INCA Policies and Procedures

Founding statement

The members of the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) are supporting, planning, building and operating sustainable, independent and interconnected networks that advance the economic and social development of the communities they serve and permit the provision of applications and services through open competition, innovation and diversity. They will work together to create cohesive interconnected next generation networks.

Aims

  • INCA will support the development of sustainable independent networks through collaboration on the provision and procurement of products and services and adoption of common standards.
  • INCA will support collaboration between members to create new, independent digital infrastructure that can be shared by operators and suppliers.
  • INCA will support mutual trading between members.
  • INCA will represent the interests of independent networks.
  • INCA will promote the advantages and successes of independent networks.

Membership

As a cooperative association, INCA has three simple principles:

  • One member one vote
  • Equitable member contribution to funds
  • Autonomy and independence

Membership shall be open to any organisation that supports the development of independent digital networks and infrastructure, specifically:

  • Infrastructure that is shared by different operators and providers;
  • Infrastructure that is open for use by competing operators or service providers and that is independent of the incumbent operators;
  • Infrastructure that is owned by the communities or businesses that use it.

Members include:

  • Network owners;
  • Network operators;
  • Network managers;
  • Access networks;
  • Middle mile networks;
  • Network hubs and exchanges;
  • Organisations, including public sector, that are developing or promoting independent networks;
  • Equipment suppliers.

Members of the society shall hold at least one share and have one vote. They shall pay a subscription fee determined by the board.

Membership Fees

There shall be a minimum subscription set by the Board at a level to ensure INCA’s independence and sustainability.

Governance

The model rules adopted by INCA offer a degree of flexibility on the exact arrangements for governance of the society.

The following procedural rules or standing orders shall apply until amended by simple majority in a general meeting.

  • INCA is governed by a board of management (‘the Board’, referred to in the rules as the ‘Committee of Management’) with at least 5 elected members and up to 12 members in total including co-opted and ex-officio.
  • The Board of management is elected by and accountable to the members of INCA in a general meeting at which each Member of INCA has one vote.
  • An elected board member is a deputy of a member organisation. Board members are individuals, not representatives or delegates of members.
  • The Board will appoint a chair from among its members.
  • The Board may co-opt additional members, up to a maximum of 5 and not to exceed the number of elected members.
  • The quorum of the Board will be one half the elected members rounded up to the nearest whole number.
  • The Board will appoint officers including but not limited to a chair, chief executive, finance officer and secretary.
  • Board members will be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses for attendance at board meetings. Membership of the board will not be remunerated.

 

Code of Practice

Members of the cooperative association shall abide by the code of practice.

  1. Members will support the aims of INCA. In particular members will advocate and encourage cooperation between independent, open and community-owned networks.
  2. Members will always seek the agreement of INCA and other affected members before disclosing information made available to them through INCA.
  3. Members of INCA governance bodies, such as the board, will always act in the interests of INCA as a whole and will take care to declare any interests they have that might influence their contribution to the governance of INCA.
  4. Members will conduct the business and operation of networks in a manner consistent with the aims of INCA and according to a high standard of ethical business practice.
  5. Members will abide by the code of practice without exception. In the event that a member does not adhere to the code of practice the board of management may at its sole discretion:
    1. Require an assurance from the Member, or any associated individual, relating to future behaviour, in terms dictated by the Board; and/or
    2. Suspend the Member from INCA without any reimbursement of membership fees in whole or in part until such time as the Board is satisfied that the Member has taken adequate steps to ensure that the breach is not repeated; and/or
    3. Convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of INCA for the purpose of considering a resolution for the expulsion of the Member, in accordance with clause 15 of the rules of INCA, which governs the procedure for expelling a member.