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

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Mon Sep 29 10:23:16 EDT 2003

In a message written on Wed, Sep 24, 2003 at 10:21:11PM +0200, Gregory Massel wrote:
> It is true, however, that AfriNIC is not yet able to operate as a
> self-sufficient NIC. That will only happen once the offices are all
> operational, additional staff have been hired and trained and policies and
> fees have been formalised.

In a message written on Sun, Sep 28, 2003 at 04:22:29AM -0700, Bill Woodcock wrote:
> First: language.  Afrinic will have to operate in more languages than the
> other RIRs.  Note that LACNIC operages a good low-overhead operation out
> of two offices, in three languages.

In a message written on Sun, Sep 28, 2003 at 04:15:30AM -0700, Bill Woodcock wrote:
> Uh, Owen, it has staff, a board, and meetings.  What exactly are you
> looking for as further evidence of its substance?

These comments confuse me.  The last message suggests we have a
staff, a board, and meetings.  Clearly the policies and fees mentioned
in the first message are important.  I won't touch the fee issue,
as I don't know the groups finances, but I'll come back to policy
in a moment.

Today the whole of Africa is served by ARIN, or RIPE, or APNIC.
Last I checked none have an office in contentinal africa.  ARIN
seems to only do business in English, RIPE seems to prefer english
(do they accept forms and such in other languages?  I've never
tried), and I don't know what languages APNIC uses, but I find it
unlikely at APNIC languages are the natve languages of any significant
part of Africa.  ARIN and APNIC both aren't remotely in similar time
zones to Africa, making RIPE the only one remotely easy to work with
at this time.

Similarly with policy, while I'm sure AfriNIC wants to have a policy
that better serves local members, adopting wholesale the policies
of ARIN, RIPE, or APNIC as a starting point would leave them no
worse off than today where those are the policies by default.
Indeed, simply having one, rather than three policies for the
companies that are in multiple countries would probably be a huge

So, please tell me, if there is a board, a staff, and meetings why
the group needs _years_ (as that is the timeframe that has been
suggested) to adopt existing policies and start taking requests in
english?  It seems to me that would leave Africa no worse off, and
probably better as you can start collecting local data immediately.

No doubt taloring the policies, opening other offices, and accepting
other languages will be issues that should be addressed over that
several year time frame.  That said, it seems like a bit of shooting
for the moon is going on here.  Given the numbers of ISP's and the
growth rate we're talking about here it seems to me like one person
in one place could do the job and be bored half the day, and still
provide 10 times better service than Africa's already getting.

       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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