By Chris Buckridge, External Relations Officer for the RIPE NCC
The RIPE NCC was one of the key founding members of the Internet Technical Advisory Committee when it launched in 2008. With Internet governance already gaining prominence in many inter-governmental settings, it was clear that the OECD could be an important venue for producing authoritative analyses of the economic and political impact of developments in the Internet industry.
The core business of the RIPE NCC and its fellow Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) is the management and distribution of Internet number resources, including IP addresses (IPv4 and IPv6) and Autonomous System Numbers, and the five RIRs represent distinct regional communities involved in the bottom-up development of policy governing the management of those resources. While the issues relating to IPv4 depletion and IPv6 deployment have long been understood in the Internet technical community, in the years since ITAC was formed, these issues have increasingly become the subject of scrutiny and discussion by governments, regulators and other Internet stakeholders. Participation in ITAC ensures that when these discussions take place in the OECD context, the perspective of the RIRs and their communities (those who build and operate networks) is part of the conversation.
The RIPE NCC’s focus in the OECD has been primarily in the Working Party on Communication Infrastructures and Services Policy (CISP, for which the RIPE NCC serves as ITAC issue leader) and the Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP). This participation has allowed the RIPE NCC to contribute to the production of important studies in areas such as IPv6 deployment and Internet interconnection, and to highlight these issues and offer technical expertise in forums such as the 2008 OECD Ministerial Meeting and the 2011 High Level Meeting on the Internet Economy.
With much attention currently focused on further defining Enhanced Cooperation and assessing the effectiveness of multi-stakeholder Internet governance models, the RIPE NCC sees the OECD and ITAC example as an important success story in how different stakeholder groups can work together, sharing expertise to achieve positive outcomes for all sides to ensure a stable and evolving Internet.