Your IP address is


IPv4 Soft Landing Policy - AFPUB-2010-v4-005-draft-01

Unique Id AFPUB-2010-v4-005-draft-01


Date 25 Nov 2010
Author(s) Douglas Onyango | Digiclear E.Africa Ltd | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Updates a) AFPUB-2005-v4-001
b) AFPUB-2007-GEN-001

1.) Summary of the Problem Being Addressed by this Policy Proposal :

Because the Global IPv4 free pool has run out, the IANA has implemented the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space - meaning after the last /8, RIRs will nolonger receive Address space from the IANA as in the past. This puts AfriNIC in a precarious situation as the current allocation and assignment Policy cannot be sustained in the mid to longterm.

2.) Summary of How this Proposal Addresses the Problem

In order to ensure a smooth transition to IPv6, AfriNIC's pool should be managed to provide members with address space after the IPv4 pool is depleted. This will help in maintaining IPv4 networks while deploying IPv6 networks a practice that characterize the transition period. This document proposes a strategy for allocation and Assignment and maintenance of AfriNIC's IPv4 pool post exhaustion. This policy begins when AfriNIC starts to allocation space from the last /8

3.) The Proposal

This policy (IPv4 Soft Landing), applies to the management of address space that will be available to AfriNIC after th e current IPv4 pool is depleted. The purpose of this document is to ensure that address space used in a manner that is acceptable to the AfriNIC community especially during this time of scarcity.

3.1) Policy Documents to be affected:

IPv4 Allocation Policy

Proposal to Change the Allocation & Assignment Period to 12 months

3.2) Definitions:

a.) Local Internet Registry (LIR)

A Local Internet Registry (LIR) is an Internet Registry (IR) that receives allocations from an RIR and assigns address space to customers who use its services. LIRs are generally ISPs and their customers are end-users and possibly other ISPs. LIRs must be members of an RIR like AfriNIC; which serves the Africa Region and part of the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Seychelles).

b.) Existing LIR's

An Existing LIR is a LIR that assigns address space to 'end-users' and has already been assigned or allocated IPv4 address space by AfriNIC.

c.) New LIR

A New LIR, is a LIR that assigns address space to 'end-users' and is a member of AfriNIC but has not been assigned or allocated any IPv4 address space prior to the Exhaustion phase.

d) End User

An End User is an organization that receives assignments of IP addresses exclusively for use in its operational networks

e.) Final /8 block of IPv4 address space, or "Final /8"

The Final /8 block of IPv4 address space, or "Final /8", is the /8 block of IPv4 address space that has been allocated by the IANA to AfriNIC in terms of section 2.2 C of the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space at the time of exhaustion of the IANA pool of IPv4 address space. AfriNIC's version of the Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space is also known as AFPUB-2009-v4-001 .

3.3) Summary

This proposal describes how AfriNIC shall assign, allocate, and manage IPv4 resources during the "Exhaustion Phase" which begins when AfriNIC first needs to assign or allocate IP addresses from the Final /8 block of IPv4 address space.

3.4) Current Phase

The "Current Phase" is the status quo at the time of adoption of this policy. During this phase, AfriNIC will continue allocating or assigning IPv4 addresses to LIRs and End Users using the current policies, including AFPUB-2005-v4-001 , AFPUB-2006-GEN-001 , and any future amended versions of such policies.

The current phase will continue until an otherwise-valid request for IPv4 address space from any LIR or end user to AfriNIC either (a) cannot be fulfilled with the IPv4 address space available in the AfriNIC pool (with the exception of the Last /8), or (b) can be fulfilled, but would leave the AfriNIC IPv4 address pool empty (with the exception of the Last /8).

The request that results in either of the above conditions being fulfilled will be the last IPv4 address space request that AfriNIC will accept from any LIR or End User in the Current Phase. If the request can be processed in terms of the Current Phase policies, then it will be so processed; otherwise, it will be processed in terms of Exhaustion Phase policies.

AfriNIC will publicly announce that the Exhaustion Phase has begun at this point.

3.5) Exhaustion Phase:

During the Exhaustion Phase, the following allocation and assignment policy will be used. This policy applies to both LIRs and End Users, and applies at all times after the transition to the Exhaustion Phase.

The exhaustion phase will be divided into two parts:-

3.5.1) Exhaustion Phase 1

During this phase, allocation/assignment of address space will continue as in the Current phase (/24 for a EU and /22 for a LIR) but the maximum will change from /10 to /13.

Allocations and assignments will be made from the /8 pool until we reach a /11. At this point the Exhaustion Phase 2 phase will kick in.

3.5.2) Exhaustion Phase 2

During this phase a minimum allocation/assignment size will be /27. And a maximum of /22 per allocation/assignment.

