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[AFRINIC-rpd] AFRINIC Response to Government Calls for an Arab RIR

Andrew Alston alston.networks at
Thu Feb 28 08:46:05 UTC 2013

Hi All,

I've been watching this whole debate with some interest and reversing my
comments while I got to grips with it, and without commenting further, I
want to put forward a hypothesis.

I state that this is merely supposition but I'd be curious to hear thoughts
on it.

So, why create an Arabic RIR... let's stop and question what COULD be

Yes, you could argue language and culture... but realistically?  Ripe
represents how many countries with how many diverse languages and cultures,
and it works, same with AfriNIC, same with LACNIC, same with APAN.  So, not
sure I really buy this.
IPv6, well, there is enough IPv6 to go around, so, get it from an Arabic RIR
or from one of the current ones, no big deal there.

However... and here is the kicker... IPv4...

Fact, Africa still has loads of IPv4 space, and burn rates which are
predicted to end it in something like 7 years.
Fact, RIPE has run out of space, there is no more.
Fact, a LOT of the Arabic countries still fall under RIPE, and can't get

Form a new RIR, and with AfriNIC's current burn rate, it is ENTIRELY
possible that IANA could be lobbied to take space from AfriNIC and give it
to the new RIR considering our burn rates.  What does this mean?  Suddenly a
bunch of countries who currently cannot get space have access to resources.
Forget the North African countries, I'm talking about the ones currently in
the RIPE region.  Which means, we will see an outflow of space meant for
Africa into places that aren't African.  

I said in 2010 in Tanzania, the world would come for the African IP space if
we didn't use it... my take on this... and as I said, its suspicion without
proof, here is the latest attempt, and this is one is actually pretty
clever.  While hijack space when you take it this way?  It amounts to the
same as forming fake African entities and taking the space off continent in
that way.  

Smart... but no thanks... 


-----Original Message-----
From: rpd-bounces at [mailto:rpd-bounces at] On Behalf Of
Owen DeLong
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 11:18 PM
To: David Conrad
Cc: rpd at
Subject: Re: [AFRINIC-rpd] AFRINIC Response to Government Calls for an Arab

On Feb 27, 2013, at 11:48 AM, David Conrad <drc at> wrote:

> On Feb 27, 2013, at 10:27 AM, SM <sm at> wrote:
>> At 09:15 27-02-2013, Stephen Wilcox wrote:
>>> Its not really important - my point was that current RIRs exist around
natural geographic areas rather than artificially defined political or
linguistic areas that may not be contiguous.
>> The "natural geographic areas" is debatable.
> Not really even debatable. There's been a bit of rationalization over the
years (e.g., many of the former French colonies in the AP region and the
Caribbean used to go to RIPE but I gather that's changed) but you still have
non-intuitive situations like countries clearly in Asia (e.g., the 'Stans')
going to RIPE or all of North America below the US not being part of ARIN.
The reason for this is the boundaries of the RIRs have always tended to be
defined by political/linguistic/cultural boundaries as opposed to purely
natural geographic ones.

However, I think it is worth noting that it makes sense to do so. Mexico has
much stronger economic, social, cultural, and as a result network ties with
the rest of the LACNIC region than with the US. LACNIC meetings are
conducted in Spanish (for the most part) with simultaneous translation into
English and (IIRC) Portuguese. ARIN meetings are conducted in English. Were
Mexico part of the ARIN region, they would probably be somewhat less
represented and would face a number of challenges (visas to attend meetings
not being the least of them).

>> The only information which has been provided is:
>> "The matter has been raised and promoted by representatives of 
>> certain  governments in the Arab community."
> So it isn't even ISPs that are requesting this? I have even more 
> skepticism that sufficient consensus will be reached.



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