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2005 Charter

Draft for Comments - May 9, 2005

1. Preamble

The North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG) exists to promote dialog between people concerning the creation, maintenance and operation of Internet Protocol networks. NANOG is not itself a network operator—rather, it is a facilitator of discussion, learning, and technical communication between networking professionals. NANOG provides a forum where people from the network research community, the network operator community and the network vendor community can come together to identify and solve the problems that arise in operating and growing the Internet.

2. Name

The name of the activity is the North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG).

3. Mission

The purpose of NANOG is to provide forums in the North American region for education and the sharing of knowledge for the Internet operations community.  

NANOG is a small venue in which technical matters pertaining to network operations and network technology deployment in Internet providers may be discussed among experts. Such discussions have in the past focused on, but are certainly not limited to, experiences with new protocols and backbone technologies, implications of routing policies on the Internet as a whole, measurement techniques and measurements of Internet health and performance, areas in which inter-provider cooperation can be mutually beneficial (such as NOC coordination or security incident response), and maintaining a competitive and level business environment.

NANOG serves as a bridge between the technical staff of leading Internet providers close to network operations, technical communities such as standards bodies, and the academic community. NANOG has consistently worked to maintain a high level of technical content in meetings and all related activities. In striving to achieve these goals, all tutorials and presentations, including BOF presentations, are reviewed in advance and are limited to those entirely of a general technical nature, explicitly prohibiting material that relates to any specific product or service offerings. For similar reasons, equipment exhibits are limited to specified special events at each meeting.

4. Relationship to Merit Network, Inc.

Merit Network, Inc. (hereafter referred to as Merit) is a non-profit corporation governed by Michigan's public universities. NANOG is an activity hosted at Merit, with Merit providing full-time staff, logistical coordination, registration services, and financial management. Merit is also the host of the NANOG mailing list. Merit also supports the goals and mission of NANOG through its support of and relationship with the Chairs of the NANOG Steering Committee and Program Committee.   From time to time, additional Merit staff members may serve ex officio on the Steering Committee, the Program Committee, or the mailing list administration panel (see Section 7.1.2).

5. Elections and Eligibility for Voting

Anyone who has registered for a NANOG meeting in the previous two years may vote in any matter which comes before the community for a vote.   A list of eligible voters will be posted on the NANOG web before each election.

6. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee will be elected by an open nomination and election process from among those individuals eligible to vote in that election. The Steering Committee will consist of six elected members who serve staggered, two-year terms, and one member appointed by Merit. Those items on which the Steering Committee votes will be decided by absolute majority. No procedural change may be enacted without agreement of five members of the Steering Committee. No individual will serve more than two consecutive terms as a member of the Steering Committee. An individual may serve for two terms, take a single year off, and repeat the process.   Each Steering Committee member will submit a biography to be posted on the NANOG web.

6.1 Chairperson

One member of the Steering Committee will be selected by a vote of the Steering Committee to serve as the Chairperson for a one-year term.   The Chairperson will be selected at the first post-election meeting of the Steering Committee, and an announcement will be made to the NANOG mailing list(s) within 72 hours after selection.

6.2 Responsibilities

The Steering Committee will be responsible for the following items:

6.2.1 Program Committee Membership and Selection

To ensure continuity as this new charter is established, the three Program Committee seats vacant as of May 2005 will be filled through appointment by the current committee after an open nomination process.

Going forward, a new Program Committee will be formed during or after the October 2005 meeting. The Steering Committee will select the Program Committee with at least half of the members being chosen from among those current members willing to continue service, in order to provide continuity and preserve institutional memory of the programming process. Because a large Program Committee will be better able to handle the heavy workload, the Program Committee will consist of 16 members (plus one member appointed by Merit). To help the new Committee get established, Steve Feldman will continue as Chairperson until the spring 2006 meeting.   Each member will serve a staggered two-year term. No Program Committee member will serve more than two consecutive terms, although additional terms may be served after a one-year interval. One member of the Steering Committee will serve ex officio (without a vote) on the Program Committee, in order to facilitate communication among the two groups.

A Program Committee member may be removed before the expiration of his or her term if at least five members of the Steering Committee vote for the removal.

6.2.2 Mailing List Administrator Selection

The Steering Committee will select the administrators of the NANOG mailing list (discussed further in 7.1.2).

6.2.3 Budget Advisory Role

The Steering Committee will review and provide advice on the portion of the Merit budget that is pertinent to NANOG.   Merit will provide an update on NANOG finances and operations at each NANOG meeting.

6.2.5 Liaison with Other Organizations

The Steering Committee will facilitate communications between the NANOG community and other organizations with similar goals including ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, APRICOT, AfNOG, NORDNOG, and SANOG.

6.2.6 Meeting Attendance

Steering Committee members must commit to attend two out of every three NANOG meetings.

6.3 Meetings and Quorum

The Steering Committee will meet in person at every NANOG meeting, and may meet via conference calls on a more regular basis. All meetings must be announced by the Chairperson at least 30 days in advance.

No action may be taken by the committee unless at least four members of the committee are present. A motion will be considered to have passed if it is voted for by a majority of those present. [Ed. Note: is this consistent with paragraph 6 above?]

6.4 Elections

Elections will occur annually, at the last meeting in a given calendar year.   To elect the first Steering Committee, nominations will be accepted via email to nominations@nanog.org from June 1-15, 2005. Candidates will then be listed on the NANOG web site, with biographies submitted by the candidates, from June 20-July 12, 2005. Elections will be held via electronic voting on the NANOG web site between July 15-22, 2005, and the new committee will be named by August 1. In future elections, candidates will have the opportunity to make a short presentation during the regular community meeting.

