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

Andrew Alston aa at
Thu Feb 24 15:06:28 UTC 2011

Hi Jaco :) 

Wondered when I'd see you on here.

Jaco I fully agree that attempting to prevent the plundering of African
resources is probably a good idea, but this policy will not achieve that.

Lets be a little pragmatic about this right now for a second, the policy is
completely unenforceable for one thing.  There is no way to police it, there
is no way to prove where someone is using the IP space, honestly, I believe
the space is going to get pillaged if we like it or not.

I point to the IANA policies already being drafted and proposed about
inter-RIR space transfers, they are already looking for ways to transfer
space between RIRs as one runs out and another has, and its proposed as
global policy.

Further more, I argue that long term, holding onto space while the rest of
the world goes V6 discourages the adoption of IPv6, instead of encouraging
it.  What will happen if we continue to discourage the use of our V4 space
with policies like this is pretty simple, we will sit with the space till
2013 or whenever our projected depreciation date is, and every day that goes
by after the other RIRs have run out space, will be another day where the
space we are so jealously guarding decreases in usefulness as people are
forced to go IPv6 only by necessity (or start doing even MORE NAT, heaven
help us all)

Mean while, we will sit with companies who will sit going "Africa has LOADS
of IPv4 space, we'll be ok for just a little longer" and not do anything
about IPv6.  Not because the technical people will believe that, but because
the management of many companies in Africa seem to still believe that there
is no "business case" for IPv6, and until they can see that they themselves
are soon going to be unable to get resources, they will not act.  And yes,
this possibly runs contrary to my off continent arguments and sentiments
expressed, but it is a far more pressing problem on the African continent
itself, we NEED to start burning V4 in order to encourage V6.

I also believe that if we attempt to hoard the V4 space we have, no matter
what we do in policy, without an enforcement mechanism, the space will
disappear and Africa will get no benefit from these resources as they get

All it takes is one company in Asia to register a shelf company in Africa,
get some AfriNIC space, run a small circuit back to Asia, and do their
network announcements from Africa.  If the routes are in place to allow the
announcement from the continent, the space is being "used" in Africa,
irrespective of if the IP addresses are assigned on boxes outside or not.
At that point the entire policy can be bypassed.  Further more, even if they
DON'T do this, we cannot stop a company from deaggregating the space to /24s
and announcing it anyway.  RPKI is not a reality (and I pray it will never
become one for other even more serious reasons), and as a result the RIR's
CANNOT enforce a withdrawl of space, and money talks, throw enough money at
an upstream provider and he's going to quietly ignore the fact that you're
announcing "bogon" space.  Hell, I can point to tier-1 global providers that
do not filter their customers at ALL other than max-prefix lists.

We cannot prevent those who will attempt to pillage our space
illegitimately, we can however give those who wish to use the space in a
legitimate manner a way to do so and prevent dodgy rubbish from happening
that will result in screwed up whois databases, a potentially nasty black
market and other chaos.


On 2011/02/24 4:26 PM, "Jaco Muller" <jaco.muller at> wrote:

> I have to agree with McTim on this one. Preventing the plundering of African
> resources while possibly restricting some African entities from expansion,
> seems to be the better of the undesirable options for me.
> Jaco
> -----Original Message-----
> From: rpd-bounces at [mailto:rpd-bounces at] On Behalf Of
> McTim
> Sent: 24 February 2011 16:17
> To: Andrew Alston
> Cc: AfriNIC List
> Subject: Re: [AfriNIC-rpd] Updated Version of the "IPv4 Soft Landing
> Policy"now Available Online
> On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 4:41 PM, Andrew Alston <aa at> wrote:
>> And it may have support from some quarters, but that does not mean I will
>> not continue to object to is.
> as is your right.
>> I HONESTLY believe that this will have the potential effect of limiting
>> African company growth, and I find it absolutely shocking that someone would
>> have the audacity on this list to imply that African companies will not look
>> for and achieve expansion beyond Africa.
> shouldn't we be encouraging them to move to v6 for expansion?
>> Because that is EXACTLY what was implied by what Owen said.
>> I am QUITE happy to supply example after example where this policy would
>> break even CURRENT allocations never mind future allocations, and should
>> this policy come up again in Dar Es Salaam, I will be there stating the same
>> things.
>> I've been pretty quiet on the list unless I feel that something really needs
>> to be said, but at this point, when IP space is running out, and based on
>> what I am seeing flying around, I do feel I need to take a stand, and this
>> is one of those issues I feel very strongly about.
> I understand feeling strongly about this policy, I spoke against it in
> Cairo and Kigali until I felt it had evolved to the point where I
> could accept it.
>  I think the bigger picture of this part of the proposal needs to be
> explained.  As I see it, the legacy allocations (mostly to US
> entities) were a main complaint for some folks leading up to the UN
> WSIS Summit, and those same feelings of inequity have been driving
> some in the ITU, and other fora to have some control over part of the
> v6 address space.
> I see this part of the policy as an anti-colonial bulwark protecting
> African resources against plunder by well heeled corporates from the
> other regions.  I think the sense that African resources should stay
> in Africa is what has driven this, even though there may be unintended
> consequences.
> If the unintended consequence is that African entities need to shift
> to v6 to expand operations, I see that as an acceptable (even
> something I think the community wants to encourage) trade-off against
> the protection of African Internet resources.
>> I would ask that the Africans on this list, in the companies out there,
>> state on this list, do YOU want to be restricted from Global expansion?
>> When the other RIRs cant offer you space and you want to expand, and the
>> only space you can get in the V4 world is from AfriNIC, are you going to
>> happy when you're told you can't use the space for your expansion?  Are you
>> prepared to be forced to renumber your networks into your new allocations
> v6 allocations, just like everybody else in the world, no?
> or they can lease space if so allowed by whatever market mechanisms
> the other regions adopt.
> so
>> you can use your old allocations off continent?  Do you believe that there
>> is no scope for you as an African company to expand beyond this continent
>> and join the global market?
>> I challenge EVERY African to really think this through, and ask yourself, do
>> you want these limitations?  Personally, I know I don't
>> Andrew
>> On 2011/02/24 3:29 PM, "McTim" <dogwallah at> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 1:20 PM, Andrew Alston <aa at> wrote:
>>>> <SNIP>
>>>>> As has been pointed out by others, the probability of African ISPs
>>>>> making significant off-shore expansions in IPv4 is somewhere between
>>>>> slim and none, so I tend to doubt that this is anything more than a
>>>>> straw man argument.
>>>> Errrr the possibility is slim to none?  Ok, so hold on, lets look at a few
>>>> things for a second.  MTN is currently in the top 10 largest cellular
>>>> networks in the world, and one of the largest by market cap, they didn't do
>>>> this by not expanding, they are an ISP.
>>>> Vodacom is a large company, with the potential for market expansion.
>>>> Anglo Gold and Debeers Mining both are African companies with HUGE
>>>> international holdings, what happens when they need more space?
>>> They need to shift to IPv6.
>>> They aren't
>>>> an ISP so they don't count or something?  So P.I space can then be
>>>> specifically excluded from this clause?  Or not?
>>> no, addresses are addresses.
>>> We have been talking about this one for 2 years, and we finally got
>>> consensus on it.  I would say that the part that you are objecting to
>>> has historically had the most support of any of the bits of this
>>> policy.

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