In our first report of the year, as well as taking a look back at some of the highlights of 2021, we're also looking forward to new topics and challenges we as a community are likely to face in the year to come.
I hope the new year started well for you and you are full of new energy and inspiration. I am sure many of us are happy to leave 2021 behind and are hoping for better times in which the COVID-19 pandemic will loosen its grip on us and our ability to travel and meet each other again in person.
The Year Behind Us
Having said that, we achieved a lot last year. Not only did network operators facilitate another “online-year”, but we also made progress on a whole range of RIPE community matters. Here are just a few of the things we achieved:
- We agreed on a new RIPE Code of Conduct
- The RIPE DB Requirements Task Force produced its final report
- We had two successful online RIPE Meetings with excellent participation and engagement
- The first RIPE Chair, Rob Blokzijl, was inaugurated in the Internet Hall of Fame
- We represented RIPE and the technical community at the Internet Governance Forum 2021
- The Rob Blokzijl Foundation opened the call for the next award
In addition to all this, we improved our Governance by updating our documentation for Working Group chairs, Programme Committee members and Task Forces and we published a detailed review of the RIPE Policy Development Process.
The Year to Come
While we will continue to work on RIPE Governance - e.g. by revising the PDP (see the invitation to the community session on 26 January 2022), the Code of Conduct process, and our values of engagement - there are of course other topics that the community needs to look at. Here are a number of subjects I have heard mentioned:
- Focus on promoting the deployment of IPv6
- Cleaning up IPv4 policy documents
- Addressing the recommendations made by the RIPE DB Requirements Task Force
- Continuing to provide guidance to the RIPE NCC and RIPE NCC’s services
- Actively protect and defend the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) System
- Dealing with the impact of geopolitical issues
- Best current practice documents for operators
- Collaboration between research and network operations and what data is needed for that
- How do Internet operations evolve? And what is RIPE’s role in this evolution?
RIPE has always been flexible and open to new developments and adapted to changes in the industry. I’ve heard suggestions to establish a “Future Technologies” or "Future Developments" group or BoF to discuss topics that don’t necessarily fall within the scope of an existing Working Group or topics that we’re not even sure yet will fit within the scope of RIPE at all. Subjects such as the Quantum Internet, SCION, or environmentally sustainable infrastructure come to mind.
We're also going to keep looking for ways to encourage new people to get involved in the work we do as a community. The decisions we arrive at have an impact on people who are not yet taking part in the discussion, so we need to push for greater awareness and involvement where we can. And we need new people who are familiar with new issues so that our conversations stay informed and on target.
What topics do you think we as a community need to work on in the next few years? Please let us know in the comments below or on the RIPE Discussion List. You can also contact us directly mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.