[AfrICANN-discuss] Last 5 /8 distributes

Adiel A. Akplogan adiel at afrinic.net
Thu Feb 10 21:57:17 SAST 2011


On 2011-02-04, at 23:37 PM, Ben Akoh wrote:
> 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.

The cost of migration is not only related to the equipments. That is known and in many of our presentations at AfriNIC we have put emphasis on that. The reason of mentioning the status of network infrastructure in fact is to try to mitigate and correct the spread misconception that the biggest cost is on equipments. 
> 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 information.

Agree with you. We need to build more capacity, but at the same time we need to start questioning what we mean by  capacity building in Africa. We tend usually (and it has been very positive at some extend) to only focus on capacity building related to technical aspect neglecting institutional, economic and policy aspects. It is in fact more difficult to convince people that they need that ... but I think they are important factors for success and development. 

> 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.

Well I think we need to start from somewhere and making sure that Operators and Big companies are ready is not a bad idea as they will then be able to drive the process/need from inside. The SMEs and end users generally do not have their own strategy in margin of the global trend. They will have no choice but follow the big guys. We can be sure of that. The history of the Internet in the region easily shows that. That being said, one thing that we keep saying in our presentations and training is the importance to start early and plan ahead (specially for these SMEs) in order to mitigate the cost related to hasty deployment which generally involve "renting" expensive skill in urgency to solve the issues. While if they take the time (we can still buy some now) to start their deployment NOW when there is no critical "Urgency" they can save a lot of money in all aspects at the end. 

> 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.

This remind us that the success of any development strategy (in any of it aspect, being Internet or anything else) is based on an holistic approach of the underlining economics. In general ICT related strategies in our region are done undermining the underlining economics. In many case governments a reluctant to subsidise these things because they just don't see factual added value to their people, their economies or their own success (Oh yes I forgot, there are more pressing issues such as AIDS, hunger, Malaria, Democracy, war ect ...) and to their credit I don't think they are getting the necessary support in that sense either. 

> 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).

On the first point this debate has happened during the past two year on AfriNIC RPD (Resource management Policy Discussion) list when the community was discussing the "Soft Landing" policy (which define how AfriNIC should use the /8 - see http://www.afrinic.net/docs/policies/AFPUB-2010-v4-005.htm for more information). 

On the second point the status of Africa unallocated IPv6 and IPv4 is public information and factually true ..not speculative :-): http://www.afrinic.net/statistics/index.htm

> 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.

Not surprising and you are not the only one in that situation don't worry :-). But I will just say this in complement to your question that: it is not only the incentive of the migration to IPv6 which is not clear but, as simply as it could be, for me, it is the incentive of 'using' the internet and connecting people to it (as an economical tool) itself which is under question here. Just have a look at the cost and related policies and strategy around the region for SMEs & all ...

Things are moving positively in our region let be optimistic, but the pace is still slow. I however firmly believe that tomorrow (soon) will be another story for our dear region.

- a.

> 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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