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[rpd] Some thoughts, and some actions required

Andrew Alston Andrew.Alston at
Thu Jan 28 15:25:36 UTC 2016

Hi All,

So, I was analysing some of the latest publicly available numbers on AfriNIC space and allocations.  What follows is a summary of that analysis, and then some points that need to be discussed.

AFRINIC as of the last report I have seen had 30.6 million addresses still available (This may have dropped since that figure came out).
AFRINIC allocated 16.9 million addresses last year.
The allocation rates for 2015 are up 35% from 2014, and in 2015 and 2014 combined we allocated a total of 29.4 million addresses.  This is approximately double what was allocated in 2012 and 2013 combined.

Based on a 35% increase in the rate of allocation from 2015, and there is little reason to doubt this will happen, we will be in soft landing in July of this year approximately.

Due to the fact that the current soft landing policy still allows extremely large allocations, this will not significantly slow down the allocation rates, and if anything, moving into soft landing may well spur more people into action and applications, which could actually INCREASE the rate of allocation.  Should the allocation rate remain unchanged, Africa is out of space by late March/Beginning April 2017.

Now, things to consider.

A.) The soft landing policy ideally needs to be changed to drastically tighten the allocations in the soft landing phases, and if we plan to do this, we have ONE chance to get it right, and that’s in Gaborone.  If we fail to pass a modification to that policy at the Gaborone meeting later this year, there will be no more time left to do anything to prevent total depletion.
B.) Total depletion is coming, and nothing can stop it, and we no longer have years of IP space left in the AfriNIC pool.  This means that without a transfer policy of some form of another, be it intra-RIR or inter-RIR, anyone who does not get space within this period, will not be able to get space within the AfriNIC region, at all.  (Unless they go and join out of region RIR’s and transfer to the entities they register in those out of region RIRs, but it will be an entirely off continent process).

So, we can continue to sit and argue with our heads in the sand, or we can realise, we have one more policy meeting left before soft landing, and possibly one more meeting after that before total depletion with the current policies.  We either leave all politics that normally is so pervasive in the discussions behind and make some meaningful strides towards serious policy change, or we fully accept that the end of IPv4 is here and we are going over the cliff, like it or not.  There are no other options.

So, lets discuss, how do we deal with what is coming.  Let me also state, the argument that was made in Pointe Noir that some how AfriNIC will save us from depletion is completely inaccurate.  AfriNIC as an organisation cannot act outside of the auspicious of policy, and that means the community as a whole, has to work together if they want change, or accept that together we run of out space and do whatever needs to be done after that day.

Written entirely in my personal capacity.

Andrew Alston

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