you buy some of the homes products today they still don’t ship with IPv6 turned on by default. And finally some of the smaller broadband providers need some help just getting IPv6 going because we still don’t see that deployed as much as we’d like to.
There’s a role here. But I think education and encouraging the industry to move forward is probably a greater role that we could help with in terms – rather than specific policy changes right now.
John Curran: Very good. Going to move on to Gus. Gus, do you believe a role of the ARIN Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Gus Reese: Pardon me. Absolutely I do. We’ve been – we have deployed IPv6 in our network back in, I think we started in 2005, 2006. And we weren’t one of the early ones out there. NTT was, I believe.
But throughout my tenure here where I work, I’ve always encouraged our customers to use IPv6. And, yes, we do need to – I think it would be good to write policy to encourage the adoption.
But on the other hand, it’s like, will the industry actually adhere to that policy or want to adopt it, even in 2020 now?
John Curran: Okay. Very good. Chris Tacit, same question. Do you believe the role of the Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Did we lose you, Chris?
Chris Tacit: Sorry, I forgot to unmute. Apologies.
So, I’m going to reframe the question a tiny bit. So what I – the way I look at this is I think it’s the role of the Advisory Council to help develop because the Advisory Council as a whole doesn’t write policy. Individuals or small groups of people write policy and propose it.
And of course, as Leif said, individual AC members are members of the community and can do that.
But I want to be careful about encouraging versus trying to instill too much discipline on the community.
Whatever actions we take to encourage IPv6 adoption – and I think the AC has done a lot if you look at the PDP as it is written; it’s not exactly that difficult to get IPv6 resources for anyone who has a legitimate need or any kind of history with IPv4 resources.
So it’s really important to look at our PDP elements. And one of them in technical soundness is maximizing resource availability to parties with operational need. What I wouldn’t want to see happen is us going overboard and actually penalizes people for not switching.
I think we want to encourage but I don’t think we want to penalize because our role is to serve all of our community and to meet all of the operational needs of all parties.
And hand in glove with that goes the mandate of ARIN to ensure directory accuracy. If we’re not careful and we go too overboard, not just encouraging but potentially trying to discourage other things too hard, we may get unintended consequences, which is basically behavior that circumvents the desired policy and results in inaccurate directory information.
So, yes, I believe we should do everything and promote IPv6 adoption as much as we can. But we need to do it in a careful, measured, thoughtful way that avoids unintended consequences.
John Curran: Thank you. We’re on our last question and we’re on our last panelist. Gary, do you believe the role of the ARIN Advisory Council should be to write policy to encourage the adoption of IPv6?
Gary Giesen: I believe absolutely they should both write policy and advocate for IPv6. The Advisory Council is diverse enough and uniquely positioned to both have a view to and the experience in dealing with the challenges facing both the exhaustion of v4 and the subsequent transfer market as well as v6 adoption.
The Advisory Council has a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable in coming up with creative solutions that should be applied to their fullest to remove any hurdles to deploying v6.
That being said, I don’t support creating policies for working around some barriers that are best addressed through other means, such as the fee schedule.
John Curran: Thank you.
I’d like to thank all of our panelists. This concludes the ARIN AC Candidate Forum. And a round of applause for all of them.
Hopefully this will be something useful for people as voting is coming up starting at 5:00 and – starting at 3:00 and running for a week. We’ll talk about that later.
At this time we’re going to transition on to actually hear from the Chair of the ARIN Advisory Council. This will be Tina Morris, with the Advisory Council Report.
Advisory Council Report
Tina Morris: Promise, last time you have to hear from me today. I’m the Chair of the Advisory Council. We have 15 people on the Advisory Council at this time.
We have – I brag about these guys a lot, but we have an amazing group right now. As with many Advisory Councils in the past of course. But this is such a collegial group of people – so collaborative and really with the heart of the community – with the community’s desires at the heart of every conversation. And I love the way we work together.
Since ARIN 45, we have implemented several policies – editorial changes, recommended drafts. We’ve been quite busy, actually. Next slide.
We’ve also sent to the Board of Trustees for review ARIN Draft Policy 2019-10: Inter-RIR M&A. And we have three new proposals in the works.
