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[AfriNIC-rpd] Updated Version of the "IPv4 Soft Landing Policy" now Available Online

Owen DeLong owen at
Tue Feb 22 09:32:15 UTC 2011

On Feb 22, 2011, at 12:12 AM, Dr Paulos Nyirenda wrote:

> more ...
> On 21 Feb 2011 at 11:36, Owen DeLong wrote:
>>>> [3] The Proposal
>>> "The purpose of this document is to ensure that address space -- is assigned and/or 
>>> allocated -- in a manner that is acceptable to the AfriNIC community especially during
>>> -- the time of IPv4 exhaustion --- ."
>> I think the use of the word scarcity is cleaner, but, have no strong opposition to
>> exhaustion.
> Ok, we should go for exhaustion then. Not really certain that the word scarcity is 
> cleaner, it is more vague here -- for example, for one reason or another -- many people 
> think that IPv4 is already, or has been scarce,  hence the need for them to resort to 
> NAT, all along!
I agree with that statement and still think that scarcity is the better word for the
policy intent.

The policy must take effect before exhaustion or it is a no-op unless you are
defining exhaustion as something other than the RIRs having no space to issue.

>>> In [3.9.2], I am concerned that the proposal is leaving matters of policy to the 
>>> "prerogative" of the Board as follows which I think should be revised to follow the 
>>> spirit in [3.6]
>>>> 3.9.2
>>>> When AfriNIC, can no longer meet any more requests for address space 
>>>> from the last /8 pool because the pool is either empty or has no more 
>>>> contiguous blocks, the Board will based on the demand and other factors 
>>>> at the time exercise their prerogative to replenish the exhaustion pool 
>>>> with whatever address space that will be available to AfriNIC at the 
>>>> time in a manner that is in the best interest of the community.
>>> This proposal in [3.9.2] should be revised to avoid prerogatives as follows: 
>>> When AfriNIC, can no longer meet any more requests for address space from the last /8
>>> pool because the pool is either empty or has no more contiguous blocks, -- AfriNIC
>> shall 
>>> follow policies in effect at the time to replenish resources -- 
>> I think this is very risky. The reality of the situation described her is that the
>> policy
>> community will be unable to react fast enough to adapt policy to a rapidly changing
>> situation. The board is elected to be able to, among other things, handle decisions
>> which must be made more rapidly than policy can address them. This is just such
>> a situation and I believe that we must give the board discretion, or, simply recognize
>> that the pool cannot and will not be replenished (which is not an unlikely outcome
>> of board discretion, by the way).
> The Internet is already "a rapidly changing situation" and yet we have done well to adapt 
> policy to manage resources etc - I do not see the need for prerogatives here.
We can agree to disagree. The internet, while a rapidly changing situation, has not
been subject ti wildly fluctuating prices and the kind of day to day radical changes
that are likely in the IP market. If you are not going to let the board use best
judgment and prerogative in the process, then, in my opinion, it is risky to suggest
that space be acquired in this manner at all. If you leave them no prerogative
and set no bounds on the prices they must pay in order to replenish the free
pool, you have a recipe for AfriNIC being held over a very expensive barrel
in the not very distant future.

>> Everyone should be prepared to face the fact that when the pool is empty, it may
>> be impossible to refill it. While IPv4 addresses remain particularly useful, their
>> value will be such that I suspect AfriNIC and its members would have trouble
>> competing in a bidding war against corporations in the other regions.I doubt
>> there will be other sources of significant resources by the time AfriNIC exhausts
>> the final /8, and I'm not even sure that source will have a supply.
> Being prepared means that we should have a policy for it, does it not?
Sometimes being prepared means recognizing that no amount of policy can
adequately anticipate a situation that requires reaction rather than planning
and designating authority to react to leaders chosen by the community to take
on that responsibility.

> I strongly feel that introducing prerogatives is the wrong way to go in a policy driven 
> community and operation like ours in AfriNIC.
In an ideal world, this is true. IPv4 runout is going to be far from an ideal world and
I think there will be need for AfriNIC to be able to react to circumstances which
may have changed after the policy was written.

> There has been another comment from another colleague recommending deletion of this 
> [3.9.2]

Deleting it is safer than the modification you suggested. The proposed
modification above, as I said, is very risky from a financial perspective.


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