[apnic-announce] APNIC Member and Stakeholder Survey - Executive Committ

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  • Subject: [apnic-announce] APNIC Member and Stakeholder Survey - Executive Committee Response
  • From: "Che-Hoo Cheng" <chcheng at ieee dot org>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 11:43:38 +0800
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      APNIC Member and Stakeholder Survey
      Executive Committee Response
      
      20 February 2002
      
      
      During 2001 the APNIC Executive Committee commissioned KPMG Consulting
      to conduct a survey of APNIC members and stakeholders. The intent of the
      survey was to provide input to APNIC to ensure that it continues to
      serve the needs of the APNIC membership in conducting its core service
      functions, and in setting future directions.
      
      The consultant's report has been published, and provides a comprehensive
      summary of the inputs received, according to major issues raised in the
      survey, geographic areas of concern, and the various types of members
      and stakeholders who responded.  A full description of the survey and
      the manner in which it was conducted is also provided in the report.
      
      The APNIC Executive Committee has reviewed the findings of the survey
      report, and this document is the Executive Committee's response to the
      report. The Executive Committee has highlighted a number of areas of
      potential development of APNIC services, and of APNIC as an
      organisation.
      
      This latest survey represents an important step in the ongoing
      development of APNIC, and the efforts of KPMG, Dr John Earls and Dr Tan
      Tin Wee are gratefully acknowledged.  Membership comment is now sought
      on both the Survey Report and on this response from the APNIC Executive
      Committee.
      
      
      1. APNIC Services
      
      The Member Survey shows clearly that IP address allocation is the single
      most important service of APNIC to its members. Secondary APNIC services
      were seen to fall into the categories of Resource and Database Services,
      Training and Meetings.  The survey report also identified a wide range
      of services that APNIC may provide in future, and some of these are
      addressed later in this response.
      
      It is clear from this survey that within the APNIC community there are
      diverse views about APNIC's role and responsibilities, and about the
      services it should offer.  The EC regards this diversity as a strength
      of the APNIC community, which will foster valuable discussion and debate
      in future.
      
      
      2. APNIC Service Quality
      
      While the survey report noted that the majority of members were
      satisfied with the level of service provided by APNIC, it also listed
      various suggestions for potential improvements to services.
      
      The issues of service response time and the lack of a dedicated account
      management structure were noted in some responses. The EC is aware of
      certain recent improvements in APNIC account management practices, and
      of plans for new services including the APNIC Helpdesk. The Secretariat
      is encouraged to continue improving the delivery of services to APNIC
      members, as a major ongoing priority.
      
      It was noted that some members find the resource application process
      complex and cumbersome. This situation may be addressed through
      development of additional support materials and training (such as
      example templates,online tutorials that describe the application
      process, and web-based resources that perform basic consistency
      checking) and these should be investigated by the Secretariat.
      
      The issue of the global proliferation and inconsistency of resource
      databases was highlighted in the report, and one potential activity for
      APNIC is to investigate the harmonization and improvement of these
      databases, allowing (for example) single NIC handles to be associated
      with resources across a number of them.
      
      
      3. Future APNIC Services
      
      The report noted a number of future services that members and
      stakeholders felt could or should be offered by APNIC. Many of these
      services fall within APNIC's mandate, while some are under development
      or may be developed as extensions of current projects at APNIC.  Others
      are entirely new activities which require more detailed examination by
      APNIC members before necessary resources should be allocated.
      
      One important service development highlighted by the survey report is
      the provision of multi-lingual documentation and support to members.
      This is already underway as an APNIC activity, but does needs to be
      accelerated.
      
      The suggested fee-for-service consultancy operation is considered by the
      Executive Committee to be potentially difficult in many ways, and
      requiring of further discussion by the Membership.  However as an
      related interim activity, the Secretariat could strengthen its online
      materials to provide a more comprehensive reference source for members,
      including links, case studies, operational and security information etc.
      
      Some initiatives that are clearly within APNIC's current charter are
      those of the routing registration service and monthly statistical
      reports on allocation activity. These are being actively pursued by the
      APNIC Secretariat, and the EC believes that these should now be fully
      incorporated as standard services covered by Helpdesk, training and
      other support.
      
      While APNIC's training activities are apparently well known and
      supported, there is a clear mandate from this survey for APNIC to
      support much broader training activities.  While APNIC is not
      necessarily viewed as the sole provider of such services, it is seen as
      a capable and appropriate facilitator of such activities.
      
      Another significant service request highlighted in the report is the
      publication by APNIC of more comprehensive activity reports relating to
      Internet development in the region.  While APNIC reporting has
      increased, the EC would encourage ongoing development of capacity for
      reporting and analysis within the Secretariat.
      
      
      4. Member Input to APNIC
      
      Members suggested a number of ways to encourage member input to APNIC.
      
      A major issue highlighted in this survey is that a number of members
      want to see APNIC more active in conducting a dialogue with various
      national and regional governmental agencies, particularly those
      associated with the formulation of Internet-related policies at this
      level.
      
      Another major issue which is yet to be fully addressed within the APNIC
      community is the framework for properly accommodating and serving the
      NIR members of APNIC, and the ISP constituents of those NIRs. This is a
      priority area for ongoing work by both the Secretariat and the
      Membership itself.
      
