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AFRINIC-19 | PDWG Meeting Minutes


Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire


  • Seun Ojedeji (Federal University Oye-Ekiti/Nigeria)


  • Ernest Byaruhanga (AFRINIC/Uganda)


Session Agenda

Session 1: 29th November 2013
1430 – 1600
1.1 The Policy Development Process Seun Ojedeji
1.2 Status of policy proposals and policies under discussion Seun Ojedeji
1.3 Summary of proposals in other regiions Ernest Byaruhanga
1.4 Proposal AFPUB-2013-GEN-001: Academic IPv4 Allocation Sunday Folayan
Session 2: 29th November 2013
1230 – 1330
2.1 Proposed "Resource Policy Manual" Ernest Byaruhanga
2.2 Policy Open Microphone Seun Ojedeji


Session 1: 29th Nov 2013, 1430 – 1600

    1. The Policy Development Process

Seun Ojedeji, the PDWG Co-Chair, welcomed participants to the AFRINIC18 public policy meeting, went through the detailed agenda of the policy sessions and introduced the AFRINIC region PDP. He also noted that Emile Milandou (the other co-Chair) did not make it to Abidjan due to circumstances beyond his control.

He mentioned that anyone can submit a proposal, post it to the ‘rpd’ list for discussions not lasting less than 4 weeks before it is presented at a face-to- face meeting where if there is consensus, the PDWG co-chairs forward the proposal to a last call review period lasting not less than 2 weeks. If there is no consensus, the proposal goes back to the mailing list where the author(s) can perhaps work on revised versions of the proposals based on feedback received or withdraw it entirely. The proposal, after a successful last call period, is sent to the board for ratification and to AFRINIC for implementation.

Seun stated that anyone can subscribe to the resource policy discussion (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) mailing list and participate to policy discussions irrespective of their location or affiliation.

    1. Status of policy proposals and policies under discussion

Seun Ojedeji updated the meeting on the proposals that had been discussed since AFRINIC18, and their respective status. He noted that the following proposals had passed last call and have since been ratified by the AFRINIC Board of Directors:

  • AFPUB-2013-V6-001: Remove requirement to announce entire v6 block

  • AFPUB-2012-V4-001: Anycast Assignments in the AFRINIC region

  • AFPUB-2012-DNS-001: No Reverse Unless Assigned

Seun indicated that the implementation date of these policy proposals by AFRINIC should be around end of January 2014 per the guidelines of the Policy Development Process. He also stated that the only policy proposal to be discussed during this meeting will be AFPUB-2013-GEN-001 (Academic IPv4 Allocation) and looked forward to healthy discussions when it is presented by its author(s).


    1. Summary of proposals in other 

Ernest Byaruhanga talked about the policy proposals that have been recently approved, and proposals that are actively under discussion within the respective communities of the other RIR regions.

    1. Proposal AFPUB-2013-GEN-001: Academic IPv4 Allocation

Sunday Folayan, one of the authors of the proposal, presented it to the meeting. The following feedback was received:

  • Speaking as the AFRINIC Board Chair, Badru Ntege noted that there are existing rules in the current policies that fit the requirements for most HEIs to request and acquire IPv4 addresses without having to hard-code ratios that are being proposed.

  • It was also noted that although AFRINIC seemingly has many IPv4 addresses in its inventory, this proposal appears to suggest a very bad and unthought-of method to get rid of those addresses.

  • Some noted that since students are the future of our community, we need to consider numbering HEIs with IPv6 instead of IPv4, so that the students can think of and work with more sustainable technology, instead of the old and dying one (IPv4).

  • A comment was raised about what exact issues this proposal is trying to address regarding current practices with which requests from HEIs are evaluated.

  • Some members asked about the impact to the IPv4 address consumption rate when this proposal is implemented, as many universities in the continent don’t have infrastructure yet to support staff and students, and so, may perhaps do not consume that much even if the proposal passes.


The author reiterated that he thinks HEIs are special, as they are in charge of training the future generation, and hence, they need special care and attention. He mentioned that IXPs are considered as critical infrastructure and they get resources at no cost, and the same can be applied to HEIs. He stated that the importance of HEIs has already been recognized by AFRINIC as they already enjoy 50% discount on membership fees.


He further stated that many great initiatives now that have gone on to become great enterprises, such as Facebook and Google, are offshoot projects from students, and that investment in HEIs is not a waste at all.


On the impact to the IPv4 address consumption after the proposal is implemented, the author stated that determining usage and consumption is subjective, as there are those institutions that have not requested resources yet, which does not necessarily mean they do not need IP addresses.


One member stated that in China, he knows a University with 40,000 students, but having about 5000 IP addresses, and that the addresses are adequate for the University. Another member indicated that she requested IPv4 addresses recently for her University, and that she was very happy with the way AFRINIC received and evaluated her request, and she does not feel there was any issue in the current process that needs to be changed. She stated that the process was simple, and the response was quick. She went ahead to state that in her experience, any HEI that wants IPv4 addresses will get them, and she is not convinced that this proposal is solving any problem as there is actually none, and that if anything, it may create problems instead.