We as an Advisory Council have really been looking at how we function. About three years ago, I started working on improving processes and procedures when I became Chair.
I met with every single person of the Advisory Council and took their input to Sean Hopkins of ARIN staff to implement. And to his credit he has put all of them to work.
This year we put a lot of that behind us. We have processes and procedures. We have things documented. Leif, as my Vice Chair, and I have created a directory and a Google Drive to be shared with future Chairs and Vice Chairs of guidance and procedures.
Sean Hopkins has implemented many of the things we’ve discussed. But this year at our January face to face, we were talking to the AC again and saying what are we missing, what could we do better.
It came to our attention that we’re waiting for people to bring policies to us, and there’s things that we see that are broken – “broken” perhaps not the right word but could be better.
So we broke into – we took volunteers for three working groups to work on three different separate parts of the ARIN policy process that we thought we could make better.
The PDP Improvements Working Group has Alicia Trotman, Amy Potter, Andrew Dul, and Kerrie Richards. They’re going through the ARIN Policy Development Process to see if we could streamline it and make it better for community 2020. A lot has changed since this was originally created.
The NRPM Cleanup Working Group – anybody that’s read the NRPM, you know it’s a long document. It could be intimidating. We don’t want it to be. We want it to be super clear, make sense, easy to use. Owen DeLong and Chris Tacit and Joe Provo are working on that.
We have lastly the Policy Experience Working Group. At almost every ARIN meeting, we receive a Policy Experience Report from staff. Almost always we get a policy or two in the works from that. But there’s many things that have been mentioned by staff as creating hardships for our community that did not move forward. They didn’t become a policy. They just kind of dropped.
So we went back, the last 18 months – two years, I’m sorry, two years – and Alison Wood, Alyssa Moore, Anita Nikolich, and Chris Woodfield took a deep dive into that to look for things that were still having issues.
Go to the next slide, I think. Sorry. And so of those groups, here are some of the results.
So the PDP Improvement Working Group, they’re finalizing a new draft of the PDP. This is huge. It’s going to the Board for approval. And the Board will, if they agree, send it out for community consultation later. This is huge. We haven’t redone this in a lot of years. So, this is great work.
The next one. NRPM. This is going to be a long effort. A lot of hours have gone into reading this and rewriting it.
And every time you modify a section you possibly impact another section. So we’ve had a lot of work with staff. Many, many hours have been spent on this. You’ll see this come through as editorial changes to the NRPM for the most part. And you’ll see more and more draft policies. Currently Draft Policy 2020-9 is from this work effort.
The Policy Experience Working Group, they’ve created several policies out of this. We have four. One is in Last Call already. There was not a new policy experience report at ARIN 46.
So this group will kind of become ad hoc. They’ve addressed most of the issues they’ve found. And as new policy reports come out, we’ll continue to work with this group.
Policy Proposal traffic. As you can see 2019 was a pretty busy year. 2020 has not been as busy. We don’t reflect on that as a negative thing. We’re hoping that the policies that we present to the community are well thought out and useful.
John Curran: We’re opening it up for questions. Folks can raise their hand or put it in the Q&A. And we’ll give that to Tina.
Any questions? I don’t see any.
Tina Morris: I don’t either.
John Curran: We’ll have to let Tina go then. Okay. Very good.
We’ll move on to our next presentation, Nancy Carter doing the Financial Report.
Nancy Carter: Thank you, John. I am super excited to be able to present the ARIN Treasurer’s Report to you. And as always, I know that the Treasurer’s Report is the reason you’ve all stayed on Zoom all morning and afternoon.
I could not serve as Treasurer without the help and support of the ARIN staff and my colleagues on the Board of Trustees.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Financial Services Department for your continued dedication to evolving financial reporting and metrics that the Board relies on so heavily.
Congratulations, Val, on your well-deserved retirement. Enjoy this next chapter. And thank you so much for onboarding me three years ago and for making sure that Brian and the rest of the team are able to take over FSD in such a seamless way. I know you will be missed by the rest of the team.
I’m going to update you all on the activities of the Finance Committee. I will review the 2020 year-to-date financial results, look at customer growth, provide highlights of the investing portfolio, and then finally look at ARIN’s financial position.
