1. Welcome and Apologies
The President welcomed all participants, especially two participants from new applicants for associate membership: Brian Carpenter for IBM and Stanislaw Starzak from the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center, Poland. Yousef Nusseir, the new national member from NIC, Jordan had sent his apologies. The President affirmed that a quorum was present.
Apologies were received from ACOnet (Austria), the Academy of Sciences (Azerbaijan), UNICOM-B (Bulgaria), LATNET (Latvia), DEC, ECMWF.
Mirsolav Milinovic represented CARNet, Croatia; Theodoros Karounos represented GR-Net, Greece; Mehmet Okur represented ULAKBIM, Turkey; all with proxies.
The number of votes represented was 85, out of a total of 119 (120 after agenda item 4b).
The list of participants is annexed to these minutes.2. Approval of Agenda, GA(98)031
The GA approved the agenda.3. Minutes and Action list of previous GA meeting
D10-01 The General Assembly approved the minutes of the 9th GA meeting (GA(98)015), Utrecht, 14/15 May 1998, without change.
The GA noted the status of the actions outstanding, GA(98)028. There were no further updates to the list of actions.4. Membership matters
The GA noted with regret that none of the five members that had been given notice as discussed in the previous GA meeting had paid their fees by the deadline. Therefore, the memberships of the National Members for Albania, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine and of the JINR had been ended.
The President presented the application of the National Information Centre of Jordan, with Yusef Nusseir as the proposed representative and Fadel Sweedan as his deputy. He knew Mr. Nusseir and felt that the organisation was worthy of being admitted.
D10-02 The GA admitted NIC of Jordan as a National Member in Category 1, and accorded it the usual phasing-in discount for the membership fee.
D10-03 The GA admitted IBM Europe as an Associate Member, with Brian Carpenter as the representative and Lee Caldwell as his deputy.
Brian Carpenter thanked the GA and said that the company would take TERENA membership very seriously.
D10-04 The GA admitted the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center as an Associate Member from Poland, and accorded it the usual phasing-in discount for the membership fee. Maciej Stroinski was the representative and Stanislaw Starzak his deputy.
Mr. Starzak thanked the GA and said the organisation hoped to become an active participant in TERENA activities.
Michael Walsh, who up to now represented Ireland in an individual capacity, explained that when he joined, the situation in Ireland was not unique. He was pleased that a company had been established which could now take over from him. He introduced John Boland, its Director.
D10-05 The GA approved the change in Irish National Member of TERENA from Michael Walsh to HEANET, with John Boland as the representative and Michael Walsh as the deputy.
The GA noted the names of the new representatives, as given above. There were no other changes in representatives.
(e) Outstanding membership fees
Lajos Bálint reported that nine members had paid their fees since the last GA meeting. As specified in document GA(98)036, there were now eight members with outstanding fees (none of them present at the meeting). The President expressed his concerns about the outstanding fees.
5. Technical Programme
(a) Projects and Task Forces – progress report
John Martin presented an overview of the current status of the Technical Programme, which was noted by the GA. The first series of pilot projects had been completed, and reports on them were distributed at the meeting. A call for new proposals had been sent out. Based on previous experience, the TTC was now hoping to receive fewer, but larger proposals.
Brian Gilmore gave an update on the SIRCE project. RENATER (France) had joined as a contributor. The service had been operational at the Basic Incident Coordination level since the 1st of May. The Monitoring Committee had met on the 14th of September and was happy with the progress made. On the 9th of October, there would be another meeting of the Contributors Committee, which would consider what was to happen after the end of the current pilot phase, in November of 1999. Two options were being considered: one was to enlist the services of DANTE to act as an agent on behalf of the customer-networks, the other was to continue without an agent, on the basis of bilateral contracts between the provider of the service and each individual customer-network.
(b) Report on Dresden meetings of Technical Assembly, Task Forces and Working Groups
Eight meetings had been held on the 4th of October, bringing together a total of 60 experts. The Working Groups on lower layer technology and the task forces on indexing and on caching had been especially well-attended.
(c) Reform of the Technical Programme
There were now seven Working Groups. The groups only met at the occasion of the TERENA Conferences; attendance was very irregular. In practice, most of the work was done through e-mail. This structure had been created about six years ago, and had never been reviewed. Since then, Task Forces had been created which were working on specific, time-bound tasks. Those were working well. In reforming the Technical Programme, the aim would be to retain the links between TERENA and the grassroots researchers; to modernise the list of areas addressed; to strengthen the involvement of the TERENA members; and to increase the added value of the TTC. The TTC membership had discussed these ideas, and was broadly in agreement with them. A first step towards reforming the Technical Programme had been the first-ever Technical Assembly meeting on 5 October, which had been well-attended and which had yielded a list of five key areas of interest for most of the members:
The idea was now to build on that and form new mailing lists based on these issues.
The results of the entire reform would be presented to the next GA in Lund.
