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[AfriNIC-rpd] Definitions of LIR versus End User

Fiona Asonga tespok at
Mon Jul 23 09:54:09 UTC 2012

Hallo Guy,

In the context of what we are discussing the students are customers of the university. Since no matter how you look at it the individual students cannot qualify even if they wanted to be Local Internet Registries. It is good when we can have an argument in context of the entire discussion. So whether the students are knowledge partners of customers there is no difference since whatever you wish to refer to them as does not change the fact that they can only be end users.


Fiona Asonga 
Chief Executive Officer 
Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya/ Kenya Internet Exchange Point 
Board Member Africa Internet Service Providers Association 

Co-ordinator of Membership and Communication of the Africa Computer Emergency Response Team 

NRO Number Council 

ASO Address Council 

14 th Floor, Bruce House 
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Tel: +254 20 2245 036 
Cell: +254 721 713 504 


“Industry voice in Telecommunications, Providing Policy and Direction 
within the Industry and Government” 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Guy Antony Halse" <G.halse at>
To: "Jackson Muthili" <jacksonmuthi at>
Cc: "AfriNIC Resource Policy Discussion List" <rpd at>
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 10:12:42 AM
Subject: Re: [AfriNIC-rpd] Definitions of LIR versus End User

On Mon 2012-07-23 (08:16), Jackson Muthili wrote:
> When looking at students as customers of an university, it does not
> matter anymore, a university is a LIR! All schools and colleges are
> LIR!

This is tangential, but I have a problem with the idea of "looking at
students as customers of a university".

The problem is that there are very few (traditional) universities that view
their students as mere customers.  Anyone who does has a naïve understanding
of the pedagogy of higher education.

Our Vice Chancellor frequently expounds on the fact that universities are
not businesses[1], and that if one tries to apply pure business principles
to higher education, its role changes substantially.  From a purely business
perspective, one of our most successful academic departments runs at a loss. 
If our University had chosen to act on business principles, the Square
Kilometre Array might not be coming to (South) Africa[2].

This difference extends to students.  If we were to view students as mere
customers then the role of higher education would have to change.  Students
don't just come to a university to pay for and receive a degree (whatever
they may think)[3].  Instead they are an inherent part of the process of
knowledge creation; even with infinite sums of money, without students
universities as we know them would wither and die.

In our institution terms like "knowledge partners" are used.

So, in our world, where our students are not customers but an inherent part
of our identity, it becomes easier to argue that a university is not an LIR. 
However, as Duncan Martin has pointed out, nobody would be debating the
definitions if it wasn't for fees...

- Guy
Systems Manager, IT Division, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
Email: G.Halse at   Web:  IRC: rm-rf at
*** ANSI Standard Disclaimer ***                                   J.A.P.H

[1] Badat, S.  (2009) The role of higher education in society: valuing
    higher education. Available:

[2] SKA.  (2012) SKA site bid outcome.  Available:

[3] Boughey, C.  (2012) Rhodes University Learning Guide 2012: An
    undergraduate's guide to learning ar Rhodes University.  Availabe:
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