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

Owen DeLong owen at
Wed Jan 16 23:24:04 UTC 2013

Sent from my iPad

On Jan 16, 2013, at 10:52 AM, "Andrew Alston" <alston.networks at> wrote:

> Hi All,
> Actually just had a rather interesting discussion on the current policy limitations within AfriNIC, and I speak to hard defined policy here rather than what is currently being done or believed.  Perhaps someone can correct me if I have missed something in the current policies.


> Currently, space allocated by AfriNIC to LIR's is in effect a lease, it is a right of use of space in exchange for a financial fee.  I don't think that’s disputed.

I don't think that is quite accurate. As I understand it, there's no real legal control of use of space by the RIRs. The RIRs only guarantee that they won't register the same resources to more than one party at the same time. RIRs don't run routers and don't have legal authority to control people that run routers. If a company or group of companies want to establish their own independent internet, they are free to have their own registry (or no registry at all) and reuse all the same numbers with no legal consequences.

So, the RIRs provide a service of registering resources for uniqueness among cooperating parties. They do not necessarily convey any sort of right to use in that process.

Instead, the right to use exists only among cooperating entities that choose to treat the RIR registrations as authoritative. Fortunately, because the internet is useful, the vast majority (if not all) ISPs have basically chosen to be "cooperating entities" in this context. This creates the appearance, if not the fact, of a right to use commensurate with RIR registration, but, that right to use is conveyed by people running routers, not by the RIR itself.

> Further to this, ISP's all over Africa *DO* sub-lease space to third parties (if I go to an ISP, I get X amount of space from them, if I want additional, I pay more, it’s a sub-lease, be it cost recovery or for profit.)  By definition an LIR assigns rights of use to third parties under it and sub-leases from what I can see.

Again, I really don't think this is a lease so much as a registration.

> Now, under the soft landing policy, there is a restriction in there from using that space off continent.  It specifically says in there what the space is to be used for.
> That being said, we are *NOT* in soft landing mode, and I can find NOTHING in the current policies which stops a current LIR from sub-leasing space to an entity outside of the geographic region.  

s/sub-leasing/delegating or registering/ and I think you may be correct.

> Now, this could be a major flaw in the current policies, and if so, probably needs to be fixed pretty quickly, but if my reading is correct, current policy does allow for an LIR to allocate space to someone off continent.

I would agree that this flaw should be corrected.


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