6.4.2 Affiliation of Candidates

Each candidate must declare any and all affiliation(s) relevant to NANOG, which will include his or her main employer, as well as any other major relationships (for instance, if a candidate's primary employer is a nonprofit entity which is sponsored by a vendor, the candidate would declare both the nonprofit and the vendor as affiliations).

6.4.3 Voting Process for Steering Committee Selection

Each year, three seats will be open due to the expiration of terms, while others may be open due to resignations or other departures of Committee members. Voters will be permitted to cast one vote per open Committee seat. The top three vote-getters will be elected to the open two year terms, while fourth and subsequent vote-getters will fill any other open seats for the remaining portion of those seats' terms.

6.5 Merit Representation

One member of the Steering Committee will be appointed by Merit to serve as its liaison. The representative of Merit will not have a fixed term, but instead serves at the pleasure of Merit.

6.6 Vacancies

If a Steering Committee member resigns or a Steering Committee seat otherwise becomes vacant more than two months before the next election, the remaining members of the Steering Committee will appoint a replacement to serve until the next election, at which point if there is any additional time remaining in the term a member will be elected to fill the vacancy. If a vacancy occurs less than two months before an election, the seat will remain vacant until the election.

For every two vacancies on the committee, the quorum requirement will be reduced by one.

6.7 Removal of Steering Committee Members

An elected Steering Committee member who misses three or more meetings in a row and who does not attend any Steering Committee meetings for three months may be removed. A Steering Committee member who meets these conditions may be removed if at least four of the elected members of the Steering Committee vote to remove the person. If multiple Steering Committee members qualify for removal, the removal may take place if supported by all but one of the Steering Committee members not meeting these removal criteria.

The Merit representative on the Steering Committee may be removed at any time by Merit, and is not subject to removal by the elected Steering Committee members.

7. Mailing List

One of the primary functions of NANOG is the maintenance of a mailing list (the NANOG list).

7.1 Eligibility

The NANOG list will be open to anyone to subscribe, with an Acceptable Use Policy determined by the Steering Committee.

7.1.1 AUP

The NANOG List Acceptable Use Policy will be publicly available on the NANOG web site. Any changes to the Acceptable Use Policy must be approved by the Steering Committee.

7.1.2 Mailing List Administration

The NANOG list will be administered and minimally moderated by a panel selected by the Steering Committee. There will be no fewer than three members on the list administration committee, who will not serve as members of either the Program Committee or the Steering Committee during their time as mailing list administrators. Merit will provide a fourth member of the panel.

7.1.3 Other Mailing Lists

The NANOG organization may also run other Internet-operations-focused mailing lists and/or bulletin boards, at the discretion of the Steering Committee and Merit.

8. Conferences

One of the primary functions of NANOG is the administration of multiple conferences per year.

8.1 Location

The location of each conference will be determined by Merit, in consultation with the Steering Committee and meeting host.   All meetings will be held in North America. Conferences will be held at locations that can accommodate both the number of attendees and the connectivity requirements of the attendees.

8.2 Number

There are currently three conferences per year. This number can be changed at the discretion of Merit and the Steering Committee after a presentation to the membership at a conference.

8.3 Program

The conference program will be determined by the Program Committee (see section 6.2.1, Program Committee Membership and Selection. )

8.3.1 Program Committee Eligibility/Chairperson

To be eligible to be appointed as a member of the Program Committee, an individual must have attended one NANOG meeting within the prior calendar year (12 months).   The Program Committee will elect a new Chairperson during each spring NANOG meeting.   The Chairperson will serve for one year and will moderate NANOG meetings.   

8.3.2 Program Committee Responsibilities

The Program Committee is responsible for motivating/soliciting people to submit interesting talks, selecting the submissions which seem most appropriate (with some attention to presentation skills), and following up with speakers after acceptances to ensure that presentations are completed in time, with ample warning of potential problems with the presentation.  

The Chair of the Program Committee will serve ex officio (without a vote) on the Steering Committee, in order to facilitate communication among the two groups.

Each member of the Program Committee must review all presentations submitted for each meeting.   The Chair may excuse a member from one meeting's review cycle due to extenuating circumstances, but if a member misses two meetings in a row, he or she may be removed from the committee.   Any resulting vacancies will be filled by the Chairs of the Program Committee and Steering Committee.

8.4 Meeting Host

In consultation with the Steering Committee, Merit will name a host organization for each conference and where possible use different hosts and vary their industry sector.

NANOG meetings are hosted by local sponsoring organizations known as "local hosts." NANOG hosts receive Internet-wide recognition for their contribution to the ISP community. The host's name will be prominently displayed on all printed and online material about the NANOG meeting, and will be widely circulated on the member NANOG email list. 

Staff from the hosting organization who are actively involved in setting up meeting facilities or on-site equipment are invited to attend the conference at no cost.

8.5 Community Meetings

As determined by the Steering Committee, NANOG meetings will include a community meeting for open discussion of the continuing evolution of NANOG.

9. Amendments

Amendments to this charter may be recommended by a majority vote of eligible voters during an annual election. An amendment may be put on the ballot by the Steering Committee, or by a petition signed by at least 30 eligible voters, or 1% of eligible voters, whichever is greater.