Next slide, please. The Finance Committee has been really busy this year. We reviewed the financial statements for 2019 and reviewed and acted on recommendations coming from a risk assessment done by the audit firm.
We continue to monitor revenues to ensure that there were no negative impacts on our cash flow as a result of the pandemic. We spent considerable time reviewing and updating investment policy statements in consultation with our investment consultants.
We reviewed and recommended Board approval of the 2019 Form 990. Before 2020 is over we’ll review recommendations coming out of two RFPs that were issued for required services.
But the greatest time of the year is upon us. It’s budget time. We delve into that starting next week. Next slide, please.
This chart shows you total revenues through September 30th. Registration and maintenance fee revenue is about 90 percent of our total revenues. And it turns out that 2020 maintenance fee revenue is virtually the same as 2019.
These revenues are about four percent below budget due simply to a lack of forecasted growth. Revenue from allocation and assignment of initial Internet resources has grown nine percent in 2020 to $1.1 million and we’re a bit ahead of budget.
Other revenues are approximately 450,000 through September 30th, and this revenue line is below 2019 actual and 2020 budgets.
Overall, however, revenues are the same as 2019 and did not grow as fast as they had been forecasted to.
Next slide, please. Where does revenue come from? It comes from our customers. We’ve seen a Registration Services Plan customer increase of about nine percent since September of last year. And almost all those additions are in the small to 3X-small categories.
Our end-user customer base of just over 16,000 is actually a small decrease from September of 2019. And similar to the April report, the material growth continues to be in our small categories. Next slide, please.
This chart shows you our operating expenses. The significant 2020 budget variance is driven by below-budget head count and the changes to spending caused by the pandemic.
Overall, expenses are 11 percent under budget and slightly less than our operating expenses at the same time last year. Next slide, please.
On this chart, I’m going to show you and talk to you about the material budget variances. For context, personnel expenses represent about 58 percent of our total operating expenses. Our personnel costs were below budget at September 30th by $300,000.
Turnover and delayed hiring of some of our open positions contributed to this variance. However, embedded in this variance is an over budget position in accrued comprehensive leave. This line item is almost $140,000 more than budget because employees have not been taking the normal amount of vacation time as a result of the pandemic. This is a phenomenon that many organizations are experiencing.
The health and well-being of our staff is of paramount importance to the ARIN Board. ARIN continues to encourage team members to take time off and highlights the fact that time off is a necessary break to maintain good health for both physical and mental well-being.
The variance of $1 million in travel and member meetings is, of course, driven by the pandemic and the cancellation of all travel since the middle of March.
The public relations and outreach experience is also a reflection of the ban on travel.
Next slide, please. ARIN’s investment portfolio. Our portfolio is allocated into three distinct funds, as I often tell you, and each with their own different investment objective. The chart in front of you illustrates the investment portfolio balances over the last nine months.
You’ll note that the portfolio balances have recovered from the February and March market corrections. And at the end of September the portfolio balance stood at $30.6 million.
The Finance Committee and ARIN staff continues to work very closely with ARIN’s investment consultants to manage our investments.
Next slide, please. ARIN’s net assets are shown on this chart. We have experienced an increase in our net assets due to the combination of an operating surplus over the first three quarters of the fiscal year and the increased valuation of the investment portfolio since January 1st. This is very positive news for ARIN.
Next slide, please. Net assets as a percentage of operating expenses is a new metric that we presented last year at ARIN 44. And it’s a metric that can be used to demonstrate the financial health of a not-for-profit organization.
At the end of December, ARIN’s net assets are predicted to be sufficient to cover almost 17 months of operating expenses, which is an increase over 2019.
The Finance Committee and the ARIN management team continue to monitor this very important benchmark. Next slide, please.
ARIN’s statement on financial position or balance sheet at September 30th is the last piece of the finance story and my Treasurer’s Report. The growth in our cash position reflects the reduced spending caused by the pandemic. This available cash will be a great help going into 2021.
The increase in deferred revenue reflects the implementation of a new accounting regulation in 2019 that resulted in more revenue streams being deferred and recognized over a 12-month period.
