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[802SEC] Funding of freely available standards by IETF


Based on our discussions during the joint SEC/BoG meeting relative to the I
went back into my archives and found the information on how the IETF is
funded based on a conversation I had with Scott Bradner back in November
1999.  It is copied below.  It is somewhat out of date, for example the ISOC
membership tiers have been expanded
(, but I believe the concepts
generally still apply.  The members of the ISOC are listed at

The IEEE-SA should keep the ISOC/IETF model in mind when considering
alternative funding mechanism that Paul Menchini is in the process of


--Paul Nikolich
Chair, IEEE 802

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Nikolich []
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 2:29 PM
Subject: Funding of freely available standards by IETF

To All,

I spoke with Scott Bradner today of the IETF on the subject of funding the
freely available IETF drafts and standards.  He encourages IEEE 802 to make
802 standards freely available, too.

The main points are as follows (Scott, feel free to correct anything I
might have gotten wrong):

1) It costs very little to host a site to serve up the IETF documents--less
than $5k/year including few hundred Mb disk space, server and Internet

2) A key element in providing wide access is that the rights to the
documents are completely free and unencumbered---anyone can set up a mirror
site--no strings attached.
	Given conditions (1) and (2), there are LOTS of mirror sites.

3) A group at the Univ. of So. CA, ISI, is given a research contract to
edit the IETF documents (text editing, format, verify references are
correct, etc.) and be the initial site at which the documents can be
obtained through a T3 connection to the Internet.  This costs on the
approximately $300k per year.  It is funded by the Internet Society

4) Meeting fees ($425 on site, $325 pre-reg) are used mostly for
meeting-site costs (cookies, etc.).  The terminal room (PCs, workstations,
printers, Enet ports) and Internet connection costs are usually picked up
by the hosting company.

5) The Internet Society is a non-profit, non-governmental, international,
professional membership organization. It focuses on: standards, education,
and policy issues. Its more than 150 organization and 8,600 individual
members in over 170 nations worldwide.

Membership fees are tiered (

Sustaining-Gold 	Nonprofit Organization: 	$25,000 Annually
			For-Profit Organization: 	$50,000 Annually

Executive 		Nonprofit Organization: 	$5,000 Annually
			For-Profit Organization: 	$10,000 Annually

Principal 		Nonprofit Organization: 	$2,500 Annually
			For-Profit Organization: 	$5,000 Annually

Professional 		Nonprofit Organization: 	$1,250 Annually
			For-Profit Organization: 	$2,500 Annually

Start-up 		$1,000 annually during the First Three Years of A Firm's
Operation (Nonprofit 			or For-Profit)

As far as I can tell from a quick scan of the members list, ISOC collects
well over $1M in annual dues.

(Note, the IEEE Computer Society is an "Executive Member".)