Re: [Ietf-community-india] Fw: [Recentattendees] BANGKOK SELECTED FOR IETF 103

Fred Baker <> Mon, 05 February 2018 17:23 UTC

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From: Fred Baker <>
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Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2018 09:23:32 -0800
Cc: "(naveen-IPv6)" <>, Carsten Bormann <>, Vishnu Ram <>,
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To: Abhijan Bhattacharyya <>
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Subject: Re: [Ietf-community-india] Fw: [Recentattendees] BANGKOK SELECTED FOR IETF 103
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Thanks. This helps me understand your viewpoint, and I'll note that your list the other day was in fact a good start (as I said).

I can imagine that the rest of the folks on this list perceive me to be throwing up roadblocks. I'm not, or at least not intentionally, doing so. This, we say in the US, "is not my first rodeo". I attended the IETF's first meeting outside the US, in Vancouver in 1990 (that was by accident; Microsoft was supposed to host a meeting in Seattle, and that fell through, so at the last minute the University of British Columbia offered to host). I attended first meeting off the North American Continent was in Amsterdam in 1993, and the second in Stockholm in 1995. As IETF Chair I supported and attended meetings in Munich (1997), Oslo (1999), and Adelaide (2000). As a member of the IETF's meetings Committee, have participated in the evaluations for meetings all over; We have since had meetings in Europe roughly annually and have intended to have meetings in Asia roughly annually, although that hasn't necessarily worked (at one point, folks in Asia we were talking with told us that Vancouver could serve as an honorary Asian location, and we did that). The IETF now takes over the network in the venues we use; the reasons could be described in terms of the networks we have been offered in venues we have used, which have often bordered on unusable. I am no longer on the meetings committee (all good things must come to an end), but I think I can give a reasonable insight into what they look at.

It comes down to this. We are bringing 1000-1500 people from all continents to the meeting site, wherever it is. That is expensive, uncomfortable, and cumbersome. The farther a participant has to come, the lower his or her incentive to do that - coming from India, you understand that pretty well. You're aware of the costs, including the meeting fee and the travel expenses; so are folks on other continents. The only reason they do it is because they have business incentives; their businesses depend on the technologies being developed at the IETF.

We (the meetings committee and the IAOC) are frequently asked why the IETF doesn't position meetings in Asia as regularly, or announce them as long in advance, as North America or Europe. The answer is pretty simple - it's hard to do. We, by policy, try to initiate discussions and contracts for a meeting roughly three years in advance, which means that we visit potential sites and select a probable site about four years in advance. Part of that is finding a host, which is to say a local party that can talk with government about visa letters, give local insight on the venue, perhaps host a social event, and so on. We can have a meeting without a host if we have to (the meeting in Bangkok is still looking for a host, per, but it's more difficult. The announcement generally comes out when the contracts have all been signed. Hotels and conference centers in North America and Europe generally want to sign contracts 2-3 years in advance, and specifically the Hilton and Marriott companies have offered multi-meeting contracts (Montreal for IETFs 102 and 105, San Francisco was intended for IETF 102 and two more later, but we changed that due to travel restrictions in the US). Asian locations apparently like to delay the contract signing, using delay as a negotiation mechanism. Why did Bangkok get announced six months in advance? We had a horrible time finding a location in Asia that would work at all, and we still don't have a host. BTW, Bangkok isn't a real great location; high crime rate, the hotels are far from the conference center, and transportation might turn out to be a mess. It was selected sort of "under duress", starting from the fact that the IETF, by policy, Really Wants to have Meetings in Asia.

Now, imagine that someone in India (an ISP or ISP association, perhaps, a university, or a city) stepped up to host and offered a conference center comparable to the Palais de Congress in Paris, the Hilton Prague, the conference centers in Singapore or Yokohama, etc. Conference rooms for nine meetings in parallel for a week, relatively safe, food courts or equivalent, hotels, a major airport reachable directly from North America and Europe and predictable cross-town transportation (ideally by metropolitan train or the equivalent), gigabit connectivity to two local ISPs that both offer good IPv4 and IPv6 Internet service, and all at a reasonable cost.

That would command attention.