Finally, I talked about the increase in net assets of $1.5 million a few charts ago. Essentially, this is an unremarkable balance sheet. But I mean that in a really good way. ARIN’s financial position is a healthy one.
Next slide, please. Thank you and I’m happy to answer any questions.
John Curran: Are there any questions for Nancy? I see something.
Yes, we have Andrew Dul asking: Has the Board made or considered changes in the investment strategy or reserve allocation given the current pandemic challenges?
Nancy Carter: Yes, good question. And the answer to the question is, yes, the Finance Committee and the Board have spent a lot of time discussing that very topic. It’s something, of course, that we are paying close attention to, and one of the things that we are working on and revising the investment policy statement.
John Curran: Very good. Microphones are open for anyone who wants to ask a question. Or post –
Paul Andersen: David Huberman has a question.
John Curran: David Huberman. Go ahead, Paul. I yield to the Chair always.
Paul Andersen: No, no.
John Curran: David Huberman asks: Does the Board have a current target for net assets as a function of operating expenses?
Nancy Carter: David Huberman, thank you very much for that question. As I was going through my presentation, I thought, huh, wonder what the target is. No, we don’t have a target.
But thank you. We will be looking at that at the very next FinCom meeting. Very good question. Thanks, David.
John Curran: Okay. Looking, I see another question. Someone else was typing that. Okay. And Jim Ghadbane asks: Nancy, where is the tiara?
I guess you’re being anointed queen, queen of finance.
Paul Andersen: No, we have to start with [Singing] it’s happy birthday to Nancy. Nancy’s birthday is today.
John Curran: Happy birthday to Nancy. I did not know. Very nice.
Paul Andersen: You all have to put up with my singing, so I’m sorry about that.
Nancy Carter: It is actually my birthday today, and typically – so, the reason for Jim’s question is that typically, on my birthday, I wear a tiara all day.
I thought maybe that wasn’t a good campaign strategy, and so I’m not wearing my tiara today. Last year, I showed up at ARIN 44 in a paper bag. And it seemed maybe a bad idea to show up today in a tiara.
John Curran: Very good. Any other questions for Nancy?
Paul Andersen: We have a hand raised actually, John, if we can go to that, staff, please. Mike, if you can remember to say your name and affiliation, by the way, as a gentle reminder to anyone asking questions. Go ahead, Mike, when we get your mic open. There you go, Mike.
Zoom Host: Mike, you’re able to unmute.
Mike Mazarick: I was playing with the buttons. I don’t have a question.
Paul Andersen: No problem, Mike. Good to know. It means the system works. Thank you for that.
John Curran: And it’s good to hear from you, Mike. Thank you.
Nancy Carter: It’s still the most questions I’ve ever had after a finance presentation.
Can I just go back to David’s question for one second?
John Curran: Of course.
Nancy Carter: David, there is a target: minimum 12. We don’t have a maximum.
John Curran: Okay, I don’t see any other questions.
I see Paul’s ready, so we’re going to transition seamlessly into the – Paul Andersen, our Chair, giving the Board of Trustees Report. Paul.
Board of Trustees Report
Paul Andersen: Thank you, John. Thank you, Nancy, for that report, and, again, happy birthday.
I’m going to give a very short report so hopefully we leave our time for our next session which is – honestly the Board’s favorite is open microphone. And that’s because it’s the greatest opportunity for us to interact with the community as a whole.
With that, I’m going to go over a few things. Going to talk briefly about fees and kind of what’s going on there since that’s been a topic of discussion. Gonna give you an update on our work on governance and some thank yous and, of course, a reminder to vote.
Next slide, please. So fees. We get letters. For example, for instance, we’ve gotten letters about an IPv6 fee adjustment. People ask kind of what’s going on with that.
There’s always a challenge when it comes to fees. We have to look at it from a variety of items. For instance, on this item while we understand there’s some organizations that are fee challenged or have indicated that fees are a challenge, first when you look at other regions and we don’t see the same situation happening.
And we also have to consider, even though it’s always great to offer fee waivers, it’s always great to try – and we do, by the way, look to lower fees wherever possible.
