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

Owen DeLong owen at
Thu Feb 24 16:36:09 UTC 2011

On Feb 24, 2011, at 7:06 AM, Andrew Alston wrote:

> 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.
Then, if it is as you say, it will not prevent off-continent expansion of African
companies and there is no issue.

> 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.
Do you mean the globally coordinated policies being drafted in the various

> 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)
I think it facilitates dual-stack deployment in a traditionally underserved
region of the world with respect to IPv4. However, if, as you say, this
policy clause will be unenforceable and lack compliance, then, this will
not be an issue.

> 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 think their need to communicate with the outside world that will be
beginning to deprecate IPv4 will probably prevent that scenario from

> 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
> pillaged.  
I think that is less likely with this clause than without it. I agree it is possible
either way, but, without this clause, it would be done with the permission
of the AfriNIC policy, thus attracting pillaging by a larger collection of
pillagers, likely including ones that would pillage much larger blocks
of address space.

> 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.
Even with RPKI, the RIRs cannot enforce a withdrawl of space. However,
in either case, the RIRs can re-register the space to other users after
revoking it from a policy violator. Traditionally, ISPs have been cooperative
with the RIRs in this process. If that cooperation breaks down, then, the
RIR system has little to do with true address allocation on any level
no matter how much we might want to pretend.

ALL RIR Policies depend on voluntary compliance among the ISPs.
This proposed clause is no exception.

Yes, it can be subverted, but, so can all our other policies.

> 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.
We cannot prevent criminals from stealing. That is not a good reason
to make theft legal.


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