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Membership

AFRINIC Resource Members Assisted Review

 

assited review en 01Introduction

The AFRINIC Assisted Review (AR) is an exercise that AFRINIC conducts with its Resource Members to ensure registry data that is current, comprehensive, accurate, and complete. During the exercise, AFRINIC staff reach out to the registered contacts of the Resource Members to run consistent checks of their information in its registry, notably MyAFRINIC member portal and WHOIS database. 

 

1) What is an Assisted Review?

The Registration Service Agreement (RSA) signed by the Resource Members enables AFRINIC to trigger a review. The RSA is obvious regarding the requests for information by AFRINIC and the obligation of making such information available by Resource Members. Such information may be requested either at the time of an application to become a member or at any time during the currency of the RSA. Such information may be required to either ensure existing data is up to date or to ensure compliance with existing/new policies and Bylaws or even in the normal course of business as and when the Registration Service deems necessary.

The relevant sections in the RSA are replicated below for ease of reference:

 

2. Membership application

Applicants shall:

  1. comply with the application process as defined and time by time updated on AFRINIC’s website (www.afrinic.net);
  2. provide accurate and complete information when applying for services. Incomplete application will not be accepted and applicant will be notified;
  3. clearly indicate the service(s) for which the application is being made;
  4. where the original information submitted has been the subject of any change, same has to be notified promptly, accurately and fully to AFRINIC by an authoritative and valid contact;
  5. promptly, accurately and completely reply to any enquiry made by AFRINIC during the application or within the currency of the agreement;
  6. provide the relevant information regarding the membership type as indicated online on AFRINIC website and reflected in the membership form;
  7. provide and ensure accurate contact information are stored in AFRINIC databases (Whois and MyAFRINIC).

 


 

4. Conditions of service

  1. (Where a member, receiving service under an existing agreement applies for a change or a variation of the type of such service which AFRINIC has been supplying to it, evaluation of such a “change request” will be effected in terms of the provisions of clause (2) of the present agreement.
  2. Cooperation:
    1. An applicant receiving service under an agreement is at all times bound to provide to AFRINIC such information, assistance and cooperation as may be reasonably required by the latter in the provision of the service.
    2. Such request for information may also be made where AFRINIC is investigating (reviewing) the applicant’s utilisation of the number resources already assigned to it.
    3. Failure by the applicant, to comply with a request made at above may:
      1. entail revocation or withholding of the service supplied by AFRINIC;
      2. be taken into account by AFRINIC in its evaluation for further and future assignment or allocation of number resources;
      3. lead to the closure of an LIR and termination of the agreement by AFRINIC.
  3. Applicant’s use of the service
    The Applicant hereby irrevocably:
    1. Commits itself to using the services solely for the purpose for which it was requested.
    2. Commits itself to using the services in full and unreserved compliance with AFRINIC’s policies and mandate:
      1. without knowingly infringing the rights and/or interests of other users of such services,
      2. within the limits of applicable laws and/or regulations of the jurisdiction in which it operates.
    3. Further acknowledges that AFRINIC may at its own discretion and for good cause and common Interest of the stability of the Internet, investigate or cause to be investigated, the Applicant’s use of the services by the appropriate and competent authority(ies).
    4. Hereby binds itself to:
      1. notify AFRINIC whenever its circumstances so change that it is no longer in need of the Internet number resources supplied or being supplied to it under a Registration Service Agreement;
      2. surrender to AFRINIC within 15 days of the service of the notice at (iv)(1) above the Internet number resources supplied or being supplied to it under a Registration Service Agreement;
      3. update any data submitted to AFRINIC in the context of:
        1. an application for a Registration Service Agreement or
        2. the renewal of any Registration Service Agreement whenever such data have been the subject of amendment, change or have become outdated.
  4. AFRINIC will comply with all applicable data protection and privacy laws of the Republic of Mauritius in its handling of data and information submitted to it by the Applicant in furtherance of an application for services and use thereof.

