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The InCommon Steering Committee and the Internet2 Board of Trustees continue to outline the future of InCommon, with the goal of having key decisions made at the Internet2 board's December meeting.

The proposed changes will be discussed in two sessions at the Internet2 Member Meeting: the InCommon Forum on Monday, October 5; and the Future of InCommon track session on Wednesday, October 7. The track session will be available to remote participants via Adobe Connect. For information on how to participate, go to www.incommonfederation.org/FMM_09.html.

The complete draft InCommon interim business and financial plan is available at the InCommon Collaborate wiki: https://spaces.at.internet2.edu/x/y4E0.

The plan includes a number of proposed changes:

  • Merging the federation and the Internet2 Middleware Initiative under the InCommon LLC and refining the governance connections between the InCommon Steering Committee and the Internet2 governance structures.
  • Implementing a new tiered fee structure for InCommon, starting in with an interim schedule for 2010.
  • Providing InCommon with additional funds to secure its continued growth.
  • Aggressively moving to introduce new assurance profiles, including Bronze and Silver.
  • Exploring additional areas necessary for trust services, including training, consulting, and a possible certificate service.

InCommon and Middleware: The business plan creates an umbrella InCommon organization that incorporates both the trust services operation (the current InCommon federation) and the Internet2 middleware outreach, research, and development efforts.

Tiered Fee Structure: The plan includes a new interim tiered fee structure for the 2010 calendar year. This structure, approved unanimously by the InCommon Steering Committee, is aligned for expediency and, for this year only, to Carnegie classifications similar to Internet2's member levels. Under the new fee structure, annual dues will range from $1,100 to $3,000. Details on the tiers are available at www.incommonfederation.org/fees2010.html. Service providers will be classified based on their annual revenues. The fee structure for 2011 and beyond will continue with a tiered concept, but will be developed in an open fashion, allowing for participant input. Campuses will receive a letter with their classification/level of dues in late October.

Additional Capital: The Internet2 Board of Trustees has indicated its strong support the InCommon and identity middleware activities and for providing the necessary funding for InCommon to continue its growth and to offer additional services. The board has authorized the hiring of an executive director for InCommon, who will lead the implementation of this new business plan and will report to the Internet2 CEO. The Board will formally approve an InCommon business plan in December.

New Assurance Profiles: There are a growing number of drivers for the InCommon Bronze and Silver assurance profiles, including applications from the National Institutes for Health and the National Science Foundation. InCommon intends to have Silver in production by Fall 2010 and expects that this profile will have its own pricing structure.

Additional Trust Services: InCommon is growing beyond research-intensive institutions and is investigating services that may be required by smaller institutions, such as training, consulting, and installation assistance. InCommon is also exploring offering a certificate service, if it is financially viable and would provide universities with significant savings.

Town Hall: InCommon will host a town hall meeting Monday, October 19, for a discussion and update about InCommon's future structure and next year's tiered dues implementation. Details will be provided via the website and the participants mailing list.

This all represents the initial direction and support for the future of InCommon, with the goal of having the plan completed for the December meeting of the Internet2 Board of Trustees. Information will continue to be disseminated at www.incommon.org, via the InCommon participants mailing list, and by the InCommon RSS news feed.

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