Initial proposal to set up a RIR - Malaysia 1997
Proposal for the establishment of an African Regional Network Information Centre (AfriNIC)
24 June 1997
0. Status of this document
This is the initial public announcement, made after several months of
private circulation and review.
Jon Postel of the IANA has reviewed an earlier draft of this proposal.
He has indicated that he thinks the proposal is reasonable, and that he
does not see any problems (assuming that the proposal gets consensus
support in the region).
Various people from existing regional registries have reviewed this
proposal and expressed support.
Support for this proposal has been obtained from people in the following
The IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) has overall
responsibility for the allocation of IP address space. As described in
RFC 2050, the IANA grants a few regional registries the authority to
allocate IP address space within their respective geographical areas
(which are of continental scope).
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and certain other organisations
that satisfy certain criteria listed in RFC 2050 obtain IP address
space from the regional registry that serves their area. In order to
encourage topological address space assignment, other organisations
should ordinarily obtain their IP address space from their ISP.
At present, there are three regional IP registries: the RIPE-NCC
(serving Europe and surrounding areas, including parts of Africa),
the APNIC (serving the Asia and Pacific region), and the InterNIC
(serving the rest of the world, including parts of Africa).
RIPE and APNIC fund their IP registry activities by requiring
organisations that want IP address space to become members of RIPE
or APNIC, and charging membership fees based on the size of the
organisation. (See RIPE-151 for RIPE's current fee structure, and
APNIC-050 for APNIC's current fee structure.)
The IP registry operations of the InterNIC are not paid for directly,
but are subsidised by income that the InterNIC obtains from its other
activities (notably domain name registration). (At one time, the
InterNIC's IP registration operations were funded partly by grants from
the US government's National Science Foundation (NSF), but that is no
longer the case.) The InterNIC intends to transfer its IP registry
operations to ARIN, which will be a non-profit corporation funded partly
by membership fees and partly by allocation fees and maintenance fees.
This document proposes that an African regional registry called the
AfriNIC be formed, with a funding model similar to that proposed for
ARIN. It is expected that African organistions that presently obtain
IP address space from RIPE or the InterNIC will in future obtain IP
addresss space from the AfriNIC.
Such an African regional registry will allocate IP address space,
autonomous system numbers, and other identifiers that might from time
to time be appropriate, maintain databases of registry information,
make appropriate views of the databases (for example, DNS and WHOIS)
available for queries from the public (for example, via WHOIS and DNS
queries), and generally perform the tasks expected of a registry.
2. Guiding principles
The authors of this proposal have been guided by the following principles.
An African regional IP address registry should operate as a neutral,
non-profit organisation, and should act in the long term best interests
of the entire community which it serves, managing scarce resources such
as IP address space in the public trust. In particular, it will not
sell address space, but will manage it according to widely supported
In order to make good decision about the long term best interests of
its community, and to ensure that its policies are adapted in a timely
manner to meet changing circumstances, an African regional registry
should liaise with the IANA, with other regional registries (such as
RIPE, APNIC and the InterNIC or ARIN), and with any other entities that
may from time to time be appropriate.
The management of the IP address space should be under the control
and administration of those that depend upon it. Those that depend
upon IP address space are end users such as ISPs, corporate entities,
universities and individuals.
A non-profit organisation, acting as a regional registry serving the
African region, is an appropriate vehicle to allow end users to exercise
their control over allocation of IP address space in the African region.
