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[AFRINIC-rpd] IPv4 Address Allocation and Assignment proposal

Guy Antony Halse G.halse at
Fri Feb 8 19:12:56 UTC 2013

On Thu 2013-02-07 (23:29), Owen DeLong wrote:
>    This is the kind of thinking that I was referring to when I mentioned
>    to Nii that I don't see the point in using equipment poverty as a
>    reason to preserve address poverty. I agree that both issues need to be
>    addressed. AfriNIC cannot solve the equipment issue, at least not
>    completely or directly, but can solve the address issue.


My experience, in the "middle-income type of economies" where some 30% of
our students are dependant on some form of government financial aid, is that
the availability of infrastucture encourages the availability of devices.

As I've said, we have students who come from very impoverished backgrounds
who have laptops or PCs.  What I didn't say was why.  We provide a network
connection in every residence room.  We've found that the mere availability
of this facility acts as a strong incentive for people to make a plan.

For years we've been hearing stories of students who've found odd jobs,
scrimped and saved (and, in one case, forgone [bursary paid] meals) to be
able to afford a device so they can connect to our network.  Most of them
are getting old, second-hand PCs or laptops for less than USD70.  However,
they're still Internet-capable devices, and that's the important thing.

Had we not made a deliberate decision to invest in the infrastructure to
facilitate this, there'd be no incentive to own a device.  The network came
first; the devices followed.  This story has been repeated elsewhere,
including in rural schools.  See for an example.

I suspect that this:

>    IMHO, that's an unfortunate trend that probably indicates that getting
>   space from AfriNIC directly either is, or is perceived to be more
>   difficult than it should be.

and this:

>    IMHO, we should discourage the use of NAT in universities where
>    feasible. NAT is contrary to good security practices and contrary to
>    the principles of a free and open internet.

are closely related.  I'm continually surprised by the number of
universities I see abandoning real-world address space in favour of NAT. 
Whenever I've asked questions about it, I get one of two answers:

 1) "improved" security; and/or

 2) not having enough address space.

I'll happily debunk 1) whenever I get a chance, but this policy provides a
useful way to address 2).  So +1 here too.  (Or +100 for getting rid of NAT)

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

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