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IAB Minutes 2021-05-12

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Minutes of the 2021-05-12 IAB Teleconference

1. Administrivia


  • Jari Arkko
  • Deborah Brungard
  • Ben Campbell
  • Lars Eggert (IETF Chair)
  • Wes Hardaker
  • Cullen Jennings
  • Mirja Kühlewind (IAB Chair)
  • Zhenbin Li
  • Jared Mauch
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Administrative Manager)
  • Karen O’Donoghue (ISOC Liaison)
  • Tommy Pauly
  • Colin Perkins (IRTF Chair)
  • David Schinazi
  • Martin Vigoureux (IESG Liaison)
  • Amy Vezza (IETF Secretariat)
  • Russ White
  • Jiankang Yao


  • Andrew Sullivan


  • Daniel Migault
  • Greg Wood

2. Internet Society Engagement Strategy

Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society, joined the IAB to discuss the Internet Society’s 2021 Action Plan.

The Internet Society’s strategic goals are for the Internet to be open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy. The Internet Society’s Action Plan for 2021 will focus on building, promoting and defending the Internet in the areas where they can make the most difference, so that it remains a force for good in the world, and brings opportunity to all.

Andrew Sullivan outlined the work in the 2021 Action Plan:

  • Goal: We need to make the Internet stronger.
    • The Internet needs our help to maintain its critical properties and be there for everyone.
  • Goal: We need to grow the Internet.
    • Nearly half the world’s population is not connected.
  • Goal: We need to empower people.
    • Attract, engage, and strengthen our whole community.

The Internet Society plans to support the community of people who champion the Internet by:

  • Attracting and engaging Individual Members
  • Providing fundamental information to our Chapters
  • Improving the function of Special Interest Groups
  • Strengthening our community connections and participation
  • Focusing on content to support participation

The Internet Society plans to build up those who support their mission with knowledge-sharing and learning opportunities that include:

  • Driving action through knowledge
  • Preparing future Internet advocates
  • Sharing cutting-edge knowledge

Andrew Sullivan noted that the Internet Society is reworking its Fellowship Program and implementing a large-scale e-learning program with 30 courses.

Andrew Sullivan said that one of the challenges about expanding Internet access around the world is that because the cheap and easy cases have already been handled, the remaining parts are more expensive to connect.

Cullen Jennings added that in many places where people do not have Internet access, the biggest challenge is around the politics of being allowed to build the Internet in that location, and it is often only the larger corporations (with the potential to become monopolies) that have the resources to try.

Andrew Sullivan said that the regions with lower Internet adoption do not need someone to go in and build the Internet for them; they need the tools to be able to build and maintain the Internet themselves.

Jari Arkko noted that a lot of the Internet Society’s focus has been on making open letters and statements about governance issues, and noted that there has been very little attention on industry issues.

Andrew Sullivan replied that many of the Internet Society’s public comments are directed at governments because governments often have a public comment period when new legislation is proposed. There is not the same opportunity to engage with private companies that are driven by incentives other than voter satisfaction. He also noted that the Internet Society has to concentrate on the areas where they can make the most difference and have the most expertise. They have more public policy experts who can talk about the governance issues around telecom monopolies than they do who can talk about issues around social media user privacy.

Mirja Kühlewind asked if there are ways that the IAB and the Internet Society can improve their communication with each other to make sure that they are aligned and both giving the same message.

Andrew Sullivan replied that it would be interesting to know if there are places where the Internet Society has been making statements where the IAB thinks it shouldn’t, or if there are topics that the IAB thinks the Internet Society has neglected. He added that a message about the Internet Society’s action plan for next year will be coming out soon, and that he would appreciate the IAB’s input on that.

For further information:

2020 Impact Report: The Internet is a Lifeline

Positive outcomes for the Internet and for the people who use it: Action Plan 2021