[ppml] Afrinic and so-called sub-regional policies
Michael.Dillon at radianz.com
Michael.Dillon at radianz.com
Tue Sep 30 11:02:28 EDT 2003
It is now clear that ARIN will soon be handing over the responsibility to
Afrinic to manage Internet numbering resources for parts of the African
continent which have previously been the responsibility of ARIN. In order
to facilitate this handover, Afrinic has organized itself and begun to
function as an African organization. And out of that "functioning", the
members of Afrinic have collectively agreed that a certain policy change
is needed to better support the networks in their region. The only awkward
point here is that ARIN has not yet "officially" handed over
responsibility to Afrinic. Presumably this "official" handover needs to be
agreed to by ICANN before it takes place.
Thus we have proposal 2003-15 before us because ARIN is currently the only
organization that can officially change the policy that affects these
African organizations. We could either reject it, delay it, or accept it.
This would change nothing for North American ISPs. The idea of "setting
precedent" for ARIN policy is a red herring since neither the ARIN charter
nor the law prevent ARIN from overturning its own policies. In fact,
rejection would only delay this change until the point where Afrinic is
truly independent of ARIN. But rejection would set a precedent of sorts by
giving a distinctly negative impression of ARIN members that could affect
future global addressing policy activities.
If we neither accept nor reject the proposal but instead accept it with
modifications this will result in a delay until the next member meeting.
This suffers from the same "bad image" issue as rejection but on a larger
scale because now we are tinkering with the Afrinic policy and meddling in
By doing this we are supporting Afrinic as an independent organization
that is able to make its own policy decisions for its own members. I
believe this is the only reasonable choice for ARIN members and it's not
based on the contents of the policy but on the fact that it is a policy
for Africans that was made by Africans. I don't believe that it sets any
precedent for so-called sub-regions because this policy is actually about
uniting the regions of a continent, not about subdividing. Internal North
American issues are irrelevant to 2003-15. This is a unique situation that
will not happen again and an opportunity for us to make a gesture of
goodwill towards the ISPs in southern African countries.
We have plenty of proposed policy changes to discuss that do have very
real impacts on our organizations and we've spent too much effort already
on 2003-15. Let's move on, rubberstamp the Afrinic proposal, and focus
most of our energy on the North American issues that really matter.
Capacity Planning, Prescot St., London, UK
Mobile: +44 7900 823 672 Internet: michael.dillon at radianz.com
Phone: +44 20 7650 9493 Fax: +44 20 7650 9030
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