Stefano Trumpy added that the Executive Committee had given encouragement to these ideas. It felt that it would be one way of involving members more in the work of TERENA. In response to several questions, it was agreed that
A10-01 the Secretariat and TEC should keep GA members informed about the reform of the Technical Programme and seek their input in the process
GA members generally agreed on the importance of the Technical Programme in bringing together experts from various TERENA countries, avoiding duplication of effort and combining the best expertise available in joint projects. The importance of industrial involvement was also underlined.
Kees Neggers asked for an update on the situation with TF-TEN.
Brian Gilmore reported that on Sunday, WG-LLT had concluded that TF-TEN had successfully completed its work. It had decided to propose to the TTC to close down TF-TEN. Also, WG-LLT felt that a new TF should be formed. This would do the work that DANTE was committed to under the QUANTUM contract as the "QUANTUM test programme". But it would also run other testing that the NRNs are interested in. The Working Group had listed those areas. It was intended that, like TF-TEN, this new Task Force would be a joint TERENA-DANTE activity, with DANTE providing the chairman and TERENA providing the Secretariat. WG-LLT had proposed to the TTC to appoint Christoph Graf of DANTE as the TF leader. A good name for the Task Force was still being sought and suggestions were welcome.
Responding to a question, Brian affirmed that this new Task Force would continue on the successful model of TF-TEN.
John Martin recalled that the previous GA had agreed that TERENA would end its membership unless members showed a strong interest in continuing. Members had not shown this; also, ETSI documents would in essence become freely available on the Web.
After some discussion, the GA agreed:
D10-06 TERENA will discontinue its membership in ETSI from 1 January 1999.
John Martin reported that no members had indicated that TERENA should join W3C. If TERENA joined, only staff members would be allowed to go to the meetings on TERENA’s behalf. Several member organisations were members themselves and offered to share the information coming from the W3C meetings.
D10-07 TERENA will not become a member of W3C
John Martin reported that there were some very interesting developments at ITU-T. However, the fee was very high. Their documents were essentially available through their Web site. Free membership was possible, but difficult to negotiate and costly to maintain. Therefore, the GA agreed
D10-08 TERENA will not become a member of ITU-T
6. TERENA Activity Plan 1999
Karel Vietsch presented document GA(98)039. It was difficult to write a plan this year, because developments were very rapid. There was a need for updating after the recent Internet 2 meetings in San Francisco, and again after several discussions in Dresden. He felt that a new phase of rapid developments was coming soon: the "Challenge of Gigabit Networking", as was the motto for the Lund conference. Nevertheless, the traditional four pillars of TERENA’s work would remain: representation, the Technical Programme, the conferences and workshops, and service provision.
Specific targets for next year included:
Responding to questions, Karel Vietsch agreed that industry participation was becoming more important. The fact that companies were now interested to become TERENA members was a reflection of their increased interest. However, involvement of companies in the Technical Programme and obtaining their financial support for projects was obviously far more imporatant than the symbolic TERENA membership. He did point out that in the past the experience specifically with involving European companies had been disappointing.
D10-09 The Activity Plan 1999 was accepted.7. Financial Matters
(a) Reconfirmation of contribution categories of National Members
D10-10 The proposal contained in document GA(98)027, namely to keep the contribution categories unchanged, was adopted.
(b) Projected outlook 1998
Lajos Bálint gave a short explanation of the figures as given in GA(98)037. There might be a small surplus this year, in spite of a large allowance for writing off the bad debts of former members that had not paid their fees. There had been delays in some of the technical projects, as well as a number of vacancies in the Secretariat. A new Chief Administrative Officer and a new bookkeeper were now in place. Karel Vietsch underlined that the prognosis still had a margin of uncertainty, in part because it was still unclear what the result of the Dresden conference would be.
The GA took note of the projected outlook.
(c) Budget 1999 and membership fees 1999
Lajos Bálint explained that the budget was close to that for 1998. The proposal was to keep the unit value the same, at 4,477 ECU. There was now a modest allowance for bad debts, at 25,000 ECU and a budget line for pilot projects of 75,000 ECU.
D10-11 The fee unit for 1999 will be 4,477 ECU
D10-12 The budget for 1999, as proposed in GA(98)038 was adopted
8. Conferences and Workshops
Michael Walsh presented a report. The Dresden conference was budgeted on 250 people attending; instead, there were about 220 registrations. However, there was a slight surplus on the sponsorship side; therefore, we might break even financially. The conference itself had been productive. Michael thanked DFN for its efforts in hosting the Dresden conference, mentioning especially Klaus Köhler and Stephanie Francioni.
Next year, there would be a joint conference with NORDUnet, the Terena-NORDUnet Networking Conference 1999, in Lund, Sweden, from 7 to 10 June. The TEC had decided to stop using the "JENC" name. The Programme Committee for Lund was being chaired by Peter Villemoes. Based on previous experience and the different traditions of NORDUnet and TERENA conferences, the idea was that the Programme Committee would identify the key themes and invite speakers. Papers submitted through the call for papers would be used to fill the remaining space in the programme. Expected number of attendees was higher than in Dresden, with a maximum of around 600. In that case, some participants would have to stay in Malmö.
