By: Ryan Polk
The Internet Society looks forward to hosting its 16th IETF Policy Programme at IETF 98 in Prague. The programme introduces Internet policymakers to the IETF and the Internet standards-making process. During an intensive week, policy guests attend Working Group meetings, as well as sessions led by IETF experts on technical topics such as routing, Internet Protocol (IP) addressing, and the Domain Name System (DNS).
In many ways, the programme acts as a “crash course” on how the Internet works, its history, and how it continues to evolve through the work of the IETF. Policymakers are exposed to comprehensive and interactive presentations from IETF experts, who can offer policymakers the kind of technical foundations they need to effectively make policy decisions.
Over the course of 15 meetings, the programme has brought to the IETF 189 policymakers from 93 countries and territories. In this way, the programme also aids in the diversification of our standards body—policy guests recognise the benefits of their region’s technical experts contributing their expertise and perspectives to the IETF. A common concern among participants by the end of the programme is how to get more engineers from their countries involved in the work of the IETF, whether by attending the in-person meetings or contributing on the mailing lists.
Promoting participation from a new generation of global technical experts is critical for the IETF’s long-term success. By garnering greater support from policymakers and helping drive greater participation around the world, the IETF Policy Programme is another way the Internet Society contributes to the continued success of the IETF.