[AfrICANN-discuss] Last 5 /8 distributes

Ben Akoh me at benakoh.com
Fri Feb 4 21:37:33 SAST 2011


I wonder though, if our looking at cost purely from the technical
perspective does not harm our migratory intentions. CPE's and ISP 
equipment are just but a small part of the expense chain, if we were to 
consider just the technical aspect alone, and that, as it relates to 
just hardware.

Could cost perchance be associated with human resource requirements, 
such as technical capacity, cutting across a whole range of levels - 
from the techies that are responsible for allocating blocks of v6
addresses at the RIR levels through to those at the ISP, and further 
down to those who install CPEs. AfNOG and Afrinic have done exciting 
work in this area by building technical capacity but clearly capacity is 
still lacking and other stakeholder inputs are required. The numbers of 
trained vis-a-vis those yet untrained would present some interesting 

The economic costs of having the majority of African businesses who are 
mostly SMEs transition is perhaps where the bulk of these v6 allocations 
should eventually end up. You would agree with me, however, that 
technology spend is done mostly by large corporations and less on SMEs 
which consist of the bulk of the market and where most African economies 
are buoyed. If this is the case, then the economic incentive for 
migrating to v6 should target them and less towards the large 
corporations who may have already migrated or invested in newer 
equipment. SMEs need an economic incentive to do so. Even then business 
incentives are a section of the economics that surround this transition. 
Other social aspects such as the amount of obsolete, non-compliant 
devices, and those less skilled to tunnel through existing protocols 
further complicate the matter.

Eventually the success of Africa's transition would largely depend on 
how we holistically deal with this economics. A simple analogy I could 
use is the transition from analogue to digital broadcast that countries 
in Europe and North America have completed. The economics of such 
transition was holistic and took into consideration everything down to 
the CPEs, in this case set-top-boxes which were eventually subsidized by 
their governments. But this did not come without a comprehension of the 
scale of spend to the individual nation state.

I wonder though, if the last /8 block allocated to Afrinic for Africa 
will also not eventually retard the transition to v6 given its 
unallocated v6 blocks that it speculatively still has (speculation, 
because I have not verified its current stockpile).

I guess my dilemma is that the economic incentive for migration is not 
clear to the all, SME's, consumers, ISPs, etc., and not just to large 
corporations who may have transitioned so they can position themselves 
to play in the international market. But more importantly to SME's and 
individuals, at all levels; social and economic, who need to be 
considered in the equation for transition.

The allocation leaves me with more questions than answers.


On Thu, February 3, 2011 12:29 pm, McTim wrote:
> hi,
> On Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM, Ben Akoh <me at benakoh.com> wrote:
>> Hi Adiel,
>> Thanks for this information. I followed closely the discussions especially
>> the comment attributed to you that most African networks are v6 compliant
>> largely due to the recent purchase of newer equipment. I had sent in a question at the tail end of the discussion and someone else had asked the
>> question on the economics of the migration.
>> I think the information you provided on the compliance of equipment is extremely useful but was hoping you could provide more clarity and information in terms of figures and numbers to that effect.
> I'm not sure this is quantifiable.
>  For instance,
>> what has been the spend by companies or countries for newer more compliant
>> equipment?
> I suspect relatively very little so far.  The router manufacturers have put v6 in their software many years ago, so, as you said, those purchases were "a normal part of equipment upgrade that
> companies or institutions engage in".  Same with all computers, Linux, Mac, Windows have all been v6 capable for a long time.
> Many ye

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