      
      5. APNIC Decision Framework
      
      This section of the survey highlighted some concerns regarding the
      sometimes slow speed of decision processes within APNIC meetings. This
      concern must be balanced against the desire to ensure that all members
      can fully brief themselves on matters to be discussed at APNIC and also
      fully consider the implications of various policy options.
      
      It is unclear whether alternative mechanisms such as electronic forums
      and online voting would increase participation or reduce decision making
      delays in APNIC processes. However, there is sufficient concern voiced
      in the survey to investigate this as an option for APNIC for certain
      classes of topics to be considered by the membership.
      
      It is clear that a critical factor in APNIC meetings is the diversity of
      languages represented, while meetings are conducted in English. The EC
      suggests that an investment is justified to address this issue, and
      available options should be examined by the Secretariat during 2002.
      
      
      6. Member's Role
      
      The survey reports notes that APNIC members in general understand their
      role and responsibilities as users of Internet resources.  However APNIC
      training and other outreach activities are very important in ensuring
      that this awareness is extended to new members and the community.
      
      As mentioned, the role of National Internet Registries is one which
      still needs to be fully integrated into APNIC's membership structure and
      representative processes.
      
      
      7. ISO quality certification
      
      Given the strength of membership support for ISO certification, it is
      appropriate to investigate the costs and overheads associated with ISO
      9000 certification of APNIC's resource allocation processes.  The
      Secretariat is therefore asked to act on this matter during 2002.
      
      
      8. Supporting Diversity
      
      The survey noted the high level of diversity within the region, but the
      response was mixed as to whether APNIC should adjust its processes to
      take this into account. Consistency of the resource application policy
      across the region was considered by some members to be entirely
      appropriate, while other members voiced the need for some diversity in
      this approach.
      
      The APNIC EC asserts that APNIC's implementation of technical policies
      must be driven by technical factors; however these technical drivers may
      vary substantially within the AP region.  APNIC policies and procedures
      should be sensitive to variations in technical environment throughout
      the region, so that no part of the region is disadvantaged.
      
      Given the diversity of the region, the EC suggests that the Secretariat
      should work to develop more specific expertise in sub-regions of the
      Asia Pacific.  Although the APNIC staff is culturally diverse, it is
      suggested capabilities be further developed to include sub-regional
      specific expertise.  A suitable structure may involve a small team of
      "liaison staff" to undertake research, liaison and coordination
      activities.  Such a structure would also help to address a need
      identified in the survey for more comprehensive reporting of Internet
      growth trends in the APNIC region.
      
      
      9. Supporting Development
      
      There was a wide range of responses to this topic, advocating a role for
      APNIC in network operations, conferences, consulting, training, grants,
      policy changes and liaison with governments.
      
      While APNIC has a clear mandate within its incorporation and membership
      documents to support Internet development in the Asia Pacific, it also
      must also be careful to manage Member resources in the mutual interest
      of those members.  Many "development" initiatives are consistent with
      Member interests, while others may not be, and case-by-case treatment
      will always be necessary.
      
      The survey report highlights the unique position of APNIC as a now
      successful organisation which can play a crucial role in leadership and
      facilitation of development activities.  Therefore the EC encourages the
      APNIC staff to consider activities which may be hosted by APNIC but
      funded or cofunded by other bodies, and where cooperation with suitable
      partners can leverage greater benefit that action by APNIC alone.
      
      It is considered that these important topics will be of ongoing
      interest, and can be most usefully addressed within the context of
      APNIC's online forums and the APNIC member meetings.
      
      
      10. Governmental Liaison
      
      The report notes a high level of support for the establishment of
      regular constructive relationships with governments. The Executive
      Committee is mindful of the existing roles of members and NIRs in policy
      development within their respective domains. However it is also
      appropriate to note that APNIC is a regional self-regulatory industry
      body that sets policies relating to the allocation of Internet address
      resources within the region. This role does have various implications in
      the area of national and regional policy, and APNIC should be in a
      position to clearly explain its role and its adopted policies to various
      governmental bodies.
      
      The Executive Committee would be supportive of APNIC initiatives that
      communicate APNIC's role and policies to various national and regional
      Internet policy agencies.
      
      
      11. Other Matters
      
      A number of other APNIC issues are noted in this report. While many of
      these topics should be referred to the APNIC membership forum for
      further consideration, a number of topics are highlighted in this
      response:
      
      Appeal Process. The survey report suggested that APNIC should have an
      appeal process to allow disputes to be resolved by independent arbiters.
      The EC notes that APNIC Bylaws and Membership Agreement do contain
      comprehensive arbitration provisions; however these may not have been
      fully incorporated into the APNIC procedural documentation. Therefore
      the Secretariat is asked to provide better documentation of existing
      mechanisms.
      
      Membership Category for linked or affiliated entities. The survey noted
      the desirability for a non-service category of membership for linked or
      affiliated entities.  It is noted that this has been implemented in the
      latest changes with the APNIC membership structure (through the
      "Associate" membership category).
      
      Regulate use, misuse and cost of address space.  APNIC is not a
      regulatory body, and cannot impose "regulation" on members of the
      community.  However APNIC can analyse and report on various factors in
      the use of address space, and as mentioned above, ongoing development of
      this reporting activity is encouraged.
      
      
      
      Che-Hoo Cheng
      Chair
      APNIC Executive Council
      
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