[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 16:40:51 EDT 2003

In a message written on Tue, Sep 23, 2003 at 08:59:00PM +0200, Aragon Gouveia wrote:
> I think the point Darren was trying to make in the case of South Africa was
> that because of our vastly different and smaller economy and demographics,
> only about 10% of the ISPs in this country have a large enough subscriber
> base to qualify for their own address allocation under the current
> procedures.  In turn this means only about 10% of the ISPs are capable of
> providing the higher service levels that portable address space makes
> possible.

Even if I believe this is true for South Africa (and I have no
reason not to believe it), do we have any evidence that this is
significantly different than ISP's anywhere else?  There are a ton
of US based ISP's that don't have their own allocation and get
addresses from their upstream.  Many are even able to multi-home
with their upstream's permission using their space.

While I understand there may be a need to provide higher service
levels, and that multi-homing is probably part of that process,
that is not what is going to make South Africa's internet grow.
Cheap bandwidth, to other countries, in country, and to the residence
or business will make the internet grow.  I would venture the average
residential user doesn't care if their provider is multi-homed or
not.  Lower end businesses probably do not.  What you're talking
about enabling here is a premium product for a (relatively) small
group of customers.  That's not going to fuel real growth.

The market is big enough to support people (10%, by your estimate)
who can offer this service.  If the market had no one that could
offer it we might have something to consider, but since it does
clearly there is limited demand for additional service, or those
10% would quickly snap up all the business and no longer be 10%,
but 50% or 100% as the other ISP's went out of business.

So, don't get me wrong, I want smaller allocations and support
proposals like 2003-3.  I have yet to see any reason to treat South
Africa special though, and in fact find geographic differences in
allocation policy to generally be an extremely bad idea (and yes,
that also means I would generally prefer APNIC, RIPE and ARIN to
have the same policies as well, but that's an argument for another

       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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