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

David Conrad drc at
Sat Jan 12 23:01:49 UTC 2013


On Jan 11, 2013, at 9:01 PM, McTim <dogwallah at> wrote:
>> For example, policies to increase Internet deployment in the African region, promote migration to IPv6, advance efforts to educate regional government regulators/policymakers/etc. on Internet technologies and implications, etc.
>> My impression is that there is consensus within the African region (and elsewhere) that these are all useful policy goals to pursue.
> They are useful goals indeed.

At least we agree on one thing :).

> Allowing LIRs to flog address space may not be the route to achieving them however.

I'm not suggesting LIRs flogging addresses is the way to meet those policy goals, rather I'm observing that assuming current consumption trends continue, AfriNIC will increasingly find itself in the enviable but somewhat awkward position of being steward to vastly more commercially valuable resources than the other RIRs at a time when demand will be far outpacing supply.  

According to, AfriNIC is projected to have IPv4 addresses nearly 7 years after all the other RIRs have exhausted their free pools. Perhaps I am too cynical, but I am a bit skeptical that this is a likely or even viable outcome given the (ever increasing) amount of money and inter-governmental politics involved.

As I said in an earlier note, I think it is unfortunate that such a demand outpacing supply situation can't be leveraged to drive AfriNIC consensus policy goals.

> If we as a community want to transfer address space to further
> community goals, then perhaps we should transfer from the RIR in order
> to fund these activities.  

That might be an interesting question to explore.

> However that is not the proposal in front
> of us.  The current proposal was made by an address broker seemingly
> as a way for his company to make revenue.  I don't think that is in
> our interests.

I don't actually care whether the current registrant makes money on the addresses -- I long ago gave up on expecting life to be "fair".  I do, however, care about making efficient use of limited resources and idle addresses strikes me as inefficient.

As mentioned in my previous note, I don't have a position on the proposal (with apologies if this is seen as thread hijacking). I would, however, observe that the address space in question has already been allocated and, at least in theory, the transfer of that address space would mean that it would move to actually being used for Internet connectivity rather than just sitting idle in some virtual warehouse.

An alternative, of course, would be for AfriNIC to attempt to revoke that address space as attempts to sell the addresses would sort of imply they weren't being used for the purpose for which they were allocated.  Perhaps this approach is more feasible in the AfriNIC region than in other regions.

> I understand AA point about running out at the same time, I just don't
> think we can get there at this point.

Out of curiosity, why not?

> I'm not sure we are hoarding now, rather, I see it as responsible stewardship.

Perhaps another interesting question to explore is whether that stewardship is to the region or to the Internet as a whole.

To me, 'responsible stewardship' is about making sure resources are used efficiently. As mentioned above, AfriNIC is projected to have unallocated IPv4 addresses nearly 7 years after all the other RIRs have exhausted their free pools.  This would imply either that AfriNIC would be _seriously_ behind in IPv6 deployment (if those addresses would still be needed) or the IPv4 resources being administered by AfriNIC would have been locked away and therefore wasted.  Neither of these would appear to be desirable.


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