Some members suggested that from the discussions online, there is perception that it is difficult for HEIs to get resources from AFRINIC, where perhaps AFRINIC is requesting too much detail and seems to not fully understand network plans provided by the HEI. It was suggested that these are problems that can be addressed internally through staff training or process changes, rather than a change to the current IPv4 policy.


There were also come concerns about the possibility that HEIs could acquire IPv4 address space under this policy once ratified and trade those addresses outside the region for huge monetary gains.


Some members explicitly opposed the need to hard-code HEI population to IPv4 address ratios, as it leads to waste, and said the region is not ready for such a proposal. In reaction, the Chair requested AFRINIC to provide rough stats on the impact to address consumption if this proposal were to pass through.


One member noted that the proposal seems to lack support of the community from academic institutions and called for those present and concerned to come forward and defend/support the proposal


In reaction, the author further made the following remarks:

  • The proposal was co-authored by two people, one being Andrew Alston who was working for Ubuntunet Alliance that represents a number of educational institutions. The proposal was very well supported by academic institutions during the AFRINIC18 meeting in Lusaka, Zambia.

  • The idea of 1 IP per device per person does not hold and the author challenged the IT staff in charge of the network at the meeting to do a headcount of how many people are actually attending this meeting vs currently used IPv4 addresses to confirm his suggested ratio.

  • If the community is uncomfortable with ratios, the draft can state how much an HEI can acquire without justification.


AFRINIC RS staff clarified that the evaluation process looks at proper IP addressing plans considering immediate needs and those for the next 12 months per the policy, and if there is infrastructure to support the number of IPv4 addresses required. On how quickly the IPv4 resource pool would be depleted if the proposal passed, it was determined that roughly 2.5/8s would be consumed immediately as result of passing this proposal.


Another member stated that his HEI requested a /18 and it was granted, and in the evolution, when needs increased, went back to AFRINIC to ask for more, and it was granted. He stated that in his experience, there appears to be no policy problem for HEIs, hence, no need for this proposal at this time.


After analyzing the discussions in the meeting, the Chair determined that there was no consensus on the proposal, and that it goes back to the mailing list for further discussion.



Session 2: 29th Nov 2013, 1230 – 1330


The Chair started the session slightly earlier than had been planned and apologized for this. He mentioned that this was due to some agenda re-arrangement by the meeting team.

    1. Proposed “Resource Policy Manual”

Ernest Byaruhanga stated that the Resource Policy Manual is a proposed single document that will contain all current Internet number resource policy information. He stated that there is already a draft that has been produced by AFRINIC staff, and that this work is similar to ARIN’s “NRPM” (Number Resource Policy Manual), and does not in any way change current policies, but rather, combines them into one easy to read source.

The following milestones to implement the Resource Policy Manual were proposed:

  1. Presentation to the community (End of November 2013)

  2. Public call for comments on the initial draft (End of December 2013)

  3. Compilation of all comments received, incorporation of relevant edits (End of January 2014)

  4. Recommendation of final draft to the Board for “approval”. (End of February 2014)

  5. Approval & Implementation (End of March 2014).


Ernest further reiterated that no changes to existing policies have been made, and that these existing policies have only been combined into one document, for ease of lookup, referral and update, and that all future policy proposals, after the implementation of the manual, will be reflected as changes to sections of the manual.


He further said that policy proposal numbering remains unchanged and that to modify a section of the manual, a policy proposal must state what explicit section and clause will be affected. He also noted that all previous policy documents will be archived, for future reference.


It was noted that the Board will approve the final manual draft and an announcement will be sent to the community. At the same time, manual update guidelines will be incorporated into the Policy Development Process where appropriate and published online.


Some members noted that in the currently published draft, sections from the “IPv4 Soft Landing Policy” are missing. There were also concerns that the entire process should pass through the PDP like a regular policy proposal. AFRINIC noted that the draft is not yet announced and that once the final draft is ready, it will be announced per the already mentioned schedule.


    1. Policy Open Microphone

Seun Ojedeji opened the floor for comments from the community on any policy issues. The following point were raised:

  • Legacy resource holders – some members noted that AFRINIC may want to consider incentives to make the 400 plus legacy resource holders pay something towards the service that AFRINIC offers them, which is maintenance of their resource data in the whois database. It was also suggested that an agreement such as ARIN’s Legacy RSA could be proposed for legacy resource holders.

  • Others noted that it’s important for the registry to stay up to date, and this should be given more preference over forcing legacy organizations to pay for the service.

  • On the kind of information (and detail) that AFRINIC requests from resource applicants, it was noted that some countries have laws regarding privacy, and that it would be illegal in such countries for a company to provide details of its customers to AFRINIC, and that to go around this factor, AFRINIC needs to establish a certain level of trust with its applicants.

  • Out of region resource usage (especially for IPv4 resources) was discussed, and the issue of many operators setting up in Africa to serve international customers, resulting in IPv4 addresses being used outside Africa. Some noted that this is actually a good thing, and that it is difficult to determine realistically what counts as usage out of the region since anyone can do business anywhere even if resources have been issued to a company in the region.

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