3.6) If any LIR or End User requesting IPv4 address space during the Exhaustion Phase does not already have IPv6 address space, then AfriNIC shall allocate or assign an IPv6 address block in compliance with the IPv6 allocation or assignment policies in effect at the time.

3.7) The current allocation and assignment period of 12 months shall be changed to 8 months. This will help to ensure that LIRs request only for resources they need in the short to medium term, and promote fairness in the equitable distribution of the last IPv4 address pool.

3.8) Allocation Criteria

In order to receive IPv4 allocations or assignments during the Exhaustion Phase, the LIR or End User must have used at least 90% of all previous allocations or assignments (including those made during both the Current Phase and the Exhaustion Phase). In the case of new LIRs or End Users with no previous allocations or assignments, this requirement does not apply to their first allocation or assignment request.

AfriNIC resources are for the AfriNIC geographical region. For each allocation or assignment made during the Exhaustion Phase, no more than 10% of these resources may be used outside of the AfriNIC region, and any use outside the AfriNIC region shall be solely in support of connectivity back to the AfriNIC region.

3.9) IPv4 Address Space Reserve

A /12 IPv4 address block will be in reserve out of the Last /8. This /12 IPv4 address block shall be preserved by AfriNIC for some future uses, as yet unforeseen. The Internet is innovative and we cannot predict with certainty what might happen. Therefore, it is prudent to keep this block in reserve, just in case some future requirement creates a demand for IPv4 addresses.

3.9.2) When AfriNIC, can no longer meet any more requests for address space from the last /8 pool because the pool is either empty or has no more contiguous blocks, the Board will based on the demand and other factors at the time exercise their prerogative to replenish the exhaustion pool with whatever address space that will be available to AfriNIC at the time in a manner that is in the best interest of the community.

Thanks to RPD-ML and especially Alain Aina and Alan Barrett for their contributions.

4) Revision History (for all but the very first draft)

Version 1
Removed IPv6 Adoption plans and deployment as requirements for receiving IPv4 address space in this policy as Members Technology choices are outside AfriNIC's purview

Version 3
Changed the scope of the document to cover IPv4 address space outside the /8 to avoid writing a new policy for IPv4 address space that AfriNIC might have outside the /8

Version 5
Removed 4 blocks as maximum possible allocation blocks in policy To eliminate the possibility of remaining with unusable space in the pool

Version 8
Changed the Minimum and Maximum Allocation sizes to /27 and /22 respectively to cater for small requests by members transitioning who only need small blocks for interoperability

Version 9
Made all the allocation/assignments only usable within the AfriNIC region to curb Black Market practices that could crop up post exhaustion)

Version 10
Changed the Problem Statement due to Global IPv4 free pool running out

13.05.2008 Similar proposal forwarded to rpd mailing list by Adiel.
07.01.2009 Proposal first posted to the mailing list by PDP-MG chair.
13.01.2009 Updated version of proposal is posted to mailing list by author.
13.05.2009 Updated version of proposal is posted to mailing list by author.
23.05.2009 Proposal fails to reach consensus at AfriNIC-10 (21.05.2009, Cairo-Egypt).
28.09.2009 Updated version of proposal is posted to mailing list by author.
27.11.2009 Proposal fails to reach consensus at AfriNIC-11.
12.05.2010 Author posts updated text of proposal to mailing list. New reference now AFPUB-2010-v4-001
03.06.2010 Proposal reached consensus during AfriNIC-12 in Kigali - Rwanda with some modifications
25.06.2010 15 Days Last Call for Comments period starts
14.07.2010 15 Days Last Call for Comments period ends. Due to objections on during the period, proposal now goes back to mailing list for discussion.
07.11.2010 Author posts updated copy of proposal to mailing list.
08.11.2010 Updated copy of policy proposal posted online. New reference now AFPUB-2010-v4-004.
18.11.2010 Author posts updated copy of proposal to mailing list.
18.11.2010 Updated copy of policy proposal posted online. New reference now AFPUB-2010-v4-005.
25.11.2010 Proposal finds consensus during AfriNIC-13 in Johannesburg, South Africa
14.11.2010 Staff Comments and Implementation Analysis by AfriNIC is posted to the mailing list
25.01.2011 Author posts updated copy of proposal online, making modifications agreed upon during last public meeting. New reference now AFPUB-2010-v4-005-draft-01
Previous Versions
  1. AFPUB-2010-v4-001
  2. AFPUB-2010-v4-002
  3. AFPUB-2009-v4-003
  4. AFPUB-2009-v4-004
  5. AFPUB-2009-v4-005

Discussions are taking place on the policy working group mailing list if you want to subscribe to the mailing send your subscription request to rpd-request [at] with 'Subscribe' as subject line

Mailing list archives can be found at