Meet your fellow internet heroes at RIPE

Twice a year, professionals keeping the European internet afloat gather for the RIPE conference to get updated on the latest trends.

We take the internet for granted, but without thousands of technicians working behind the scenes it wouldn’t exist. The RIPE conference is where the unsung heroes of the European part of the internet meet twice a year to mingle and get updated on the latest development in research, technology and best practice.

“Something you hear at the RIPE conference will be something the average internet user will benefit from in a couple of years,” says Søren Peter Skou, IP network engineer at NORDUnet.

RIPE is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization that supports the infrastructure of the internet in Europe. The most prominent activity is to act as the Regional Internet Registry providing global internet resources and related services to members in Europe. RIPE also manages one of the 13 root name servers of the internet – the K-root. The acronym "RIPE" denotes European Internet Protocol Research, only written in French (Réseaux IP Européens). The name is perhaps slightly misleading, since RIPE does a lot more than support research.

“Still, we have seen an increasing focus on support for research over the recent years. A large part of the RIPE conference is dedicated to presentations by researchers. The technical level is always very high. You will feel inspired by the end of the conference – but also tired!” says Søren Peter Skou.

The RIPE conferences are normally face to face, but due to COVID the May 2021 version is held online. Since the event is virtual, no admission fee is charged.

“So, this could be a nice opportunity if you are curious about the behind-the-scenes reality of the internet,” Søren Peter Skou argues.

The May 2021 conference (RIPE82) is held May 17-21.