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[IOZ] [AfriNIC-rpd] Re: Fwd: AfriNIC position on the future of IP number resources

Alan Levin alan at
Fri Aug 10 09:53:02 UTC 2007

Hi McTim,

On 08 Aug 2007, at 7:09 PM, McTim wrote:
> I have to say that I find your requests in this thread contradictory.

I hear you, please allow me to explain.

> First you want lower costs for LIRs, then you want freebies for an  
> undefined
> number of  networks.  I would suggest that you can't have lower RIR
> fees if you give away resources without compensating the RIR for  
> the manpower involved.

The one has nothing to do with the other.

A few points to consider:

- my proposal request for IPv6 allocations for community networks,  
was to be considered part of the training/education and/or marketing  
'line items' in the budget - from my experience this cost will be  
less than a single training session for which many are planned every  

- AfriNIC has a surplus every year which has been put into a  
'reserves' fund. I believe that reserves fund should be reaching an  
acceptable level soon and I will advocate spending that money on  
impacting growth of Internet usage in Africa. To me that means  
supporting educational and awareness campaigns such as proposed

- Separate from the community networks proposal I'm still advocating  
lower prices for small and micro ISPs. Just as SMMEs drive economic  
growth, so small ISPs drive growth of Internet usage in Africa. I  
believe this will positively impact the AfriNIC revenues  as it  
allows ISPs that would not consider become LIRs to become ones (and  
hence it's increasing the pie, rather than decreasing the revenue or  
profits). BTW, from what I can see in RIPE, and other RIRs, drops in  
prices and not resulted in lower profitability or revenues!

> On 8/8/07, Alan Levin <alan at> wrote:
>> I believe that community networks often use many gateways and
>> upstreams. It wouldn't make sense to use an assignment from one.
> Not from one, but from many. Lots of folk multihome using multiple  
> ranges.

Interesting. So how does this work practically? With NATs?

> They don't need PI IMHO, and I don't think they should get it for  
> free.

Ok, so do you think they should pay standard rates? (What I am saying  
is that will basically exclude them from getting any)

>> This is an important question, together with the previous one, I
>> request to update my proposal request to add a few other  
>> requirements:
>> "I submit a request for the board to consider my proposal for special
>> pricing of IPv6 PI allocations - packaged with a membership waiver
>> and ASN - for community networks."
> First, they get a PI assignment (not allocation) if I read
> afpol-v6200701 correctly.

Apology, wrong terminology... assignment / allocation?

> Second, is this a board decision or a community decision?

Pricing and budgets are Board decisions...

> Third, can you define a community network?  I give free WiFi to my
> neighbors, does this mean I get an ASN and a PI block?

If you meet the IPv6 and ASN criteria then yes (i.e. you will need to  
have a sufficient number of neighbours like the guys in Scarborough  
who connected up the whole village and now have more than 100  
neighbours on their network.)

>>> 3) How many hosts does the WUG network run?
>> The CTWUG has a few hundred but its expected to soon be many
>> thousands at current growth pattern. It meets the criteria for both
>> IPv6 PI and ASN assignments (other than the membership criteria).
> CTWUG might (I don't know) but how many others will meet the  
> following criteria?

I do not expect that there are more than a handful, although I know  
of 2 in Cape Town (although I suspect that this is a particularly  
innovative part of the country) and none others in SA yet.

> Here are those criteria for PI IPv6:
> ...
> and for ASNs, the criteria are:
> ...

Yes saw these :)

>> There are a manageable number of community networks around Africa
> this number depends on the definition of "community network"

Agreed! And if there is any support for the principle I will spend  
more time on this.

> If we want a strong, useful RIR, folk have to pay for it.

Yes. If the big ISPs/networks in Africa were embracing IPv6 I would  
say that we don't need this. If they did less NATs and more v6  
training / support / R&D I would agree that the idea of sponsoring  
community networks has less weight, but these big networks don't see  
the need. Most have more than enough v4 space to outlast the RIRs..  
so they care less...

> It was always going to be more expensive to start an RIR.  Using the
> resources of an established RIR allowed the costs to be spread over a
> much wider LIR base.

We should have lower costs and sufficient economies of scale to be  
able to offer similar pricing. Keep in mind that the price for x- 
large members is the same (assuming they pay in time) as ARINs,  
whereas there is no micro category in AfriNIC. If we want to see  
growth in AfriNIC revenues X-Large AfriNIC members - who pay vastly  
cheaper prices per /24 - in Africa should be paying more whereas  
smaller ones should be paying less.

> I would suggest that we focus on outreach and
> getting more members to bring costs down for all,

Exactly what I am proposing! Just different language...  and view  

> not giving away resources to special classes of folk (no matter how
> worthy we may find them).

Depends on how you see this.... What is outreach?  How does it help  
small ISPs and community networks that cannot afford the high prices?  
How does it grow the customer base if not focused on small and  
community networks?



Alan Levin
Tel: +27 21 409-7997

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