 

When AFRINIC receives service or resource requests, it verifies that the registry data is up to date. However, members who do not approach AFRINIC over an extended period may not undergo this verification. Consequently, this leads to service delivery becoming time-consuming and increasing non-compliance issues due to:

  • Outdated contact information on record;
  • New registered contacts who are unaware of the need to comply with the AFRINIC business rules and policies;
  • Lack of knowledge about the information that AFRINIC keeps;
  • Penalty and other fees incurred due to their inability to settle their invoices;
  • Outdated information.

 

The Assisted review is conducted in two approaches, namely: Routine and Extended reviewsThe purpose of the Routine review is to verify that our databases have complete information with the members and to help the members keep their data up to date (name, address, contact details, and registered contacts info). A registry with updated records and members who are policy compliant will obtain services from AFRINIC faster due to compliance to the Contractual Obligation Checks and policy compliance.

Certain observations during the routine review may trigger an in-depth review (extended review) if deemed necessary. An approach is followed to rectify the anomaly/ies detected from a Routine Review. This will be treated on a case by case basis depending on the nature of the anomaly/ies and may also necessitate formally engaging the said organisation, which may lead to requests for IP address utilisation details, evidence of TCP/IP network operations, affidavits, notarised documents, or an explanation of a senior authority of the organisation.

 

2) How is the Assisted Review beneficial to members?

An assisted review:

  1. Enables a focussed approach to handle the review proactively
  2. Short sessions that empower the registered contacts to manage their resources autonomously
  3. Provides for quicker turnaround times when requesting assistance and resources
  4. Enables reduced dependency on AFRINIC RS staff.
  5. Provides for a seamless experience for the members in ensuring compliance
  6. While English is the official communication language used by AFRINIC, some
  7. Arabic and French-speaking members will benefit from interactions with the Arabic or French-speaking staff conducting the review.
  8. Assistance with creation/update and deletion of WHOIS DATABASE objects, removal of inconsistent records and information
  9. Clarifications on AFRINIC Resource Policies, RSA sections, and business rules.

In cases of persisting non-compliance, AFRINIC will enforce the provisions of the RSA stipulations.

 

3) What happens during an Assisted Review

afrinic ar process 01
Assisted Review Process - if a substantive anomaly is observed with its information or resources. AFRINIC will provide a summarised report on its website. 

The purpose of the Routine review is to check the records of the members and assist them with the following :

  1. Verify that our databases have complete information with the members and help the members
  2. keep their data up to date(name, address, contact details, and registered contacts info)
  3. Correcting their lame reverse DNS delegations
  4. Adoption of the BCRYPT/PGP encryption method for their maintainers
  5. Migrate away from the RIPE_NO_AUTH database to the AFRINIC IRR
  6. Identify potential policy non-compliance issues(e.g. no reverse unless assigned, abuse contact)
  7. Detect & correct inconsistencies that will impact the members when autonomously managing their resources
  8. Hear the “voice of the Resource Members” concerning the services and tools that AFRINIC offers them
  9. Onboard some requirements of Resource Members so that we can refine the services offered (Signed RSA, hard copies of invoices, Invoice Currency) 

 

4) Is it an existing practice among the RIRs?

Reviews are an existing operational practice in the RIRs as per the Service Agreements. RIR conducts reviews mainly because the quality of registry information is of high importance for efficient registry operations and an effective WHOIS service.

Following various provisions in each RIR’s service agreement, RIRs may undertake reviews while evaluating requests for additional resources and ensure that respective resource members are compliant with all necessary provisions.

In the AFRINIC service region, the reviews are done under Clauses 2 and Clause 4(b)(ii) of its Registration Service Agreement. In a similar approach, other RIRs also have similar sections guiding their respective approaches as listed below:

  1. AFRINIC - Section of https://www.afrinic.net/ast/pdf/services/afrinic-rsa-en-201801.pdf
  2. APNIC - https://www.apnic.net/community/policy/resources#4.1.1.-Review
  3. ARIN - https://www.arin.net/about/corporate/agreements/rsa.pdf
  4. LACNIC - https://www.lacnic.net/innovaportal/file/2399/2/rsa-en.pdf
  5. RIPE NCC - https://www.ripe.net/publications/docs/ripe-745

 

5) Frequency of Assisted Reviews

The first iteration of this review started in May 2020 and is expected to cover all the active Resource Members in AFRINICs registry. A member may be subject to additional reviews. If a substantive anomaly is observed with its information or resources. AFRINIC will provide a summarised report on its website.