And dropping that category impacts us by $325,000 a year. Or if we rearrange, and that’s if we simply lowered the 2X category. And that’s a significant drop in our ability to execute given our budget, and our Treasurer will then get concerned.
And even if we then – or we can look at rejigging the sizing which would obviously dramatically drop the fee decrease. But it starts to complicate and put lots of exceptions in the fee schedule. Next slide, please.
Just as a general item, we guide ourselves by the strategic plan that we adopted three years. And we’ve asked staff to perform equitable cost recovery across the customer community.
So we do try and make sure we’re being equitable on fees. And we’ve identified several inequities. For instance, end user versus RSP.
There’s wildly different service pricing here but similar services – The IPv6 fee adjustment and things like legacy fees. And we also have to contend that – we’re always being asked at these microphones, at least in person, people want to see things done faster; they want more features.
We get a ton more letters and suggestions, mostly staff of course take that if you look at the suggestion. There’s always a backlog of feature requests and suggestions. And that’s just what comes from more the media community. That doesn’t include what we get in our surveys, with our customers and interactions with staff. Next slide, please.
So, the Board is trying to take a bit more steps. We’re concerned with the former approach, which worked in the early days when ARIN was a young organization. We’re much more patchwork – adjust this fee here and raise that and waive that. We’re trying to just take a step back and do a holistic.
Before we start saying “fees,” we’re making use of the increased capacity that we have in staff and the finance department. We recently brought on, of course, Brian Kirk, which you heard about as CFO. And we also have John Sweeting who has come on. We have a product manager who he’s brought on as well.
And we’re starting to define our service catalog. And we’ve had some great discussions. That work is being done at the staff level to be clear. But from a Board perspective we’re starting to see the early gains from those additions where we’re starting to get better modeling on what are the costs.
We also worry about stuff about being wildly successful. If we’re pricing certain tiers under our cost and we suddenly got an influx – for instance, if we did lower the fees and we suddenly got thousands upon thousands more IPv6 applications, that would be great for IPv6 deployment. And it might not be so great for ARIN’s bottom line and the ability for it to cost, because obviously if our workload goes up, so do our costs.
Our hope is to review and have a fee framework in 2021.
My thanks to Nancy. On top of everything else she’s been doing for the Board and the finance skills she’s brought. She’s been leading that with staff and the FinCom. FinCom has been a very busy committee this year.
And our hope is that we can bring a new framework, making sure that we have that equitable recovery, avoiding the patchwork and understanding that all impacts of any fee change, ensuring that we’re offering a fiscally responsible framework. That again being that if we do start pushing some of our costs below what it costs us to deliver, what happens to that.
We also want to allow flexibility for new offerings. We have now a product development team, and we have a lot of requests from community members for specific offerings. And we want to continue to look into those.
And we want to make sure we can do those flexibly. So, if we can develop a framework that will allow staff to execute on those faster.
And most importantly what we hear a lot is that members really appreciate the predictability and simplicity. An overly complex fee structure, there was one time the fees, we were looking at another RIR, using a logarithmic equation to figure out the fees. That was not well received.
And a lot of you appreciate that from a budgeting perspective you have some degree of predictability in your fees.
So please look forward to hearing more in 2021 on that. The FinCom will be finishing off its work this year, and then it will start to be on our Board calendar for next year.
Please keep the fee feedback coming. And thank you for that prediction on the next slide.
Speeding along here, governance, just a quick update. In January we established the Governance Working Group, which was Chaired by Nancy Carter who you just spoke with. Had Peter Harrison and Catherine Middleton.
We really brought that to bring a fresh perspective, some people who have not been maybe involved in committees long, but were able to really have a fresh perspective.
We’ve done that based on a lot of our internal strategic discussions as a Board and feedback we received from the community to try and continue to improve the effectiveness of the Board at the same time ensuring we have accountability and transparency where possible.
So, as a whole, we’re trying to look at the entire structure and we are focused just on the Board. At some point we may look elsewhere, the Advisory Council and elsewhere. But we wanted to try to get feedback because we were hoping to report back. Next slide, please.
The committee was authorized and did bring in external assistance. We brought in an organization, Baker Tilly. And they’ve been helping facilitate these discussions with the Governance Working Group.