The proposed objectives of AfriNIC are:
a. to provide the service of allocating and registering Internet
resources for the purpose of enabling communications via open
system network protocols and to assist in the development and
growth of the Internet in the African region;
b. to assist the African community in the development of procedures,
mechanisms, and standards to efficiently allocate Internet
resources as a service to the community as a whole;
c. to provide educational opportunities to further Members'
technical and policy understanding of the industry;
d. to develop public policies and public positions in the best
interest of the Members and to seek legislative and regulatory
consideration of issues of general benefit to the Members, where
and when appropriate;
4. Management Structure
It is proposed that AfriNIC be composed of the following:
* Board of Trustees (7 voting members plus 1 ex officio)
* Advisory Council (9 voting members plus 1 ex officio)
* Executive Director and staff
Membership will be open to any person or entity wishing to participate
in the affairs of AfriNIC. Members will pay an annual membership fee,
and will be entitled to attend membership meetings, to vote (in person,
by proxy, or by appropriately authenticated postal or electronic means)
in elections (such as the election of members of the Advisory Council
and the Board of Trustees), and to enjoy any other Member benefits that
might apply. It is anticipated that, under this fee-based framework,
the membership will provide a focused, considered, and responsible
approach to addressing and solving the challenges facing the Internets
numeric addressing scheme.
Membership will be optional. AfriNIC will allocate IP address space
to Members and non-Members following the same policies and guidelines
for each. Both Members and non-Members will pay appropriate fees for
services that they obtain from AfriNIC.
Wherever mention is made of Members being elected or appointed to
positions of office within AfriNIC, it shall be understood that only
natural persons may be so elected or appointed. Where a Member of
AfriNIC an entity other than a natural person, then the Member shall
appoint a person as their representative to AfriNIC, and that person
shall be eligible for election or appointment in the Member's stead, and
shall be eligible to attend and vote at meetings in the Member's stead.
4.2. Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees will have the ultimate responsibility for the
business affairs and financial wellbeing of AfriNIC. The Board of
Trustees will manage the affairs of AfriNIC in a manner consistent with
guidance that they receive from the Advisory Council (which represents
the Members), and consistent with stewardship of a limited public
resource. The Board of Trustees is also expected to liaise with and
seek guidance from appropriate external entities, such as the IANA
and other regional registries. The Board of Trustees will be able to
act even if the Advisory Council is unable to offer guidance on any
There shall be eight voting members of the Board of Trustees, and each
shall have an equal vote. One Trustee shall be appointed by the IANA
every year, and need not reside within the region served by AfriNIC.
The Executive Director shall be an ex-officio Member of the Board of
Trustees, and will act as the liaison between the Board of Trustees and
the Advisory Council. The remaining six Trustees shall be elected for
three-year terms by the Members of AfriNIC in the manner more fully
described below, shall all reside within the region served by AfriNIC,
at least two of the six shall reside North of the equator and at least
two of the six shall reside South of the equator, and not more than two
of the six shall reside in any one country. Trustees may but need not
be Members of AfriNIC. Trustees will not be paid for their service.
Special arrangements are necessary to select the initial members of the
Board of Trustees. The IANA will select the one IANA representative on
the initial Board of Trustees. The remaining six members of the initial
Board of Trustees of AfriNIC will be selected jointly by the IANA, the
Director General of APNIC, the Manager of the RIPE NCC, and the Manager
of IP registration at the InterNIC or ARIN. Of the six initial members
so selected (not counting the one IANA representative), two will be
appointed for a one-year term, two will be appointed for a two-year term
and two will be appointed for a three-year term. This selection of
the initial Board of Trustees will have to be completed before AfriNIC
begins operations and accepting Members.
When vacancies arise on the Board of Trustees (whether due to the expiry
of the term of office of any Trustee or for any other reason), the
Advisory Council shall prepare a list of nominations containing two or
three nominations for each vacant position, the Members shall elect one
of the nominated individuals, and the newly elected Trustee shall be
appointed for a three-year term. When a Trustee reaches the end of the
three-year term of appointment (or a shorter term in the case of the
initial Trustees), the Advisory Council may but need not include that
Trustees name on the list of nominations. Elections to the Board of
Trustees may occur at any time of year, and will be performed by postal
or electronic means, authenticated in an appropriate way.
No person may simultaneously serve on both the Board of Trustees and the
Advisory Council, except in an ex-officio position.
