Re: Registration details for IETF 108

Bob Hinden <> Mon, 01 June 2020 15:39 UTC

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From: Bob Hinden <>
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Subject: Re: Registration details for IETF 108
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2020 08:39:40 -0700
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Cc: Bob Hinden <>, IETF <>
To: Jason Livingood <>
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I think the issue here is that we are now charging for something we didn’t before.  That is, we allowed remote participation at IETF meetings without a fee unto and including IETF 107.   As Brian points out, this change in policy was done with out any discussion.

I also note that everything we do in the IETF has a cost to it.  Every email, internet draft, submission to the IESG, working group charter, IETF tool, etc., etc.  We can see all these costs in the IETF LLC budget.    None of it is free.

The question is which of these do we charge for?    According the budget at:

the non-meeting operating expenses are about $5.1 million per year.   Even the meeting revenue (including registration fees) doesn’t cover all of the meeting expenses.   That is, $3.8M revenue vs. $4.1M costs.

How do we decide what to charge for?   What is the policy?

Also, what does the budget look like without face to face meetings?


> On Jun 1, 2020, at 8:07 AM, Livingood, Jason <> wrote:
> It's interesting that the issue has been framed as a new fee will be charged to participate in an IETF meeting. But there's been a fee to attend an IETF meeting for as long as I've participated in the IETF. I might suggest that another way of considering this is that the typical meeting fee is being discounted for the virtual meeting.
> Jason
> (not speaking for the IETF LLC - personal view)
> On 6/1/20, 8:39 AM, "ietf on behalf of Suresh Krishnan" < on behalf of> wrote:
>    +1. I think this is a reasonable decision and allows people to participate without financial barriers, while allowing the ongoing activities funded by IETF meeting fees to proceed without interruption.
>    Regards
>    Suresh
>> On May 31, 2020, at 5:24 PM, Joel M. Halpern <> wrote:
>> I agree with Eric in his description.  From where I sit, this seems a reasonable decision by the leadership.
>> Yours,
>> Joel
>> On 5/31/2020 5:13 PM, Eric Rescorla wrote:
>>> On Sun, May 31, 2020 at 1:56 PM S Moonesamy < <>> wrote:
>>>   Dear Internet Engineering Steering Group,
>>>   [Reply-To override]
>>>   At 06:12 PM 27-05-2020, IETF Executive Director wrote:
>>>> This meeting will have a substantial agenda but as the cost of an
>>>> online meeting is lower, the registration fees have been set at
>>>> approximately one-third of those for an in-person meeting.  A
>>>> detailed explanation of why we charge a fee for meetings and how the
>>>> fee reduction was set for IETF 108 is provided in a separate blog
>>>   post [3].
>>>   In 2013, the IETF Chair affirmed that the Internet Engineering Task
>>>   Force embraced the modern paradigm for standards.  One of the points
>>>   in the document is the standards process being open to all interested
>>>   and informed parties.  If I recall correctly, I raised a point a few
>>>   months before 2013 about the IETF allowing free access to its
>>>   meetings through the Internet.  I could not help noticing that there
>>>   is now a required fee to access the next IETF meeting.  Was that
>>>   approved by the IESG?
>>>   I took a look at the meeting policy for the IETF.  I never understood
>>>   why that policy is described as an ambition.  Anyway, as that policy
>>>   does not specify anything about changing the existing practice for
>>>   fees, it is unlikely that the decision to charge for online meetings
>>>   can be challenged.
>>>   I would like to thank the IETF LLC Directors for acknowledging that
>>>   the fee presents a barrier to participation and their charitable
>>>   offer.  I'll leave the charitable offer to those who are in need.
>>>   It took a decade for the IETF to take this pay-to-play decision.  Was
>>>   there any discussion about it?
>>> I don't think the characterization of this as "pay-to-play" is accurate. You
>>> are certainly free to participate in mailing lists, github, etc.
>>> What is being charged here is a fee to participate [0] in real-time virtual
>>> meetings, just as there is one charged for attending in-person meetings.
>>> -Ekr
>>> [0] I emphasize "real-time" as I expect that the recordings will be available
>>> after the fact as usual.