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

Owen DeLong owen at
Thu Feb 24 16:55:28 UTC 2011

On Feb 24, 2011, at 8:36 AM, Andrew Alston wrote:

>> That's not what this clause does. Here's how I think it goes for African
>> companies with this clause:
>> 1. They will soon be unable to get additional IPv4 space to use in
>> significant proportion off-continent.
> Correct
>> 2. They will be able to continue to expand IPv4 on-continent for
>> a year or two more.
> Yet we're saying they need to go IPv6 and we need to encourage that, why are
> we trying to prolong a resource that the rest of the world will have been
> forced to abandon.
Because, as you yourself have pointed out, the internet in Africa is not
as completely deployed as the rest of the world and there will be significant
needs for IPv4 to facilitate IPv6 deployments and transitions.

> Further more, this clause is unenforceable and will not stop the pillaging
> of African IP space, and if you believe it will, once again, I ask you,
> please explain to me HOW it will be enforced, HOW you will stop the use of
> IP space off the continent, and HOW you will tell where it is being used.
> I've asked that before, and I've yet to get an answer.
Actually you've gotten the answer multiple times...

ALL RIR policies are unenforceable and depend on the cooperation of ISPs
to achieve voluntary compliance. This is the nature of the internet.
Will this clause absolutely prevent pillaging? No. Will it reduce it? I think
it will. Again, just because criminals will continue to steal does not mean
it is better to legalize theft.

>> Here's how it goes without this clause:
>> 1. They will soon be unable to get additional IPv4 at all.
> That's going to happen anyway, we can't enforce this, we cannot stop people
> pillaging the space, hence my policy proposal to allow of out region
> membership of AfriNIC post another region RIR depleting
In other words, we can't stop the theives, so, we should, instead, sell
our houses. Yes, I remember your proposal.

I objected to it as well.

>> 2. Foreign companies will set up African shells or whatever else
>> is needed in order to export addresses from Africa for their
>> purposes, removing the address resources from the reach of
>> African companies regardless of where they wish to deploy them.
> There is nothing in this policy that stops them doing it anyway, we can't
> enforce it.  Further more, I can give you a fairly good technical run down
> on how companies can do this anyway by announcing the space in Africa and
> still "using" it outside, at which point, the space is used in Africa, there
> are null routes which put the IP space into the RIB to allow BGP to announce
> it, so the space is actively routed, the network statements ore distribution
> are happening in the African continent, the space is then pushed out in iBGP
> until it reaches the edge off continent and enters a transit provider.  When
> someone comes back in, they will follow the deaggregated IGP on the network
> to whereever the hell the space is actually assigned to systems / point to
> points / whatever, and the space is now also used out of region.  So, where
> is the space being used?  You want a policy that restricts usage, you better
> start defining what you mean by usage
There is nothing in any AfriNIC policy that prevents fraud or abuse. They
merely define what it is and create a framework for determining what is
or is not legitimate use of resources. All policies depend on voluntary
compliance and cooperation of the ISPs. This is no different. You are
effectively arguing that you do not think RIRs should have policies at all.
I respectfully disagree.

>> I don't see how African companies IPv4 expansion to other continents
>> is facilitated in either case. Can you please explain how you think
>> it would be?
> Without the clause at least Africans will have the option of attempting to
> get the space before its pillaged and doing this, with the clause, they cant
> do it, and the space gets pillaged anyway.
They have that option now.

>>> 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 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?
>> Without this clause, when the other RIRs can't offer you space, AfriNIC won't
>> be able to, either.
> With this clause if the pillaging happens, the same will apply, without this
> clause, at least you can get some space WHILE the pillaging is happening and
> there is still some left :)
With this clause, I expect the pillaging will be reduced because many of the likely
largest pillagers will not pillage without permission.

>>> I challenge EVERY African to really think this through, and ask yourself, do
>>> you want these limitations?  Personally, I know I don't
>> I challenge you to really think this through and consider what ACTUALLY
>> happens to African companies without this clause.
> I have, long and hard, with this clause, the space is still pillaged, used
> off continent and no one outside of the AfriNIC region will give a damn if
> this clause exists or not anyway.
We have different expectations of the world community. I think giving permission
to the pillagers wil create a larger pool of more voracious pillagers.

> I wonder how many Africans with AfriNIC IP space have ever bothered to read
> the policies much less adhere to them, cause I know several institutions who
> you could query on AfriNIC policy who couldn't tell you a word of what it
> says.  If you believe that the rest of the world is going to care when IP
> space runs out and money starts talking about what a completely
> unenforceable, impractical policy says, well, more power to you, I
> personally am a little more pragmatic and abandoned idealism in the face of
> harsh reality a long time ago
I'll leave you to the ad hominem attacks. In terms of the merits of the policy,
I think that legalizing theft because we cannot reliably prevent it or
reliably prosecute the thieves is not particularly pragmatic. However, that
seems to be exactly what you are advocating here.


> Andrew
>> Owen
>>> 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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