The sessions are really just trying to understand where we can have early gains, where we can maybe make long-term structural goals.
The overriding point – next slide, please – is to increase Board effectiveness to make us a more highly functional Board. And this is not to say that the Board is not effective today, but I think the current Board, just like the organization, believes that even though we’ve set a bar, you can always move the bar higher. We’ve got to be growing trying to get to the next level. There’s always things to learn and room for improvement.
And a lot of our work was founded based on our desire to see, I think, you heard this from the candidates earlier told, we need to see a good mix of people around the table because we’ve been strengthened when we bring in people who do have that experience, who do know the industry well. Very key and always required.
But also finding people who have not been in our environment long has been helpful. Bringing in different skill sets has also been helpful.
As a reminder, the Board has published some guidance on this, some early thoughts, guidance to the Nomination Committee. But it’s a public document that you can find on the ARIN website. And I’d encourage all the members to read it. We’re happy to take your feedback on it.
From our perspective, it is trying to find that right balance – Canadian, kind of make it a hockey analogy a little bit – you can have the best pro players in the world, but you wouldn’t put your starting line-up with six goalies or six right-wingers or something. Just won’t have the most effective. You need to make sure you have the right skills at all the different positions.
And we look for the community support in finding that way while still – and it’s never lost on us, making sure we have strong, strong community accountability. It’s something that’s very important to us.
And that’s just as we try and become a more effective Board, really focused on strategic guidance and strategic – trying to get – staff have grown now to a size. The staff have a great amount of skills, and we want them to be able to run the organization on a day-to-day. Next slide, please.
That kind of finishes off the governance topic. What else have we been doing? We’ve been dealing with the pandemic as a Board. It’s been a challenge but we’ve tried to adapt.
For instance, we had to do virtual strategic planning this year. We have always enjoyed getting together once a year, normally in August, and being able to lock ourselves in a room for a few days and battle it out. That wasn’t possible this time.
But the good thing on strategic planning virtually is that we’ve been able to spread it out a bit, which has allowed for more interactivity. We have some good discussions, and we’re doing still a bit of our strategic planning this year. We’ll be continuing throughout the calendar year.
We continue to focus on developing risk registers with the staff, to make sure that we have good visibility into that and understand and make sure that that work is being done well; working with staff to support them in the technical depth mitigation. And I think we’re very happy with the work that we’ve seen. And my thanks to the entire staff for that.
And other stuff – we continue to look at the Grant Selection Program. I welcome your feedback now that we’ve had two cycles of the community. Is this still something you as a community we should be supporting?
And we’re hoping to roll out a Trustee professional development plan. Just as we stated, we always want to be learning. And we’re trying to support Trustees where they have certain skill sets and not others but would like to work on it. That’s something we put a framework on this year.
We hoped to be a little bit more down that road, but unfortunately the pandemic has slowed a lot of that down.
Take a breath. With that, I’d like to just do a few thank yous.
First, thank you to Chris Woodfield for his term on the ARIN AC. It’s not a goodbye, to my understanding. I know Chris has put a lot of time into the AC, but has decided to take a step back for maybe a short time to deal with other things. And we really appreciate Chris, your time and effort. I’m glad to hear you’re still going to be involved in the community and look forward to your continued participation. I ask you all to give a round to Chris on that.
I already mentioned, of course, Val Winkelman. I think both John and Nancy have said many of the words that need to be said. I also, on behalf of the Board, thank her. She supported that department for many years. She’s always been an advocate and very strong and collaborative with the Board.
And I personally thank her because she’s helped me through getting a lot of finance issues. Always very responsive, always able to help me get myself organized. And I really appreciate it, Val. Thanks for all your efforts. With that I thank you, and wish you well on your future endeavors.
Lastly, a thank you – not a goodbye – would be to Steve Ryan. Steve, again, is our General Counsel until the end of the year, at which point we’ll be transitioning to Michael. I’d certainly like to take a few moments to thank Steve, again, for all his efforts in this role. I’m excited and very happy to hear that you are happy to stick with us and support us in other roles.
