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[AfriNIC-rpd] IPv6 charging structures

Graham Beneke graham-ml at
Mon Jun 16 07:36:04 UTC 2008

Hi All

This is not a policy proposal - but rather a discussion to develop some 
sort of policy to solve a couple of problems that we may face as AfriNIC 
reduces its IPv4 allocation activities and IPv6 becomes main stream. I 
am looking for a way to better align the way that IPv6 fees are charged 
with the IPv4 structures and in the process not unduly disadvantage 
IPv6-only LIRs as they become more prevalent.

The current billing schedule provides for existing IPv4 LIR's to apply 
for an IPv6 allocation and not pay any additional fees on this 
allocation. I feel that this was an excellent move by the board and 
serves to encourage the uptake of IPv6 very well.

During the same period the board announced significant discounts on 
membership fees for IPv6 only LIR's. Despite these discounts I cannot 
present a business plan to my investors that can show any kind of 
financial return coming out of the IPv6 in the near future. The harsh 
reality is that I can earn more revenue from a /32 of IPv4 than I can 
from a /32 of IPv6 and the IPv6 allocation costs hundreds (if not 
thousands) times more.

One of the AfriNIC representatives (may have been Adiel) reported at 
AfriNIC-8 that the vast majority of members fell into the 'very-small' 
allocation category which is of course determined by the size of the IP 
block they request. IPv6 on the other hand has only one category (that 
is being used) of 'small'.

What do we do now when more of these very-small members join to become 
IPv6 LIR's?

In IPv4 land we allocate them an IP block based on their membership size 
- with allocations as small as /22. In IPv6 this would be a bad idea. In 
order to avoid the well documented problems with de-aggregation and 
fragmentation we give out /32's and I don't for one moment think we 
should be giving out anything else.

We however have a predicament: How do we fairly charge so that an LIR 
that has assigned 10-20 /48's out of of their allocation is not 
disadvantaged against an LIR with 60 000 assignments and the revenue to 

We can't base it on the BGP announcements since we don't want them 
de-aggregating. The whois does not provide an accurate enough 
representation of IP assignment - and LIR's could easily 'forget' to 
update it to avoid paying fees. And it would be horribly unfeasible to 
have routers logging IP usage and police the reported usage like that.

Through this whole process we have to still make sure that AfriNIC is 
being kept financially sound. There is no point in discounting the IPv6 
fees over and over again to the point that AfriNIC becomes bankrupt when 
they are no longer able to allocate IPv4 address space.

I am now looking for a solution to this problem - and I don't have one...


Graham Beneke
Apolix Internet Services
E-Mail/MSN/Jabber: graham at   Skype: grbeneke
VoIP: 087-750-5696                       Cell: 082-432-1873

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