[ppml] Policy Proposal 2003-15: IPv4 Allocation Policy for the Africa Portion of the ARIN Region

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Tue Sep 23 11:16:46 EDT 2003


In a message written on Tue, Sep 23, 2003 at 08:36:12AM +0200, Darren wrote:
> It is obvious that Africa has no where near the resources of first world
> countries and therefore should be judged on their own merits as it is
> done in other industries. Whereas a smaller ISP in America can obtain
> their own IP allocation, this is not possible in Africa. Only the very
> rich companies, which are normally international companies, can obtain
> the requirements, while the local companies cannot. This seems to be a
> good proposal to try to level the playing fields.

I'm having a little bit of trouble with this line of argument.  I'd
like to address a few of the points raised.

- The playing field is level.

  Today the same policies apply to anyone asking for IP space.  It
  doesn't matter if your from Africa or Podunk Iowa, the process
  is applied equally and fairly.  This proposal will actually create
  an unlevel playing field that favors African ISP's.  For instance,
  would it be possible under this proposal for a US company to set
  up an African shell company, get IP space, and then use it in the
  US?  Making things like that possible would be very bad.

- African ISP's have taken steps to preserve space, which is part of
  the problem.

  I think it's great that African ISP's have figured out how to use
  NAT and other technologies to save space.  While I don't want to
  advocate "wasting" space my first question would be if you're
  going to renumber into your own portable block anyway why not get
  rid of the NAT, which will also improve your customers connectivity?
  There are, after all, applications that do not work through NAT.
  Would counting all those customers in a request justify enough
  IP's to qualify under the current procedures?

At the end of the day I'm sure there are more than a few ISP's in the US
and Canada that would love to have smaller allocations.  Indeed, you'll
see in the archives I've argued that we should make smaller allocations
available to everyone.  That said, this proposal leaves a bad taste in
my mouth because it tells the ISP in Africa that needs a /22 that they
are "special enough" to get it, but the same sized ISP in some other
country is not.

Put another way, I don't recall the lack of cheap bandwidth or the
pervasive use of NAT to have ever been factors in setting the allocation
size before, and that makes me wonder why we should start now.

If we're going to change the allocation size I believe strongly it
should be a global change, and not a local change that favors one
particular group.

-- 
       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
Read TMBG List - tmbg-list-request at tmbg.org, www.tmbg.org
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