16 May 2014

RIPE Chair - Rob handing over "the Internet"

The handover from RIPE Chair trough 25 years, Rob Blokzijl took place at the end of the closing plenary on Friday 16. May 2014 at RIPE 68 in Warsaw.

The chairman of RIPE never had a gavel or any other symbolic tools to conduct this duties. The ceremony was instead inspired by the IT Crowd, to hand over “the Internet” (and the legacy space).

The event can be enjoyed in full at the RIPE 68 meeting archives.

In the video starting at around 19 minutes into the recording.

As a reminder for the future I have made a transcript of my first speech as RIPE Chair.

Thank you very much for this Rob.
Its a great challenge,  - Its indeed big shoes to fill, -  I realize that.

I have been here for some 20 years I think.  At first setting up two of the first LIRs in Norway in the beginning of the 1990s. Getting IP addresses then, was just as important as it is now to run our Network.
But  I sincerely think that this community is about much more than the  addresses and the registry.

Its a great venue and great place to meet and exchange ideas, and to cooperate.

I think that is one of the very important things that I will work, to contribute to, to make sure that we keep it like that.

It is not just about keeping the phonebook of IP addresses.

We are a community that are here to make things happen.

I am a strong proponent of the openness, and the  inclusiveness and bottom up processes that we have had in this region.

I really think it is important to make sure that not only we as this community, but that also the Internet stays open as a vehicle for communication for everybody.

That has  been an important pa and driver for me in my work. At university with the UUCP node, getting a connection to Russia in the days when the Soviet Union was falling a part. That is some of the things that sort of triggered me to stay in this community, to help make sure we have an Internet for people to communicate, even in politically unstable times.

So, what about the next 25 years?

Well, since the term of chairman ship here is 25 years, I should probably have a 25 year plan.

Well, Rob already challenged me that there should be a procedure to replace me. I do not think I will work on that the first three months. But during the next couple years that is something that we need to get in place.

We are working on a procedure to select and replace working group chairs.
Thats been delegated to the working groups, to go trough a bottom up process. And I think, that is really also for all you to think about. I am your chair, to serve you, and I am accountable to you, so you need to tell me what you expect from me. I think that is important rather than me telling you what to do. That is part of this community´s spirit .

Other than that I think that we have an interesting challenge ahead of us: 
  • How to migrate to IPv6?
  • How do we do that collectively?
  • How do we make sure that the network stays open and transparent for end to end communication for the coming years?
We are running out of IP addresses, so IP address distribution policy for IPv4 is less and less important, but registering who has which addresses is going to be more important, and certification as well.

I think we are going to change our focus as a community a bit, from addresses this type, that type.  “All addresses are equal" as it has been said here. We need to figure out how to keep a strong and good registry so we know who has the right to use, or is using, which addresses. So we are not subject to highjacking and other things like that.

Other than that, I look forward to hearing from you, what you expect from me for the coming years, 

I will try to go to most of the regional meetings in this region and of course all the RIPE meetings, so I really look forward to seeing you again there. 

Thank you!

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