Steve has navigated us over his many years through many, many efforts. I was in there in the beginning and I know that he helped us initially when he came in as a very specific – to do some very specific for ARIN, and just clearly evolved into the more General Counsel position.
I actually met Steve in 2004 and I was just an AC member back then. And he was always very giving of his time, a very knowledgeable guy. He has, through our Board – and of course his work just doesn’t stick on the Board. He supports the staff as well.
But on the Board, he’s always been, not only just our lawyer – and he’s a fantastic lawyer and we are privileged to have him serve in that role – but he’s also been a great advisor to the Board, both in terms of just his political knowledge, the ability to synthesize complex technical problems and put them in communications that are good for other stakeholders such as governments or policy makers and such.
He certainly is from – a person that I most know can take a very complex thing and distill it down to its – any problem down to its key facts, certainly. And of course how is it hard to not love his love of hockey as well? He’s really an honorary Canadian, from my perspective, even though his hockey team – Capitals. Questionable there.
Steve, if we were in person I’d hope to raise your banner with your number up to the ceiling so we could retire it. But we can’t do it there. But I ask you all to take a moment and raise a quick glass – I’m sorry, virtual, clink a glass to Steve and thank Steve for all his years and service.
Good luck to Michael, of course, as well, who will be succeeding him. Big shoes to fill. And thank you again, Steve, for being not just a colleague but a good friend. Steve, I don’t know if you have any words. I see you appearing. You’re welcome to say anything if you’d like.
Steve Ryan: I just want to thank you, Paul. That was remarkably generous. And you and John, the Board, and all my friends at ARIN, thank you for your patience in teaching me the technology game. And thanks again for all of the years. And I look forward to having a glass with all of you in person. Thank you.
Paul Andersen: Thank you, Steve. Thank you so much.
John Curran: Thank you, Steve.
Paul Andersen: Thank you. We all raise a glass. Okay, next slide.
I end this presentation by reminding you to vote. Vote for candidates for the Advisory Council. Vote for candidates for the Board of Trustees. Please, read about the candidates. You can see the videos if you missed them earlier.
We have the guidance on the website. You can go and show your support. Most importantly, vote. For my friends to the south, it’s good practice. I hear you have to do this potentially again in a few weeks as well. So always good to get in there. Vote early, vote once. And then voting opens in 24 minutes or so and closes on October 30th.
So with that, I will open the microphones to any questions. If there are no questions, I hope to see you all in 2021. I do hope to see you all in person but if not, virtual.
Members Meeting - Open Microphone
Paul Anderson: Questions, comments, accolades, things.
John Curran: I see a hand, yes.
Paul Andersen: I see Kevin.
Zoom Host: Kevin, you can unmute yourself.
Kevin Blumberg: Thank you. Just very quickly, when you did the fee change the last time, there was a very in-depth analysis that was done. And one of the things that was shown was the ups and downs.
This number of the large are going to pay more. This number are going to pay less and, et cetera. Sort of showing how the equitable nature of what was done.
And it might be worth refreshing the community with that information because a number of organizations in the change paid more. Some paid less.
And if we go back eight to 10 years with the v6 fee waivers and everything else, ISPs were paying, in many cases – small ISPs – were paying a lot less. So it will be useful to show that.
I, at the same time, absolutely support having some kind of fee waiver when it comes to IPv6 on the extra-smalls to get adoption. But I want to be cautious that – and you sort of alluded to this – that a change, a gut change has radical effects on everything.
So, yes, having some kind of fee waiver for the foreseeable future would be wonderful. On the extra-smalls, I think everybody would go along with that. But significant changes in the fee schedule I think can have ramifications that people aren’t aware of. And showing what happened the last time might be useful information.
Paul Andersen: I’ll give a few high levels, and then I know John will want to add a few things.
On the data side, yes, please expect to see that data and more. We are raising that bar. Brian Kirk has been given marching orders, which among everything else on this onboarding this year is that we’re hoping to see much more deep sensitivity analysis, for instance, and what-if scenarios as we kind of predict longer term, understanding what happens if this successive v6 transition occurs and v4 starts to decline, and how does that model both on the cost the organization and revenues.
