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[AfriNIC-rpd] Do we push for more V4 or advocate dual stack ??

Frank frank at
Thu Aug 30 11:23:50 UTC 2007

Speaking here in a personal capacity about this earlier thread and with
regards to the related thread on Central Pool IPv4 Exhaustion. 

First of all, its not really an either/or issue (about the question of do we
push for more v4 or advocate dial stack). I think its pretty clear as has
been said earlier that they both go hand in hand. 

Regarding IPv6 transition, I agree with those who say that it needs to be
emphasized that the African region needs to start off running on this and
not sleepwalking. Coming off of a tiny base of global internet usage (1% or
2% is much closer to 0% than it is to 5%) I thoroughly agree that there is
very little to lose in starting the transition soon.  Starting off a lot
closer to the cutting-edge of technology than being many years behind has
clear benefits in seizing the initiative, in saving on long-term costs, in
capitalizing on technology applications and in general on being more
actively engaged in latest networking standards. 

Now while ideals are great we need to see how we can make this a reality and
in doing so I think we need to explore ipv6 transitioning from the
standpoint of what it means for different categories of operators in the
African region and not just generalize across the board. 

For example, its worth saying that while many operators depend on
second-hand equipment many others do not. A huge bulk of the v4 address
space is held by operators who have big enough budgets to deploy newer
equipment. So lets find out how much space is held by these operators, how
many operators fall in this category and what their ipv6 transition plans

Now about the smaller operators certainly there should be concern about
costs and second-hand equipment but lets see what the options are for them
for making a timely transition and not assume that the only way is by
depending on using discarded v4-only networking equipment from operators

I guess its evident that we need to hear from all types of operators on this
issue. It would be nice to hear from more operators in discussions on this
mailing list and at AfriNIC meetings on ipv6 transition costs/plans. It
would be great if operators can prepare presentations on what their ipv6
transition plans are and share it here, at AfriNIC-7,8,9,10 and with the
larger community.  

I think having more information on what IPv6 transition means for all types
of African operators helps in designing policy, conducting training, and
raising awareness to serve the needs in our region. 

About v4 central pool exhaustion, as has been said by several experts here,
pushing for more v4 is clearly a necessity given that networks are still
growing and will be using v4 in dual-stack mode for many years well after
the central pool has been exhausted. So every registry has an interest in
getting as much of it as possible and AfriNIC is no exception. 

Now in terms of policy, the one suggesting splitting  25 /8s equally across
RIRs has a case in that African operators in general are starting off 10-15
years behind the advanced world such that the needs of this region *in
general* are much more fundamental. At the same time, the advanced regions
are seeing a lot of growth in their networks with all the deployment of
VOIP, 3G mobile devices, consumer broadband applications and what not. 

So with constesting demand for v4 consumption in the short term across all
regions, JPNIC's policy proposal of waiting until there are 5 remaining /8s
in the central pool makes a lot of sense. But it fundamentally does not give
the late starting regions (i.e. Africa and  Latin America) of the world the
benefit of the doubt as they grow their networks in the years ahead. 

A good and fair policy should provide AfriNIC with extra /8 blocks to last
this region for a grace period of 5 years after the central pool exhaustion
date so that operators can ramp up their networks to levels operators in
other regions got to years ago while being able to operate in a dual stack
ipv6 transition environment.

So  maybe 3 /8s for AfriNIC, 2 /8s for LACNIC and 1 /8 for the other 3 more
advanced regions could work better when the pool gets to 8 /8s remaining.
The policy could even provide for a return of completely unused /8 blocks
after that specified post-exhaust grace period expires.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: rpd-bounces at 
> [mailto:rpd-bounces at] On Behalf Of Badru Ntege
> Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 07:00 AM
> To: jordi.palet at; 'AfriNIC Resource Policy 
> Discussion List'
> Subject: RE: [AfriNIC-rpd] Do we push for more V4 or advocate 
> dual stack ??
> > The IP divide will happen if Africa doesn't move to IPv6 *NOW* not 
> > because we run out of IPv4 or anything like that. As said before, 
> > trying to increase the availability of IPv4 is artificial and NOT 
> > 
> > Developing regions have even more reasons to move to IPv6 
> faster, and 
> > to allow the innovation in the regions to happen *before* developed 
> > regions, increasing the competition opportunities.
> > 
> > Developing applications with IPv6 is far more easier than with IPv4 
> > and this provides a path for African people to do business 
> while the 
> > rest of the world is still spending tons of dollars/euros in 
> > developing less advanced applications that traverse NATs.
> > 
> > And by the way, I still haven't seen a single network where IPv6 is 
> > not supported. There is always a good walk around for every 
> network case.
> > 
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Jordi
> > 
> > 
> [Badru Ntege] 
>  It has been argued in other discussion forums that instead 
> of pushing for extending the life of V4 regions like ours 
> should concentrate more on finding means of providing 
> affordable dual stacked networks thus getting us on the right 
> platform but also enabling us to communicate with the rest of 
> the world who are currently heavily running what is soon to 
> become legacy V4 networks.  
> One could somehow see a parallel with Africa's adoption of 
> the GSM technology while other parts of the world were still 
> running analogue networks.  The question being how far does 
> this parallel go ??  Does it hold any water ??  is this our 
> opportunity to leapfrog ??
> In a way I would like to hear from some of those on this list 
> with V6 allocations.
> I do believe this is very important debate for the future 
> sustainable growth of Africa's internet and we should try our 
> best not to get it wrong this time.  
> badru
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> rpd mailing list
> rpd at

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