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[AfriNIC-rpd] Definitions of LIR versus End User
alston.networks at gmail.com
Sat Jul 21 19:54:10 UTC 2012
Sorry, just a correction to my below email. I referred to the financials
presented in Ghana, I meant to say Gambia.
On Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 9:34 PM, Andrew Alston <alston.networks at gmail.com>wrote:
> Hi All,
> I've been sitting thinking about this a fair bit, and perhaps we do need a
> very close look at the fee structure, that being said, under the way that
> AfriNIC works, the fees are the domain of the board rather than the
> community, hence the community is left with policy only options should they
> feel the fee structures aren't working for them (Well, thats my
> understanding, someone can correct me if I'm wrong).
> Now, with regards to the policy, as I've said, I do feel that until we can
> resolve the issue around the fee structures, we need the definitions
> tightened up, and I still believe that, but I'm going to leave that alone
> for a minute and look at the fees.
> Here are a couple of thoughts on this firstly.
> AfriNIC is an organization that is fairly new, operating on a continent
> that has a fairly low internet penetration rate when compared with the
> other regions. They also, because they are the youngest of the RIR's, have
> less total space to assign and hence less total overall revenue that can be
> generated in annual fees. This WILL have an effect on their pricing.
> However, this has to be balanced with economic reality, and that reality
> is that the prices in Africa for internet related resources (be it
> bandwidth, access, IP addresses etc) are also having an effect on growth in
> the region. I believe though (without empirical evidence I admit), that
> the AfriNIC fees as they currently stand DO however promote systemic use of
> network address translation. The economic realities of operating in the
> ISP environment in Africa leave people trying to scrape every cent from
> anywhere just to survive, particularly with the smaller players trying to
> start their own ISP's, and if you can NAT and save yourself a few thousand
> dollars a year, well, that's whats going to happen.
> Now, this leads to the next question. Why are AfriNIC fees what they are.
> I will be the first to state, that AfriNIC has to be financially viable,
> the organization HAS to generate enough revenue to sustain itself, that
> being said, I think below we can look at the fee structures in any coherent
> way, we need to understand certain things. Therefore, I want to ask
> AfriNIC, in the name of transparency, to provide certain information which
> I have been unable to find on the website, so that the community as a whole
> can analyse this.
> a.) How many LIR's are there in each category of membership
> b.) How many End Users are there in each category of membership.
> Once we have answers to (a) and (b) we can potentially start looking at
> shifting costs if necessary from one to the other (in particular on the
> annual maintenance basis)
> Then, the trick to lowering the costs of IP space is also to look at
> AfriNIC's running costs, and since this is a community based organization,
> I feel it is fair to question some of these costs and get some explanations
> so that we can better understand where the money we, as the community, are
> spending is going to. The financial reports presented in Ghana where, in
> my opinion, a little ambiguous and fairly hard to figure out exactly what
> was meant by each line item, which also didn't help this situation.
> I'd like to better understand the need for AfriNIC's staff compliment as
> well, after all, AfriNIC's core business is to allocate IP addresses to its
> community, yet it employs 34 full time staff according to its website, and
> is advertising for more. At the same time, from what I can see from the
> website, and again, I say I am open to correction, it only employs 2
> individuals in the hostmaster position. These two individuals also travel
> extensively, and this leads to severe delays in evaluating and approving
> requests (which is the CORE business of AfriNIC). I fail at this point to
> understand why in a staff compliment of 34 staff, there seem to be a
> relative few number dedicated to what is the core business, and I'd like
> AfriNIC to comment on this. I also understand the need for AfriNIC's
> involvement in ICANN/IANA/etc, since we HAVE to be involved in the global
> community, however, I would like to see what this involvement is costing
> AfriNIC at the end of the day, and how this is contributing to the fees.
> Basically, what I'm trying to get at is this. A.) Are the LIR and End
> User fees disproportional, and B.) are the costs involved in running
> AfriNIC that necessitate these fees really justified and can we get better
> insight into these running costs.
> I think once we get some better understanding, particularly in regards to
> the balance of the membership base, we can take a far better look at this,
> and I look forward to hearing AfriNIC's response to the community on these
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