JPNIC Translated Document Source document: JPNIC REPORT 12 Date of the source: August 1994 Date of the last update of this translation: November 16, 1995 This is a translation of a JPNIC document. JPNIC provides this translation for convenience of those who can not read Japanese. But it may contain mis-translations, and is by no means official. One should consult the source document written in Japanese for detail. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Revision of membership fees system As it was reported in the last issue, the general meeting of JPNIC for the year 1994 was held on April 5, 1994 at the Kikai Shinkou Kaikan of Tokyo. After the general meeting, the meeting for discussing the membership fees was opened by the members. In this issue, the progress of the meeting and the future schedules will be explained. FINANCE-WG Last year, the Working Group of the committee member named CHARGE-WG did the investigations related to membership fees, and it was engaged in coordinating the suggestions among the members. This, year FINANCE-WG is established for investigating not only the membership fees, but also the system of JPNIC and the future basis of finances from a multilateral viewpoint. This WG is thinking in the direction of considering the opinions of the members for future discussions. For that, people outside of the steering committee are also allowed to participate, and the discussions regarding modification of rules for membership fees for the domestic Internet is based on mailing list. The meeting was the starting point of this activity. Points that are to be considered for membership fees During the meeting, at first there was a report from the WG which was involved in investigating the system for last year, and after that the draw-backs, and the points for organizing the related topics were put into a list. Out of them, some of the important points are discussed below. These problems are not only related to JPNIC but also to the mechanism of domestic Internet including JPNIC. The members of JPNIC and the eligibility for membership The present members are the administrators of network projects. This is because, JPNIC was founded as a common center for these network projects. And it is also based on the idea that the unit for the domestic Internet would be network project. However, there are strong opinions that the user organizations connected directly to the domestic Internet should be considered as members. Ratio of member and membership fees At present the amount of membership fees for JPNIC is based on the participating network's scale. The scale of the network is determined by the number of organization (more precisely, the number of domain)taking part in it. For raising membership fees, most of the providers are uniformly distributed among the participating organizations. There are organizations that belong to more than one network projects and there are cases where they had to pay the membership fees twice. Although, at present the membership fees is calculated by taking the logarithm of the number of domain and approximating the same to a step function, there might be opinions to make the calculation much more simple. Besides, the number of JPNIC member is almost correlated to the membership amount. One of the point to be consider is this balance. As the appearance of commercial Internet provider and local networks, the participation of individuals and individual organizations are on a rise. Now whether to consider these users and large organizations in the same way is also a point that has to be investigated. Type of member There is a big difference among the membership fees of Academic research networks and the rest. This is because, apart from membership fees, the former contribute to JPNIC in several ways. However, as the scale of JPNIC gets bigger, the number of commercial user gets increased and in this situation we can not expect this kind of contribution from the academic research networks. Administrative work of JPNIC Within the frame of international NIC activities, new responsibilities like development of international database for supporting a stable service, support for establishing APNIC (Asia Pacific NIC) have appeared. Whether to treat these things under the same system or to give the responsibility to some other organization is a subject that needs further discussions. Incorporation of JPNIC There are opinions that for a stable administration and for providing permanent service, JPNIC has to be transformed into an incorporation. If it is done in that way then it will be formally recognized by the society, and there will be benefits like, full-time staff, donation, assistance, grant etc. On the other hand, there are anxieties that the overhead will get increased and it is necessary to investigate the financial basis for making it an incorporation. Contents of the discussion There was an active discussion focused on the above mentioned points and a presentation was performed based on the documents [JPNIC membership fees] distributed by Reiji Aihara (CSI/Hiroshima University). The proposal was to obtain membership fees proportional to the number of domain connected and to get rid of exceptions like academic discounts. Following is the discussion related to the proposal given by Reiji Aihara along with a summary of the meeting. Future directions and the form of the organization o Instead of thinking only about the next year the investigation has to be continued with a long-term prospect. o Membership fees cannot be obtained (difficult to obtain) with in the present frame work of voluntary organization. The actions for making JPNIC an incorporation and whether to distribute the responsibility to other organizations has to be decided immediately. o It is not easy to establish a company for hiring full-timers. It seems that there are methods apart from making JPNIC an incorporation. If the main objective is set to support the secretariat then it is not necessary to transform JPNIC into an incorporation. o The activities of JPNIC are generated from the practical network field and as it is an unique organization (this kind of organization is rare even in America), its structure has to be maintained. Fair method for distributing membership fees 1. Calculating membership fees based on the number of domain o It has to be checked that whether there is excessive opposition from the JPNIC member related to the basis for deciding the scale of the network based on the number of domain. Domain number is used for only to set up a standard for determining the scale of the network, and it is unfair to determine the membership fees by simply making