Re: [Ietf108planning] Registration open for IETF 108

Corinne Cath <> Thu, 11 June 2020 10:45 UTC

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From: Corinne Cath <>
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2020 12:44:57 +0200
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: [Ietf108planning] Registration open for IETF 108
To: Stephen Farrell <>
Cc: Jay Daley <>, ietf <>, "" <>
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Hi all,

Just wanted to add a quick data points to this conversation: as a PhD
student, 200$ is a fifth of the total research + travel budget I get from
my university per year.

In comparison to other universities, I am given a royal research budget.
But giving up 1/5 to attend an online IETF meeting makes a big dent.
Doubly-so because I (and I assume other graduate students) had not planned
for such expenses, given online participation is usually free of cost. If I
am not randomly assigned a waiver, I will probably not be able to attend.

Now I am not under any illusion that my personal attendance (or lack there
off) matters much - however, I know my case (i.e. graduate student on a
limited budget) is not unique. And many others like me will struggle to
participate in this meeting because of the unexpected costs. This is not
even including what the online fee means for some of my colleagues working
in academia or for civil society in the Global South.

I agree with Stephen that this step might be hard to avoid, but that it
would benefit from robust community debate beforehand. I also agree with
Melinda that this is a real move away from the openness from which the IETF
derives its legitimacy. And while the recordings will be available to all
post-meeting, this is not a substitute for open attendance.

Kind regards,


On Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 12:39 PM Stephen Farrell <>

> Hiya,
> On 11/06/2020 03:21, Jay Daley wrote:
> > As well as stating that you see this a switch from a zero to non-zero
> > fee, I think you’ve also stated that such a switch can only be made
> > with community consensus.
> Rough consensus, yes. I doubt it could be other, in this
> case. (Along the lines of rfc7282.) There are many reasons,
> minimally because it affects the standards process in a
> lot of ways.
> > Given that you and some others firmly
> > oppose this switch
> You may consider that you know what outcome I want. In
> fact I do not think that I know the answer here, but I
> do know it affects the standards process and so needs
> a debate before a change is made, except in an emergency
> as happened with IETF 107. (I will say that I'm fairly
> convinced that charging to join tens of hours of calls
> during one week a few times a year is not likely to be
> sustainable.)
> I just re-read your blog, and while that is convincing
> that we need to change how the IETF is funded, it does
> not make the case that we need to do that in emergency mode,
> for IETF108, without community involvement.
> The blog also does not say that policies about fees that
> have an effect on the standards process need to be decided
> by the community and not the LLC. I hope you do share that
> last opinion. (You may notice that I haven't once mentioned
> the numeric amounts that are proposed to be imposed here
> for example, so I'm not trying to haggle for a cheaper phone
> call experience:-)
> > it would seem that community consensus could not
> > be achieved within the necessary timeframe to make such as switch for
> > IETF 108, if at all, no matter what process was used to try to find
> > consensus.  That would then mean that if your initial premise is
> > accepted, IETF 108 would have to have a zero fee for all, no choice
> > in the matter.
> If there is no emergency need to change the funding model
> for IETF108, then the status quo ante is the right position
> until there has been a debate at least. (I do agree that
> we probably can't wait a full year for an outcome from that
> debate. I do not agree that "we haven't time to talk" is a
> sufficient excuse for imposing fees for remote registration.)
> If there is an emergency for IETF108 then that needs to be
> stated clearly and that the arrangements imposed will not
> apply to future meetings before the community get to debate
> matters. (Or similar.)
> > Do you agree with that so far or is there a way, hypothetical of
> > course, that you could see the switch happening in the face of some
> > determined opposition?
> Determined opposition is not how I would frame this. I
> think you're again assuming you know what outcome I want.
> > Starting from the same uncontentious statement that "in-person
> > meetings have a non-zero fee for in-person participation while
> > remote-only participation has a zero fee", the alternative view
> There are many alternatives to the historic funding model, not
> just one, which is what's implied by "the alternative." That
> flaw in the argument seems to affect most of the text below, so
> I won't try blow-by-blow answers.
> > is
> > that moving to a fully online meeting does not simply delete the
> > first clause of that statement to leave only the second clause and so
> > conclude that as everyone is now remote-only, everyone should have a
> > zero fee.  To put it another way, the alternative view says that
> > there is no community consensus that tells us what to do with that
> > statement in the event of moving to a fully online meeting.
> There may be rough consensus in the community for something. We
> do not know as people have not been asked to debate it. (A
> survey does not count, though does provide some input.) The
> "something" for which there may be consensus e.g. might not be
> a specific billing model, but rather some principles that
> could be met in various ways, and that could allow for various
> experiments in adapting as the situation changes. I do think
> it may be feasible to establish some such principles on which
> we could reach rough consensus in a relatively short time.
> Trying to reverse engineer such principles from an imposed or
> proposed billing model seems like a bad plan to me.
> > Again, a check-in - are we still on the same page in describing this
> > alternative view so far?
> No. Your assumption that you know what outcome I want is
> incorrect and I don't agree that there is one singular
> "alternative view."
> > The next stage to the alternative view, is to interpret that
> > uncontentious statement in the context of a fully online meeting as
> > saying "there is a fee to participate in a meeting, with a mechanism
> > for those that cannot afford it to still participate".  If one
> > accepts that interpretation, as the IESG and LLC do, then it is
> > possible to discuss what that fee should be, what the mechanism
> > should be for supporting those who cannot afford it, etc.
> In logic, false => anything, so I'm not sure that's a good
> starting point.
> >
> > Having said that, there are other interpretations out there, such as
> > "there is a non-zero fee for fully featured participation, while
> > reduced feature participation has a zero fee’.  While I don’t
> > agree with that as an interpretation, it also allows for a debate on
> > various aspects of the overall construct.
> >
> >
> > A final question for you - if the IESG/LLC had had the time to open
> > up a debate/discussion on this and the IESG/LLC had gone ahead with
> > this despite your opposition, would we be anywhere different from
> > where we are now?
> Yes. (Bearing in mind that I don't accept your premises, but
> won't repeat all that.)
> S.
> >
> > Jay
> >

Corinne Cath - Speth
Ph.D. Candidate, Oxford Internet Institute & Alan Turing Institute

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Twitter: @C_CS