4.3. Advisory Council
The Advisory Council shall act in advisory capacity to the Board of
Trustees on all matters involving the interests, activities, and
operations of AfriNIC. The Advisory Council is to act on behalf of
the membership on all matters of concern to AfriNIC. The Advisory
Council is expected to consider the long term best interests of the
membership, and to take cognisance of the fact that AfriNIC is acting
in the public trust as steward of limited public resources such as IP
address space. The Advisory Council may seek guidance from appropriate
external entities (such as the IANA, other regional registries, and
other industry groups).
There shall initially be nine voting members of the Advisory Council, and
each shall have an equal vote. The members of the Advisory Council
shall be elected for three-year terms by the Members of Afrinic in the
manner more fully described below. Members of the Advisory Council must
be Members of AfriNIC. Members of the Advisory Council may but need not
reside within the region served by AfriNIC. Members of the Advisory
Council will not be paid for their service. The Board of Trustees may
from time to time increase or decrease the size of the Advisory Council
to accommodate changing conditions, but the size shall not be reduced
below nine members.
Special arrangements are necessary to select the initial members of
the Advisory Council. The initial members of the Board of Trustees
shall select the initial members of the Advisory Council from among the
Members of AfriNIC. Of the nine initial members so selected, three will
be appointed for a one-year term, three will be appointed for a two-year
term and three will be appointed for a three-year term. This selection
shall be done within the first three months of operation of AfriNIC, and
AfriNIC may operate without an Advisory Council until such time as the
initial Advisory Council is appointed.
At the Annual General Meeting every year, the Members of AfriNIC shall
elect replacements for those members of the Advisory Council whose terms
have expired. Each such newly elected Councillor will be appointed
for a three-year term, and terms shall begin and end on the date of
the Annual General Meeting. Outgoing Councillors may be reelected for
additional terms. If an untimely vacancy arises on the Advisory Council
due to death, resignation, or any cause other than ordinary expiry of
the term of office, the Board of Trustees shall select a temporary
replacement who shall serve until such time as the previous Councillor's
term of office would ordinarily have expired.
In addition to the voting members of the Advisory Council, the Executive
Director shall be a non-voting ex-officio Member of the Advisory
Council, and will act as the liaison between the Board of Trustees and
the Advisory Council.
No person may simultaneously serve on both the Board of Trustees and the
Advisory Council, except in an ex-officio position.
4.4. Executive Director and staff
The Board of Trustees shall appoint an Executive Director, who will be
responsible to the Board of Trustees for the day to day operations of
AfriNIC. The Executive Director will be an employee of AfriNIC, and
will be responsible for hiring and supervising all other employees.
5. Training of AfriNIC Staff
RIPE, APNIC and the InterNIC/ARIN have all offered to assist with
training of AfriNIC registry staff. It is envisaged that AfriNIC
staff would serve an internship at one or more of the other regional
6. Legal Status of AfriNIC
It is proposed that AfriNIC be registered as an "Incorporated
Association not for Gain" in terms of section 21 of the South African
Companies Act. Such a company must have at least seven members, with no
In terms of South African legislation, a section 21 company must:
a) be formed for a lawful purpose;
b) have a main object of promoting religion, arts, science, education,
charity, recreation or any other cultural or social activity of
communal or group interstes;
c) apply its profits (if any) or other income in promoting its main
d) prohibit the payment of any dividend to its members.
7. Office Location
It is proposed that the day to day registration business of AfriNIC
be conducted out of an office in Accra, Ghana. Ghana has had full
Internet connectivity since August 1995, and has several ISPs. Ghana's
geographical position near the equator also makes it attractive from
the point of view of compromise between Northern and Southern African
interests. The location of the any offices will be reviewed from time
to time by the Board of Trustees.