 

6) Summary of Assisted Reviews

There are 11 resource members undergoing review.The review triggered by AFRINIC has so far brought up several observations concerning the objectives.

The majority of the reviews have resulted in successful information updates (Organisation details, registered contacts) and maintainer password updates for resource management in the WHOIS database for up to 32 members as of the end of Quarter 2 of 2021.

The accuracy of invoices issued to members and their timely settlement of fees depends on the Organisations name on record. As part of the review, 18 members detected that their records were outdated following legal name changes or mergers/acquisitions. This situation caused some members to incur late penalty fees or receive final closure notices due to RSA breaches. At the end of the review, they got their information updated and could settle the fees.

The review enabled 3 resource members to re-assess their IP needs resulting in 1 resource member voluntarily returning part of the resources they no longer need. In comparison, 2 members noticed that their current allocation/assignment is running out, and they immediately proceeded to request additional resources.

Resource members are bound to comply with the existing resource policies, the bylaw, and the RSA.

The review enabled 2 members to be assisted and comply with relevant resource policies within the provided timeline. However, 5 other members could not successfully comply due to the following reasons:

  • 2 member accounts were found to have been fraudulently hijacked and could not justify their membership
  • 1 member was found to have made use of forged documents
  • 1 member had undergone a liquidation procedure.
  • 1 member resisted the review and opted to reply through a court injunction

 

 

 

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What is an Autonomous System Number (ASN) 

Autonomous System Number (ASN) is a globally unique identifier that defines a group of one or more IP prefixes run by one or more network operators that maintain a single, clearly-defined routing policy. These groups of IP prefixes are known as autonomous systems. The ASN allows the autonomous systems to exchange routing information with other autonomous systems.

Network operators across the world need Autonomous System Numbers to control routing within their networks as well as exchange routing information with other network operators - example; Internet Service providers.

 

Types of ASNs

There are two types of ASNs, namely private and public ASN.

  1. A private ASN can be used for a system which is communicating via BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) with one provider
  2. A public ASN is needed to exchange information over the Internet.

 

ASN Formats

ASNs are available in two formats; 2-byte ASN and 4-byte ASN

  1. A 2-byte ASN is a 16-bit number which can provide up to 65,536 ASNs (0 to 65,535). The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has reserved 1,023 (64,512 to 65,534) from the mentioned range for private use. (RFC 6996 - Autonomous System (AS) Reservation for Private Use)
  2. A 4-byte ASN is a 32-bit number which provides 232, that is 4,294,967,296 ASNs (0 to 4,294,967,295). IANA has reserved 4,200,000,000 to 4,294,967,294 for private use (94,967,295 ASNs). (RFC 6793 – BGP Support for Four-Octet AS Number Space)

 

IANA and the RIRs will cease to make any distinction between 2-byte only and 4-byte only ASNs and will operate ASN allocations from an undifferentiated 4-byte ASN allocation pool as per the policy documented here.

 

Benefits of having a public AS Number

  1. Network operators can have their own network identity internally and externally
  2. The capability of establishing own Border Gateway Protocol with a public ASN
  3. Ability to directly peer with Internet Exchange Points
  4. Network operators can have better control of the traffic
  5. Flexible Network Management
  6. IP Address portability is one of the major benefits of using own IP address and ASN

 

Requesting Autonomous System Number (ASN) from AFRINIC

 

1) Application Process

  1. Case 1: Non-AFRINIC resource member requesting for an ASN - 
    Applicants who wish to become an AFRINIC member to request for an Autonomous System Number should go through the process as mentioned at 'How to become an AFRINIC Member', the link provides guidance and detailed requirements as to how to become an AFRINIC Member to get IP resources.
  2. Case 2: Existing AFRINIC resource member requesting for an ASN 
    AFRINIC members should go through the MYAFRINIC portal to request for their first or additional AS Number(s) under Resources > AS Numbers

 

AFRINIC has three policies under which an AS Number can be requested:

Autonomous System Number can be used for varying use cases and AFRINIC has different policies that provide guidance on assignment of these ASN’s based on certain use cases. 