> On Feb 4, 2018, at 11:29 PM, Abhijan Bhattacharyya <>; wrote:
> Hi Fred,
> Thanks for the excellent insightful comments and suggestions. I have attended about 12 IETF meetings so far since 2012 (Paris). Given the fact that I belong to an "Indian" organization, this number should be quite significant compared to the overall level of participation from India. Out of these 12, I have been ISOC fellow for 4 times (means, I stayed in the meeting hotel). So, I can directly map the comments with my experience on the ground. In fact, since my very first meeting in "palais de congres" I used to think about our capacity in India to organize such meeting given all that I could get from a venue. The list that I prepared was basically churned out of my on the ground experience (as an Internet engineer as well as a traveler) across different host cities in different continents (including Buenos Aires). Also, I could compare the difference in experiences from city to city starting from the difficulties in booking a hotel (London was a bit difficult I must say) to general city amenities.
> Now when I think back and compare the current state of affairs in India, I feel that being an emerging economy, many Indian cities (which may not be as exposed to the silicon world as Bangalore or Hyderabad) have actually developed excellent state-of-the art facilities with plug-n-play infrastructure that works just in time. The professionalism and punctuality has been to the top standard in many events that has been recently organized in some cities in India. We need to do some homework of course to objectively compare the options against benchmarks.
> Regarding the issue of culinary culture, I think we need to find a city which is highly cosmopolitan and has traditionally well mingled with Euro-American standards and is capable to serve a world cuisine with easy availability to fresh vegetables as well to meet special requirements. Given the long colonial history and given that India is largely an agrarian economy it may not be too difficult to arrange.
> I had been to HICC during the ICANN meeting for couple of days. I am not sure about the room capacity and all as I restricted myself only to few interactions. But it is indeed an excellent venue. However, of course I found that there are some logistic and other related issues which need to be improved to meet the requirements  that we have been discussing on and make it at per with the other tried and tested IETF venues.
> So, we need to put steady strides with bit more pondering on options that should be put on table.
> I might also come back with something which has started to ferment in my mind while writing this mail. But need some time to work that out a bit more before I write something concrete.
> Disclaimer: Please consider my contribution to this conversation as my individual opinion. Though I am using the official mail, the opinions expressed here do not represent my company stand in any way.
> With Best Regards
> Abhijan Bhattacharyya
> Associate Consultant
> Scientist, TCS Research
> Tata Consultancy Services
> Building 1B,Ecospace
> Plot -  IIF/12 ,New Town, Rajarhat,
> Kolkata - 700160,West Bengal
> India
> Ph:- 033 66884691
> Cell:- +919830468972
> Mailto:
> Website:
> ____________________________________________
> Experience certainty.	IT Services
> Business Solutions
> Consulting
> ____________________________________________
> -----Fred Baker <>; wrote: -----
> >To: Abhijan Bhattacharyya <>;,
> >"(naveen-IPv6)" <>;
> >From: Fred Baker <>;
> >Date: 02/05/2018 09:56AM
> >Cc: Carsten Bormann <>;, Vishnu Ram
> ><>;,
> >Subject: Re: [Ietf-community-india] Fw: [Recentattendees] BANGKOK
> >
> >On Feb 4, 2018, at 7:58 PM, Abhijan Bhattacharyya
> ><>; wrote:
> >> Absolutely agree to Carsten and Fred.
> >>
> >> We need to spot a decent venue
> >>
> >> 1) in a city which has at least good single hop connectivity to
> >major airport transit points;
> >> 2) which should be easily accessible from the airport;
> >> 3) surrounded with a combo of five star to budget hotels (3 star
> >standards) with easy access to/ from the venue (means, enough public
> >transport should be accessible just outside the venue without relying
> >much on Internet taxi booking/ radio taxis) ;
> >> 4) with an attached five start facility to host important people
> >attending the meeting;
> >> 5) able to host at least a 1000 heads for the plenary with decent
> >audio visual and acoustics and also with enough smaller rooms to
> >allow nearly 40 parallel WG meetings and ISOC functionalities;
> >> 6) with decent affordable and hygienic food joints close by;
