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[rpd] Last Call for "AFPUB-2016-GEN-001-DRAFT-04 - Internet Number Resources Review by AFRINIC"

Mike Burns mike at
Wed Jul 19 19:55:45 UTC 2017

Hi Noah,


There have been over 5,000 policy-compliant global IPv4 sales since 2010.


The concept is that the profit motive will incentivize those who hold unused addresses make them available to sell them to somebody with a need for them. This profit could be an incentive to renumber more efficiently to free up blocks, or to provide some compensation for the expense of that renumbering.


Without the profit motive, the only other motive is charity.


Charity has not proven to be effective in bringing unused addresses back to those who need them, but a market has proven to be quite effective.  That said, I know that at least two /8 holders voluntarily returned their blocks to ARIN years ago.


A RIPE study revealed that most address sales are of older legacy blocks that have not appeared in the routing table for a long time.


This is evidence that the lure of profit has functioned more effectively than any prior threat of revocation to move addresses from a low- or no-use environment and into the hands of those who need them to run operational networks.


In order to foster this market, other registries have removed the threat of revocation for utilization from their policies and RSAs in order to make it clear to prospective sellers that the registries will act as partners to address-holders seeking to sell, and not as judges or juries with the power of revocation.


Yes, it is quite a shock that formerly public resources are now yielding windfalls for address holders, but the importance of creating a market to fulfill the needs of those seeking address has been judged to outweigh the queasiness we may feel when witnessing the enrichment of address-holders who sell their blocks.


If the role of AFRINIC is to get blocks into the hands of those who need them, and the free pool is dry, what is the best way to answer that need? One way is to audit, revoke, and recover unutilized space.  The other way is to harness the profit motive to lift unutilized addresses to their “highest and best” use.


ARIN, APNIC, and RIPE debated these two options and chose the market route. I think 5,000 transfers is evidence that the correct decision was taken.  


LACNIC has also chosen to allow a market for IPv4 addresses to develop, but unlike the other registries, LACNIC has not removed the threat of revocation in its policies and RSA.  A comparison in transfer volume between the LACNIC region and the other regions provides possible evidence that retaining the revocation threat is detrimental to the market, as the volume in LACNIC is very, very low, at 10 total transfers to date.


And surely you know that people will be buying and selling IPv4 in Africa very soon:


I have facilitated transfers to recipients in 60 countries, and soon that will include African countries.  I am proud to have helped get address blocks into the hands of the buyers in these countries, and there is nothing “so-called” about IP brokerage. It’s a new world, Noah, perhaps you should be the one bracing yourself.



Mike Burns







From: Noah [mailto:noah at] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 3:22 PM
To: Bill Woodcock <woody at>
Cc: rpd List <rpd at>
Subject: Re: [rpd] Last Call for "AFPUB-2016-GEN-001-DRAFT-04 - Internet Number Resources Review by AFRINIC"



> On Jun 26, 2017, at 8:37 PM, Lu Heng < at < at> > wrote:
> This policy is in direct conflict with transfer policy, if someone wants to sell their address space, they surely not commit to use it with the original purpose, should AFRINIC instead of allowing them to transfer the space, but reclaim them and redistribute them for "better use"? If that is the case, the transfer policy will have no use because of that.





So your worry is that someone will not be in a position to "sell" idle IP address space through the transfer policy?


I always thought the fundamental premise was for INR's to be allocated for use that can promote internet expansion rather than profit from INR's.



On 12 Jul 2017 9:14 a.m., "Bill Woodcock" < <mailto:woody at> woody at> wrote:

I would just like to point out that the AfriNIC community does not exist to serve the financial interests of those who wish to sell addresses, rather than use them.



 + Bill 


And whoever in their wildest thoughts think the community shall seat back and see them trade IPv4 for any other reason beyond using them to build infracture and extend internet related services in AFRICA should brace themselves for now.



The AfriNIC community is the community of people who need IP addresses, in order to route them and give people access to the Internet.  



+1 Bill



The AfriNIC policy process exists to serve those who wish to _use_ IP addresses, not those who wish to profit from them at the expense of the community.


+1 Bill


Especially those who wish to profit from INR's especially the so called IPv4 brokers. There is AFRINIC for goodness sake.





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