  1. Policy from ASN management in the AFRINIC region - AFRINIC assigns AS Numbers for Autonomous Systems located in the AFRINIC service region and accepts requests from Local Internet Registries (LIRs), non-LIR's members and non-members.
    CPM Section 7.4: Eligibility for an AS Number Assignment - https://www.afrinic.net/policy/manual#ASN-Eligibility
  2. Anycast resource assignments in the AFRINIC region. - This policy allows an organization to receive an AS Number purely for anycast or GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) usage. 
    CPM Section 12.0: Anycast Resource Assignments - https://www.afrinic.net/policy/manual#Anycast
  3. Resource Reservations from IXPs - AFRINIC has an existing policy to make allocations to IXPs which reserves a set of 2-byte ASNs between 0 - 65,535 for use by IXPs, for IXP BGP Route Servers. CPM Section 11.0: Resource Reservations for Internet Exchange Points - https://www.afrinic.net/policy/manual#Resource-Reservations-IXPa 

 

2. Requirements

  1. AFRINIC has the Contractual Obligation Check (COC) which supervenes prior to evaluating a request, more details can be found here
  2. ASNs requests are evaluated as per the above - mentioned sections of the Consolidated Policy Manual which are summarised below:
    • The requestor should interconnect (including peering) with more than one AS 
    • The AS Number should be used to implement a unique routing policy or demonstrate a technical need for a coordinated globally unique ASN.
      An organization will also be eligible if it can demonstrate that it will meet the above criteria upon receiving an ASN (or within the following six months).

To help ease the evaluation process, we provide below several types of documentation that may be required.

 

Policy Requirements for evaluation

Policy from AFRINIC management in the AFRINIC Region

Eligibility for an AS Number Assignment

https://www.afrinic.net/policy/manual#ASN-Eligibility

  1. AFRINIC will require the AS Numbers and authoritative corporate contact details for at least one upstream/transit provider who shall be contacted to confirm the peering confirmation/agreement. In case an applicant plan to connect at an Internet Exchange Point, AFRINIC will need a copy of the countersigned MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the IXP or contact details.
  2. A network topology diagram and information about the routing policy (route announcements)

Anycast resource assignments in the AFRINIC Region 

CPM Section 11.0: Resource Reservations for Internet Exchange Points

https://www.afrinic.net/policy/manual#Resource-Reservations-IXPa

  1. The ASN should be used for anycast or GRX purposes only
  2. AFRINIC will require the AS Numbers and authoritative corporate contact details for at least one upstream/transit provider who shall be contacted to confirm the peering agreement/negotiations.
  3. The geographical location of the ASN would be used.

Resource Reservations from IXPs 

CPM Section 12.0: Anycast Resource Assignments https://www.afrinic.net/policy/manual#Anycast

 

  1. AFRINIC will require the AS Numbers and authoritative corporate contact details for at least three upstream/transit providers who shall be contacted to confirm the peering or copies of the countersigned MoUs the entity has with the peers.

 

3. Fees

Upon conclusion of the evaluation of ASN request(s) in accordance with the policies currently in place at AFRINIC, a one-off assignment fee of 400USD shall be invoiced per AS Number according to the fees schedule. More details about the billing schedule can be found at https://afrinic.net/membership/cost

 

Note: An End User which is assigned an ASN and no other resource type shall pay USD 400 initial assignment fees in addition to a yearly membership of USD 50 which is referred to as maintenance fee in the Policy.

 

4. Discounts

AFRINIC offers discounts to its members based on the criteria below. The discounts are only attributed after AFRINIC Hostmasters have been able to confirm the member eligibility. In this regard, resource members may be requested to provide more documentation.

Educational Institutions - As per the current fees structure, educational institutions such as universities and Research & Education Networks (RENs) may be eligible for a 50% discount on the one-off assignment fee exclusively for not-for-profit academic or research activities.

Critical Infrastructure - AFRINIC offers a 100% discount to organisations requesting ASNs for the purpose of Critical Infrastructure.

 

Note: The AFRINIC membership fees schedule for these two categories can be viewed under section 5 here.

 

  

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