Network Computer Systems (NCS), an ISP based in Accra, is able to
provide the use of an office with Internet connectivity. NCS has also
offered to make some of their staff available for hire on a full-time or
part-time basis by AfriNIC. Great care will be taken to ensure that
the affairs of AfriNIC are kept separate from the affairs of NCS, and that
NCS does not obtain any unfair advantage from this arrangement.
It is proposed that appropriate information (such as WHOIS service, DNS
service, and web documents) be mirrored in other locations, to increase
robustness and performance.
8. Funding Model
The following funding model is proposed to recover the costs incurred
by AfriNIC while performing management and administration of IP address
space. This model is based on the proposed ARIN model, which in
turn is patterned after the RIPE and APNIC funding models. The fees
are intended to provide the funding needed to operate AfriNIC in an
effective and efficient manner and to allow AfriNIC's operations to
keep pace with demand. AfriNIC will be a non-profit entity, and the
membership, registration, and maintenance fees proposed in this funding
model are to function solely as a cost-recovery mechanism to ensure the
continued operation of AfriNIC.
It's important to note that AfriNIC will not be selling address space,
but will charge for the services of allocating address space and
maintaining databases. Entities that apply for allocation of address
space from AfriNIC must satisfy the guidelines determined from time
to time by the Board of Trustees (who will consider the advice of the
Advisory Council and of appropriate external entities). It is assumed
for purposes of this proposal that the guidelines made by the IANA and
documented in RFC 2050 will be followed.
The following fees are proposed as cost recovery mechanisms for AfriNIC:
* Membership fee for those interested in participating in AfriNIC
* Subscription fee for bulk registration services (for ISPs)
* Registration fee for individual address space assignments
* Maintenance fee for non-contiguous non-ISP address space assignments
* Registration fee for individual address space transfers
* Registration fee for autonomous system number (ASN) allocations
* Maintenance fee for ASN allocations
As better budgetary figures become available even before AfriNIC begins
operations, it is likely that the fees mentioned in this proposal (which
were based directly on the fees in the ARIN proposal) may be reduced.
The fee model outlined in this proposal, as with all other aspects of
AfriNIC's operations, will continue to be reviewed by the membership,
Advisory Council, and Board of Trustees for its ability to meet the
operational needs of AfriNIC, and for fairness to Members and other
users of AfriNIC services. For example, if it transpires that AfriNIC
is receiving more income than necessary, then the fees will be reduced.
8.1. Membership fees
The membership fee will be US$500 per year. Membership is not a
requirement for allocation of address space or use of other AfriNIC
8.2. IP registration service
Most ISPs and end users receive IP address space from their upstream
Internet Service Providers, not directly from AfriNIC or any other
regional registry. Due to current routing restrictions, the IP
registries in almost all cases issue a minimum of a /19 address prefix
(equivalent to 8192 IP host addresses), and do not issue address space
to entities that do not meet the requirements for a /19 allocation.
Applicants that do not meet the requirements for a /19 allocation will
usually be referred to their upstream service provider, but in some
cases the regional registries may allocate smaller blocks.
AfriNIC will be responsible for continuing to maintain accurate
and complete records of all address allocations, including those
sub-allocations made by Internet Service Providers. As a result, a
significant portion of AfriNIC's registry activities will be initiated
by ISPs. Accordingly, separate fee structures are proposed for ISPs and
organizations making frequent address block allocations on the one hand,
and any other organisations or end users on the other hand.
It should also be noted that different allocation guidelines may
be used for ISPs and non-ISPs; for example, ISPs are expected to
reassign address space to their customers and to provide reports of such
reassignments, and ISPs are ordinarily allocated address space based on
their three-month requirements, while end users are ordinarily allocated
address space based on their one-year requirements.
8.2.1. ISP subscriptions for bulk registrations and maintenance
As mentioned above, most ISPs will receive IP address space from their
own upstream providers, not directly from AfriNIC.