> >
> >Let me comment on "affordable and hygienic". We have people of all
> >religious backgrounds including not having one, and their diets may
> >be anything from vegan to kosher/halal/etc. We understand that in
> >India you have some of that; we have all of it, in all varieties. One
> >of our ladies in particular is basically allergic to planet earth and
> >needs to buy all of her food at a farmer's market and prepare it
> >herself (I have some sympathy for her; I have a daughter-in-law with
> >the same problem -
> >
> >
> >> 7) in an area which is low on pollution;
> >> 8) with decent nearby place where you can host a social event at an
> >affordable price; (optional)
> >> 9) in a city with well connected public transport and not too
> >congested to make you scared to move few kilometers away;
> >> 10) with some decent spots near by and also in surroundings for
> >site seeing and tourist activities (optional but preferred);
> >> 11) in a city which is safe for people to roam around.
> >>
> >> Does the above list sound good?
> >
> >That's a good start. AT IETF meetings, we generally have nine tracks,
> >which means that in most slots we have nine meetings running in
> >parallel in different rooms. The sizes of the rooms vary (100-300 or
> >thereabouts), and it's not unusual for several of them to be
> >subdivisions of the larger rooms used for plenary sessions. More
> >details from the secretariat or the IAD. The number of rooms isn't
> >optional.
> >
> >Also, 1000-1500 people are going to be released to find lunch at
> >11:30 or noon and expected back at 13:00 or 13:30. There are various
> >ways to handle this - in some places, the hotel wheels in a cart full
> >of sandwiches that people can quickly and easily purchase, and in
> >other places there is a food court or equivalent that can handle it.
> >The timing isn't optional, and "but in our culture we don't focus on
> >time..." doesn't cut it. We fly halfway around the world to have a
> >meeting. We're there for a meeting. Breakfast and dinner are more
> >flexible.
> >
> >And no, we don't plan to spend half an hour at the start on a junior
> >high science lab trying to make the electronics work. You don't
> >expect that when you go to Europe or the US, and we don't expect it
> >in India. Cf EDCO workshop last November.
> >
> >
> >f, at first glance, doesn't have rooms for 1500 people in nine tracks
> >for a week. Happy to be corrected.
> >
> >> With Best Regards
> >> Abhijan Bhattacharyya
> >> Associate Consultant
> >> Scientist, TCS Research
> >> Tata Consultancy Services
> >> Building 1B,Ecospace
> >> Plot - IIF/12 ,New Town, Rajarhat,
> >> Kolkata - 700160,West Bengal
> >> India
> >> Ph:- 033 66884691
> >> Cell:- +919830468972
> >> Mailto:
> >> Website:
> >> ____________________________________________
> >> Experience certainty.	IT Services
> >> Business Solutions
> >> Consulting
> >> ____________________________________________
> >>
> >>
> >> -----Fred Baker <>; wrote: -----
> >> To: Carsten Bormann <>;
> >> From: Fred Baker <>;
> >> Date: 02/03/2018 01:00PM
> >> Cc: Vishnu Ram <>;, Abhijan Bhattacharyya
> ><>;,
> >> Subject: Re: [Ietf-community-india] Fw: [Recentattendees] BANGKOK
> >>
> >> And it shouldn't require a three day horseback ride to get from the
> >airport to the hotel. We had a lot of grief over Hiroshima because
> >after flying to Osaka one had to take a high speed train. Think about
> >driving across Bangalore..
> >>
> >> Sent from my iPad
> >>
> >> > On Feb 2, 2018, at 11:24 PM, Carsten Bormann <>;
> >wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> On Feb 3, 2018, at 08:13, Vishnu Ram <>;
> >wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> I think we should work towards meeting the critieria in
> >> >> draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-11
> >> >
> >> > Yes. Note that it is not too easy to qualify for an IETF venue;
> >e.g., people from Madrid have tried to get an IETF there but (at
> >least last time I looked) Madrid just didn’t have the right places to
> >meet at.
> >> >
> >> > So you really have to look at specific venues and their
> >suitability; we can’t really meet “in India” but we need to meet at a
> >specific hotel/conference center. (And, of course, the city that one
> >is in needs to be reachable without a three-day horseback ride, and
> >needs to have enough hotels to house all the IETFers, but I think
> >that’s rather easy to meet in India.)
> >> >
> >> > Grüße, Carsten
> >> >
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Ietf-community-india mailing list
> >> >
> >> >
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