John, did you want to add something? Sorry, one last thing. I think we always want to be and we’re concerned about being able to support organizations that help better the Internet but might have challenges with the fees – sometimes not just the amount of the fee, but just paying it altogether. And we will try and find ways and we are going to look at creative ways, whether it’s fee waivers, a fee forgiveness committee. Maybe it’s a variation on the grant committee where we grant address space from an arm’s length committee that can do that. We have all options on the table.
John Curran: As Paul noted, we have been looking at this very carefully because clearly ARIN serves a variety of organizations – everything from the infrastructure in terms of registration and registration services, now IRR and RPKI, that enabled the largest companies, hosting companies, telecommunications to run their networks.
Their expectations for ARIN are quite aggressive because they’re building their business on it.
At the same time, all the way down to the smallest organizations, that may be something akin to a hobby or a small community wireless ISP or a small community network that has very modest resources available, and so we need to do two things.
One is we need to think carefully. We want simplicity. But it’s almost impossible to provide the same services to everyone and have fair pricing.
At the same time, we want to make sure that which we unbundle or break out is something that is appropriate and reasonable and people can assess its value. So we’ve got a pretty large set of challenges that the Board has put on staff in terms of looking at how do we model our products and the costs of them, what’s a fair recovery scheme.
And I think, Kevin, as you noted, no matter what we do it’s going to be important to bring forth what it means to the organization now and long term.
In other words, who is paying more and what are they getting? And who will be paying less? And how does that affect us today? And then how does that affect us over 10 years, 15 years? If you start seeing v4 have a different role, we want to make sure the pricing has longevity to it and we don’t have to revisit it.
I do believe modeling is important. And I believe it’s very important that we provide you a good readout as to what will be changing and why. This is the reason you’re not seeing a lot of small incremental fee changes.
The Board has asked us, let’s look at this holistically. Let’s do modeling and let’s come up with a strategy.
Paul Andersen: Thank you, Kevin, for that question. There seems to be no other questions. If you have a question for either the Board, the Advisory Council, any of the staff – suggestions, comments – they’re all welcome. We’ll give it a few seconds because people I know like to type them and you can only type so fast.
We have decided that the background in the future will not match John’s beard color. So, that suggestion, raised and already acted on.
So, John, I don’t see any other questions. Maybe what we’ll do is we can do some – start some closing comments because I know you have some. If a question comes in, we can always come back. But I think we will let John do his comments. If we have no further questions at that point we will close the comments from that standpoint.
I thank you all. I wish you happy Halloween and happy Thanksgiving to my friends down south and happy holidays. We’ll hopefully see you all next year one way or another.
Members Meeting - Closing Announcements and Adjournment
John Curran: I’d like to thank everyone for participating in ARIN 46, our virtual meeting. I have a few brief closing reminders. Next slide.
Voting is going to open in 17 minutes. And it will remain open until next Friday, 5:00 PM Eastern. If you’re a Voting Contact for an organization, you log in to ARIN online and select “vote now.” It’s very quick. We’ve tried to make it as streamlined as possible.
All the candidate details are online, as is the voting instructions, very simple. Folks, we need to have you participate in the election so we can have good governance for ARIN. This is crucial. So, please, in 17 minutes the voting starts. Please vote.
Next. I just want to say, again, we’re going to have a survey. There’s a meeting survey link that you’ll get. And we ask you to complete it sometime in the next week. We’ll put you in the entry for an iPad Air. We use the meeting surveys in order to know what we’re doing and what we’re doing right where we can improve. It’s been an essential part of having a great meeting.
I don’t know if we have any others, and I don’t see any questions. I believe that’s it. Last slide.
If we don’t hear from you we will see you all in our next meeting, which will be held in April. We are still planning to have our meeting face-to-face if circumstances allow. That would be 11th through the 14th in April. If it doesn’t allow –
Paul Andersen: In Tampa.
John Curran: Tampa, yes, it’s in Tampa. Fingers crossed. In Tampa.
If not, we’ll go to an in-person – we’ll go from in-person to virtual format.
That’s it. Thank you, all. It’s been very helpful. I look forward to seeing you online.
Paul Andersen: Thank you, all. Vote. Vote. Vote.
[Meeting concluded at 2:45 PM ET]