To provide for a cost-effective allocation process for those ISPs
that do receive address space from AfriNIC, it is proposed that
"subscription" fees for registration services be charged. The
subscription fee model is proposed instead of a fee for per service
requests to minimize the cost of accounting and to minimize any
advantage for not keeping the database up to date.
Any individual or entity may request IP address space under this
bulk subscription scheme, and it is anticipated that some non-ISP
organisations that make frequent address space assignments may wish
to do so. However the organization must subsequently adhere to all
allocation guidelines that apply to ISPs, such as submission of
The annual subscription fee will be based on the total allocation of
address space received in the previous year, or (in the case of the
first year for any ISP) on the amount of address space requested in
the initial application. (For example, an ISP whose address space
allocation grows by a /17 per year would be classified as Medium size,
regardless of the total amount of address space allocated to that
ISP.) ISPs receiving address space for the first time will be charged
a fee based on the size of the initial address space allocation. The
subscription fees will include inverse addressing (in-addr) delegation,
listing in whois or rwhois databases, updates, and maintenance.
The following fee schedule outlines the categories, the corresponding
fee, and size of the allocations in that category:
Small US$2500/year /24 - /19
Medium US$5000/year >/19 - /16
Large US$10000/year >/16 - /14
X-Large US$20000/year >/14
Please note: The greater than sign ">" denotes a shorter prefix. For
example, >/19 means a prefix shorter than a /19.
Any ISP moving up from one category to the next in the same year, for
example an ISP that moves from the small category to the medium
category, will be charged the difference in fees.
8.2.2. Individual address space assignment and maintenance
As mentioned above, most end users will receive IP address space from
their ISPs, not directly from AfriNIC. However, end users that can
justify an allocation of a /19 or shorter prefix (8192 or more IP
addresses, or 32 or more of what used to be called Class C networks)
may choose to obtain their IP address space directly from AfriNIC.
They will then be liable for a one-time allocation fee for each new
allocation, and for an annual maintenance fee for each non-contiguous
The one-time allocation fee for each size allocation will be as follows:
/24 to /20 US$2000
/16 US$10000 per /16
The annual maintenance fee for each non-contiguous assignment will
include inverse addressing (in-addr) delegation, listing in whois or
rwhois databases, updates, and maintenance. The amount of this fee is
US$50 per year per address block, and is due whether or not any updates
are made or any additional address space is allocated ot the same
organisation in any given year. If several contiguous address blocks
have been allocated to the same entity over time in such a way that the
blocks could be combined into a smaller number of larger blocks, then
the maintenance fee will be assessed on that smaller number of larger
8.2.3. Individual address space transfers
Any individuals/entities transferring address space by virtue of an
organization name change, merger, acquisition, etc. will be charged
a transfer fee to cover the administrative costs associated with
the transfer. This fee will help ensure that adequate resources are
available to maintain the records and databases of AfriNIC in an
efficient manner and that AfriNIC's records and databases reflect
The amount of this fee is US$100 for the first address block involved
in each transfer, and US$50 for each additional address block that is
transferred between the same two entities in the same transaction.
8.3. Autonomous System Numbers
A one-time registration fee of US$500 will be charged for each
autonomous system number assigned. There will also be an annual
maintenance fee of US$50 per AS number.
8.4. Reclamation of address space and other identifiers
AfriNIC shall develop appropriate policies and procedures for the
reclamation of public resources such as IP address space and AS numbers
that had been allocated to entities that no longer exist, entities that
cannot be contacted, entities that have not paid their fees, and entities
that no longer need those resources.
One of the "big six" international accounting firms (Arthur Anderson,
Coopers and Lybrand, Deliotte and Touche, Ernst and Young, KPMG, or
Price Waterhouse) shall be appointed as AfriNIC's auditors.
A lot of the words in this proposal were stolen or adapted from
various RIPE, APNIC and ARIN documents.
The following people provided useful comments on earlier versions of
this document. (That does not necessarily mean that they agree with