August 3, 2000
To: IFAST Membership
From: Fred Gaechter, IFAST Chairman
Re: IFAST Meeting, IRM Fee Assessment, and IFAST Secretariat
This letter is to inform you of the date and location of the next IFAST – IFAST14 – meeting, to brief you on the IRM fee structure and payment method, and to announce an agreement with a different entity to provide IFAST administrative and Secretariat support. I apologize for the lack of more frequent communication and for the length of this letter – there have been and are many issues associated with the structure and work method for the IFAST.
The IFAST14 meeting is scheduled for 4-5 October 2000 in Lima, Peru. The meeting will begin at 1PM on the 4th and will conclude no later them 6PM on the 5th. Specific meeting location and hotel accommodation information is not yet available from the meeting host and will be forwarded, along with the proposed Meeting Agenda, to you as soon as it is available. As in the past, meeting participants will each be billed for their share of the meeting costs. The Secretariat will coordinate this fee collection process and will provide further information regarding it in the next letter that will contain the specific meeting details and agenda.
At our last IFAST meeting, we created a list of issues to be studied and resolved by the IFAST and also identified volunteer mentors for each of the issues. Several issues had other IFAST members willing to work the issue with the issue mentor. A matrix of these issues, their mentors, and team members is contained in Attachment 1 to this letter. Each of you is encouraged to contact these mentors and offer to assist them with the work. Your help in the resolution of these issues will ensure their timely and expert conclusion.
Since our last meeting, the IFAST Management Team has met and developed a new working procedure for the study and resolution of issues. This new method has been discussed in the past and was recently offered by several IFAST members as an alternative work process. It is clear to all of us that the previous work method was not effective.
In brief, the Mentor Groups will largely study and resolve their issue(s) between meetings by correspondence and conference calls with Group members. At the IFAST meetings – 3 per year – these groups will be provided face-to-face time to continue their work, as necessary. At the meeting, each group will be expected to provide a status report on their work and, when completed, submit their proposed issue resolution to the full membership for discussion and approval. Additionally, the meetings will discuss all IFAST administrative and organizational issues and will contain an opening and closing plenary session. As in the past, Meeting Notes will be drafted and approved at the meetings. For those of you familiar with the working procedures for the IETF, this work method is similar to theirs and has been successful for them and, I believe, will be equally successful for IFAST, a relatively comparable open international forum. It will, however, require the active participation of members in the Mentor Groups. The Management Team hopes that this work method will have your enthusiastic approval and support.
IFAST Support and Secretariat
At our last IFAST meeting, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) was introduced as the interim IFAST Secretariat, i.e., performing that function until an entity could be identified that was willing and able to provide the Forum support and Secretariat functions on a permanent and stable basis. The IFAST Management Team has negotiated such a long-term agreement with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS). ATIS’s experience and expertise in the area of Forum Support, offered an excellent opportunity to establish a long-term agreement with a single reputable organization. The Forums supported by the ATIS are responsible for the development of many North American wireline and wireless standards. The agreement for ATIS to sponsor the IFAST was finalized this week and is effective immediately. ATIS staff will provide a presentation of their organization and capabilities as part of the IFAST14 meeting agenda. The Management Team is confident that this arrangement will be mutually beneficial and very professional. We hope it meets with your approval and support. Future correspondence regarding the IFAST14 logistics will come from the ATIS staff.
Although not the reason for the agreement with the ATIS, you should be aware that recently Mr. Ed Hall, formerly of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) - the original IFAST secretariat organization – has transferred from the staff of the CTIA to the staff of the ATIS. Ed is one of the founding members of the IFAST and has been an active participant since its inception. His personal knowledge of the Secretariat function will be an added bonus of this agreement.
IRM Fee Structure
At our last IFAST meeting, the membership approved both a draft IFAST annual budget and the implementation of an IRM fee structure and collection method as the primary funding mechanism in support of the annual budget. The Management Team has slightly modified the annual budget to reflect additional input from the entities directly involved in the budget’s line items. The revised budget in Attachment 2 to this letter. This budget will be revised, either up or down, annually to reflect actual expense and income experience from the previous year. Simultaneously, the IRM fees will be restructured to meet the requirements of each year’s budget.
For this first year, it has been determined that, in order to meet the budgetary requirements of the IFAST, there will be a one-time IRM application fee (per IRM) of $175US and an annual IRM maintenance fee (per assigned/reserved IRM) of the same amount.
The application fee will be required at the time of application and should, therefore, accompany the application. The application form will be modified to accommodate this procedure and to provide the payment method information. The application will not be processed until payment is received and cleared – company check or credit card is acceptable. Application fees will be applied on a going-forward basis (effective immediately) – not retroactively.
The annual maintenance fee will be paid in two circumstances. At the time of an IRM application, the applicant will also pay the first year’s maintenance fee. With the application fee, each applicant will, therefore, be expected to submit a payment of $350US for both the application fee and the first year’s maintenance fee. If the IRM application is denied, the maintenance fee will be returned to the applicant, but not the application fee – a fee to cover the application processing costs.
This fee process is also effective immediately. Current and future applicants will be billed annually, on the anniversary of their IRM assignment, for the annual maintenance fee. For those entities currently assigned or reserved an IRM, the IFAST Secretariat will send a bill for the aggregate amount of all IRMs assigned to each entity, i.e., $175US for each IRM. For these entities, there will be an annual bill on the anniversary of the first billing. It is anticipated that this first maintenance bill will be sent to IRM assignees in the month of September. You may be contacted to provide the Secretariat the information necessary to transmit the bill to the proper person/organization within your company.
For this first billing cycle, payment is expected within 60 calendar days. If payment is not received, the assigned/reserved IRM is subject to reassignment to another entity. Entities with assigned/reserved IRMs are also encouraged to review their inventory of assignments and to return for reassignment any IRMs not assigned or no longer required.
Once again, the Management Team anticipates your support for this agreed to process. It is necessary to fund the IFAST work and support. In the future, it is hoped that another funding mechanism, e.g., membership dues, can be implemented in place of this IRM fee structure.
In all the above issues, the Management Team thanks you for your ongoing support and we hope to see you all at the IFAST14 meeting.