Arne Sundström added that Lund was a town of around 65,000 people, with a university of 30,000 students. The venue was good, but transportation to the hotels would have to be arranged.
June was a fine time for being in Lund.
Pedro Veiga then explained about the proposal for the Conference of the year 2,000, which was to be held in Lisbon.
Karel Vietsch reported briefly on the two NATO workshops which had been held: one in Kaunas (which had been a big success), another one in Yaroslav (which was good, even though the working conditions had been difficult). A third workshop had been planned for Prague, but had to be cancelled because the grant awarded by NATO had been insufficient (40% less than requested). NATO had been disappointed by the cancellation, but understood our reasons and had encouraged TERENA to come forward with new proposals. Plans were to organise one NATO workshop and if possible one workshop for the Mediterranean area next year, but dates and venues had not yet been fixed.
Stefano Trumpy shared an invitation he had received to take part in a conference to be organised by the "Centre for EuroTelecoms", in February of next year. He said that he would politely decline the invitation, and the GA felt in general that a commercial conference like this on European research networking was not a good idea.
(a) UCAID and CCIRN
Karel Vietsch gave a short background introduction. UCAID was formed about two years ago and is now a consortium of 130 member universities. Originally its main interest had been in the Interenet2 project for high-speed networking applications. Recently, they started a new project, called "Abilene", which aimed at introducing a gigabit backbone. UCAID was looking for collaboration with other parts of the world, including with TERENA. This collaboration was structured through Memorandums of Understanding; the first one of these had already been signed with CANARIE. Others had recently been signed with NORDUnet and the SURF Foundation. At the recent fall meeting of Internet2 in San Francisco, Karel Vietsch had negotiated a draft text of a MoU between TERENA and UCAID, which he presented to the meeting. It was modelled on the agreement with CANARIE. One of the key points would be reciprocal membership.
The GA agreed that a MoU with UCAID as presented by Karel Vietsch could be signed.
One form of collaboration with UCAID would be within the framework of the CCIRN: it was tentatively agreed that UCAID would take the lead in the CCIRN working group on measurements, whilst TERENA would do the same in the CCIRN working group on QoS. The next meeting of these groups would be in December in Orlando.
SURFnet and NORDUnet also gave briefings on their work with UCAID. It was remarked that it was important that DANTE would work to promote the interconnection between Europe and the Abilene backbone.
Stefano Trumpy gave a briefing. This G7/G8 initiative would end in June of next year; a working group chaired by Stefano Trumpy is preparing a proposal for continuation of the activity, widening the participation to include government representatives of in principle all countries in a GIBN Forum. A GIBN workshop would take place after the IST ‘98 conference in Vienna, early December. Anyone interested to be invited to that workshop should contact Stefano Trumpy.10. Secretariat Matters
The TERENA staff consists of:
Karel Vietsch, Secretary GeneralJohn Martin, Chief Technical Officer
A new description of internal financial procedures would be completed by the end of the year. A vacancy had been filled mid-September with Yuri Demchenko coming in, but Peter Valkenburg had announced that he would leave by the end of November. Marieke Dekker and Andrea Kramer had left, Bert van Pinxteren and Wilma Overdevest had recently been recruited as their successors. The PR&Conference Officer position would hopefully be filled soon.
11. Next meetings
GA 11 was scheduled for the 10th and 11th of June in Lund.
GA 12 was scheduled tentatively for the third week of October 1999 in Izmir.
GA 13 would probably take place in May 2000 in Lisbon; early confirmation of the final dates was requested. A preliminary date for the conference was the week of 22 May 2000.
12. Any Other Business and Close
Agathoclis Stylianou gave a briefing on two proposed projects in the Mediterranean: QMED ( a project associated with the Quantum project) was to link Israel via Cyprus and Greece to TEN-155. MEDNET was working for the interconnection between the Mediterranean countries. A meeting on that project would be held during the first week of November in Athens. A third proposed project, AEDEM, similar to the second one, was taking shape for the Balkan region.
Stefano Trumpy called attention to the survey to be undertaken in the so-called GARNER project by Tom Jackson of ISPRA. This might both yield useful information and help make the case for more EU funds for applications development. Members were encouraged to take the time to respond.
Stephano Trumpy also pointed to the fact that this was the last meeting that he would be chairing entirely: his second two-year term will expire at the next GA. This was also the case for Brian Gilmore. For Kees Neggers, it would be the end of his first two-year term. Therefore, members should start to prepare for the elections that would have to take place at the next GA.
Annex to the minutes of the 10th TERENA GA meeting, GA(98)041
List of participants at the 10th TERENA General Assembly meeting, Dresden, 8/9 October 1998