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[AFRINIC-rpd] New Policy Proposal: Inter RIR IPv4 Address Transfers (AFPUB-2013-V4-001-DRAFT-01)

David Conrad drc at
Fri Jan 11 19:38:11 UTC 2013


On Jan 11, 2013, at 4:43 AM, McTim <dogwallah at> wrote:
> I am opposed to this proposal.

I have no position on the proposal, I just want to clarify a couple of things...

> Given that Africa has historically fewer numbering resources than other regions,

Historically speaking, this statement is misleading, similarly to the oft-quoted (mis)statement that "American Universities have more address space than China". As you are aware, until quite recently, address space was a global pool and organizations requiring address space (be they RIRs, ISPs, or anyone else) merely needed to request the space and provide justification for their request and they would get it.

It wasn't until the IANA free pool was exhausted that regional availability of numbering resources became an issue and I believe it safe to say that the African region is in a better position than at least some other regions in terms of availability now.

> and this proposal will allow transfer from the region to other regions,
> ...
> I hope you will join me in opposition to this as a way to keep AfriNIC
> resources in Africa for use by African networks.

Pragmatically speaking, it is Internet service providers who have the power to "keep AfriNIC resources in Africa". It will be interesting to see if those ISPs, particularly the larger ones outside of the African region that continue to consume the vast majority of addresses, will be able/willing to transition to alternative technologies (either IPv6 or CGN/address sharing) before they're put into the position of either turning away paying customers or bending/breaking AfriNIC rules. I will admit some pessimism.

To be honest, it remains unclear to me that hoarding behavior is the best long-term answer for Internet development in the African region. If you believe that IPv4 is a dead end and that IPv6 is the future, past experience has shown that maintaining a large IPv4 free pool tends to reduce the sense of urgency about supporting IPv6.

AfriNIC is steward of a resource that appears to have exponentiating value over time, at least for the near- to mid-term. I think it is unfortunate that it seems impossible to leverage this situation in order to drive advancement of consensus policy goals.


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