it proportional to the number of domain. o A part of the expenses necessary for the activities of JPNIC has to be obtained from the membership fees. However, this should correspond to the amount of data (reflects on the purchase of disk or CPU) and on the work load (amount of work related to maintenance and modification). The present system is favorable to the large scale networks. o The fairness should not only be considered among the JPNIC members or organizations but also a system has to be formed so that the individual users feel the same fairness. For example, although the ac domain is an open environment, only a restricted number of users can use it in co domain. Therefore, it is desirable to determine the membership fees based on the number of accounts and the frequency of using the Internet. However, it is difficult to determine the number of accounts and the frequency of usage. o A rule for obtaining higher membership fees from the universities that have a large number of accounts has to be considered. 2. Academic discount o The idea behind subsidizing the membership fees of the academic research network was based on their voluntary contributions. However, at present they can not be considered within the academic versus commercial scheme. To be point-blank, the membership fees of the academic networks are cheap because they can not afford it. o At present the ratio between the sum of type A and type B is 1 to 1, but in the present system even if the ratio of membership fees of class B gets increased it does not reach to the 70% of the whole amount. Therefore, there is a possibility of obtaining more membership fees from type B. 3. Unit for members and determination of the scale of network projects o Business purpose (commercial) BBS should also become a member of JPNIC. o The work load of JPNIC is not simply proportional to the number of domain. If each network project check the mistakes that has occurred during the preparation of the registration form then the work load would be reduced. o The scale of the network can not be determined only from the number of domain. The services provided by JPNIC is not only domain name and IP address allocation. It also administrates these names and numbers. Therefore, the idea for determining the scale of the network by considering the number of users using these information is considerable. o If it is considered that who is constructing the network, then naturally NSP (Network Service Provider) would be included as a member. Big providers are engaged in providing services to a number of organizations, and as a result they reduce the work load of JPNIC. In reality, the scale merit has appeared for the relation in between the amount of data and the administration/maintenance (machines, labor) cost of the same and this factor has a tendency to increase as the amount of data get increased. o At this stage, it is necessary to think that whether this scale-merit factor is fair to all organizations or not. o It is not possible to calculate the membership fees by fulfilling several demands. Instead of raising the membership fees for type A, if there is a room in the budget then the ratio of fees for type B should be reduced, and the difference between A and B has to be reduced gradually. How to promote this discussion o The following four problems, 1) Scale of the network, measure the amount of data, 2) Decide a function (linear/logarithmic/square root) based on the future estimation, 3) The total fund of JPNIC, 4) discount, division between type A and type B etc. are to be discussed independently. There were active discussions regarding the points, however, (as it was expected) because of the complexity of the problems, diversity of thinking, decisions could not be taken at the same place. However, the recognition of these problems and the agreement on the future schedule can be thought as the most important outcome of this meeting. Future activities Modification of membership fees system is an important problem and it has to be considered as a subject that has to be discussed during the general meeting. In order to obtain an approval prior to the settlement of the budget for the next year, it is necessary to reexamine the points before the submission of the proposal. In order to exchange messages among the participants who are located in different places, the FINANCE-WG has taken the decision to perform its activities based on mailing list. However, a lot of people are very busy and they don't have the time to reply the mails. This assures that it is necessary to meet each other for progressing the work with in a short period. For that, each one should prepare a draft and a plan has been set to arrange a meeting for intensive discussion for one to two days within the first half of August. During the meeting, including the two types of membership fees, the main points of the financial plan for the future activities of JPNIC from 1995 is to be prepared. Each proposal is to be examined and the decision will be taken during emergency meeting based on the vote of the members. The steering committee, board of trustees and the staffs of the secretariat are devoting a fair amount of time along with their own professional work for the development of the Internet of Japan and the Internet of the world. However, there is a limitation for achieving things with limited budget and time. Therefore, we seek the cooperation and understanding from the members. To be precise, the representatives (JPNIC member) of the member (Network project) are requested for not only to distribute the newsletters to each of the project network's member, but also to ask their members to read the public online (mail server, anonymous FTP, Gopher (*2)) documents related to the subjects like the minutes of the meeting etc. Comments from members and even from non-members will be highly appreciated. Comments and suggestions should be sent to the following e-mail address. firstname.lastname@example.org Most of the committee members are technically skilled, and the number of members having the knowledge of management, benefit of commercial organizations, experience for establishing an incorporation and the knowledge for processing financial matter is less. Therefore advice from professionals will be highly appreciated. For applying for the participation to the mailing list for discussing membership fees system, please apply to the address given below with name of the applicant, mail address and the name of the project. (Susumu Sano: WIDE, Kunio Goto: TRENDY) 1* For the present membership fees system, please refer to the 12/93 issue. 2* It will be on www within a short period.