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[rpd] inputs on IPv4 Inter-RIR policy proposals - AFRINIC needs this policy now!

Lee Howard lee.howard at
Fri Jun 28 19:04:13 UTC 2019

On 6/28/19 2:06 PM, Noah wrote:
> Howard,
> On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 8:40 PM Lee Howard <lee.howard at 
> <mailto:lee.howard at>> wrote:
>     Based on scarcity, Africa has the greater need for addresses.
>     Economists describe markets as a way to distribute resources
>     according to their best and highest use. Since that's hard to
>     quantify, they use money as a metric for best and highest use.
>     Africa has the greatest need, and addresses there would serve
>     better (potentially more people) than elsewhere.
> +1 and I dont dispute that. We need more.
>     If the only supply is within the region, the prices will be much
>     higher than outside the region. If in a year IPv4 addresses are
>     US$30 each, they could be US$50 each in Africa, which makes them
>     unaffordable for many companies. Prices would be the same
>     everywhere if all regions allowed inter-RIR transfers. But there
>     still isn't enough supply.
> Another school of thought would argue that since Africa is the only 
> place with the most demand for IPv4 since places like ARIN dont need 
> them, then brokers like yourself would have Africa as the only place 
> to supply available IPv4 space and we will dictate the IPv4 price else 
> we deploy IPv6. Simple as that.

I didn't say "places like ARIN don't need them." I said there are only 
"0.148 addresses per person" outside of Africa. That seems like a great 
need, but not as great as Africa.

By the way, I am not a broker and don't work for a broker. I have never 
bought or sold IPv4 addresses. I have advised brokers, buyers, and 
sellers, and I've studied the market a lot. My business is IPv6 to IPv4 
translation: I want everybody to deploy IPv6 so we can reduce or 
eliminate the need for IPv4.

Brokers don't dictate price: they match buyers and sellers, who can 
negotiate price. There are many brokers, and sellers, and buyers--no 

>     A company can save money on IPv4 addresses and CGN by deploying
>     IPv6. But it's too late to deploy IPv6 before Afrinic runs out of
>     addresses. Addresses will run out, and the market will not be able
>     to satisfy the need for addresses.
> Since I am involved in real network builds, the idea that its too 
> later to deploy IPv6 is absurd. We are deploying it and and we see a 
> significant growth in traffic in continent.

I built one of the largest IPv6 networks in the world. It took use four 
years to get our first customers on IPv6, and another one or two to have 
IPv6 available to everyone on the network. I hope that we found and 
eliminated bugs, and that vendors have IPv6 already built into their 

But I think that anyone who did not start their IPv6 program a year ago 
will not finish before Afrinic runs out.

It sounds like you have made a lot of progress on your IPv6 program, and 
I congratulate you. It is impossible to see until customers start using 
it, and right now Tanzania is at 0% IPv6 deployment 

>     ISPs and mobile carriers everywhere in Africa will have to deploy
>     CGN, and at higher density than elsewhere in the world. The cost
>     for businesses to connect will be much higher, since they need
>     inbound access and therefore unique IPv4 addresses. African
>     Internet deployment will stall, all because IPv6 has not been
>     deployed and there is no way to get more IPv4 addresses.
> Wrong. SAFARICOM in Kenya will tell you otherwise and other Telecom 
> are currently deploying IPv6 in the continent and we have such plans 
> underway and this will change sooner than you think/assume.

Excellent! I do see good news from SAFARICOM:

I'm really happy to hear good IPv6 news, and I have highest praise for 
Afrinic's IPv6 training and IPv6 helpdesk.

I am still concerned that not enough Africans will have IPv6 in time for 
IPv4 scarcity to be no problem. I think you agree, since you are 
concerned that IPv4 addresses will be needed in Africa.

>     Are those the kind of numbers you were looking for?
I really don't mean to advocate strongly for this policy. I don't feel 
it's appropriate for me to do so. You had asked for data, and I provided 
some that I thought might help. I did offer my opinion more strongly 
than I usually do on this list, because I think IPv6 is better, cheaper, 
and faster than IPv4 + CGN.

Also, I agree with your concern: there is risk that addresses will leave 
the region. There is also risk that there will not be enough addresses. 
How do we limit the first risk (too many addresses leaving Africa), so 
we can mitigate the second risk (not having enough addresses)?


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