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Policy Update in the AFRINIC Service Region

Ernest Byaruhanga, AFRINIC's Policy Coordinator provides us with an update on the recent policy discussions in the AFRINIC service region.

With less than 30 million IPv4 addresses left in the AFRINIC inventory, it’s not surprising that policy discussions in the region have been centred around IPv4 conservation and exhaustion. During the 23rd AFRINIC Public Policy Meeting held in Pointe Noire in December 2015, the following policy proposals were discussed at length:



  • Out-of-Region Use of AFRINIC region internet number resources: This proposal is an attempt to restrict the amount of IPv4 address space that an African organization can use (to service its customers or otherwise) outside of Africa. The proposal sets an arbitrary 40%, and is meant to regularize a loophole in current policies which are ambiguous on whether or not AFRINIC region IP space can actually be used outside Africa. Discussions mainly touched two issues – the difficulty in defining what ‘out-of-region use’ actually is, and enforcement of breach.
  • Number Resources Transfer: Due to absence of a policy that enables transfer IPv4 space to and from other RIRs, the author of this proposal felt it necessary to have IPv4 address transfers possible so that African IP network operators can also benefit from an open IPv4 address market when the AFRINIC IPv4 address inventory is finally exhausted. It was largely felt through discussions that this proposal stands to mainly benefit other regions than Africa.

Both proposals did not achieve consensus and are still under open discussions on the AFRINIC region policy discussion mailing list.

Subsequent discussions are also happening on how the last 16 million IPv4 address block shall be managed and distributed with a possible objective of modifying the current (IPv4 Soft Landing) policy to possibly further extend the lifetime of the region’s IPv4 address inventory. 

Read the minutes from the AFRINIC-23 Public Policy Meeting here.

Read more on: The AFRINIC Region Policy Development Process

Learn more about: The AFRINIC Region Policy Development Working Group


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