Guide - How to Become an AFRINIC resource member

Introduction

The African Network Information Centre (AFRINIC) is the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Africa responsible for the management and distribution of Internet number resources; IP address space (IPv4 and IPv6) and Autonomous System Numbers (ASNs), in its service region, which includes economies in Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

Most organisation usually receive a small block of IP resources from their upstream Internet service provider. However, they have to rely on mechanisms such as NAT if they want to publish their Internet reachable services or connect their internal users and customers to the Internet. If an organisation has a need for IP addresses(minimum /24, i.e. 256 IPv4 addresses) to be used on its operational network or by its downstream customers, the organisation can become an AFRINIC resource member. They will then have their own public IP resources directly from AFRINIC.

This document outlines the process that an organisation must follow to become an AFRINIC resource member.

 

Benefits of membership

The most considerable benefit of AFRINIC resource membership would be the possibility for an organisation to change upstream providers without the need to renumber its networks and return the formerly used address space.

Other benefits of AFRINIC resource members would be:-

  • Grow and Scale their networks & services without having to depend on Translation protocols or the upstream providers
  • Possibility to have redundant uplinks to the Internet to maximize uptime with least complexity and also be in control of routing information exchanges with their BGP peers
  • Possibility to independently manage Internet Routing Registry objects on the AFRINIC database
  • Acquire Resource Certification using RPKI for secure routing
  • Get Reverse DNS services for their IP addresses Security
  • Access to the MyAFRINIC portal to easily manage their IP resources

 

Type of Resource Membership

There are two types of AFRINIC resource members, these are Local Internet Registry(LIR) and End-Sites or End-Users(EU).

  1. A Local Internet Registry (LIR) primarily assigns Internet resources to the users and customers of the network services it provides. LIRs are generally ISPs, whose customers are primarily end users and possibly other ISPs. Hosting services providers as well as any organisations that shall issue IPs to their customers or third parties as part of a service offering  are also categorised as LIRs. The minimum IPv4 allocation for an LIR is a /22 prefix(1024 addresses) as per the current policy stipulations.
  2. An End User(EU) is an organisation that receives assignments of IP addresses exclusively for use on its operational networks. For example, EUs are generally banks, universities, small organisations or individuals who will use the IP resources on their own network and not sub-assign the resources to third-parties. Individuals requesting for resource membership will qualify as End-User. The minimum block of IPv4 addresses that can be assigned to an EU is a /24 prefix(256 addresses).

Fees

There are different member categories and fees based on the size of the address space and the operating activities of each organisation. To have more details on the applicable fees you may refer to the AFRINIC membership fees schedule which can be accessed here.

Note that all invoices sent by AFRINIC is in USD.

 

Types of Fees

There are two types of fees that are applicable to Resource Members:-

Allocation/Assignment fee - Upon conclusion of the evaluation of a resource request in accordance with the policies currently in place at AFRINIC, an allocation/assignment fee shall be invoiced as per the fees schedule. It is a one-off fee that has to be settled before the IP resources are delegated to the member.

Membership fee - shall be charged based on the total aggregated size of all IP prefixes delegated to an organisation and type of resource member(LIR or EU). For new members, it is prorated from the quarter of the financial year in which the resource approval date falls in; to the end of the year. The membership fee recurs on an annual basis.

 

 

Membership Application Process

Before submitting your application, it is recommended that you verify your eligibility for resource membership, understand what policies shall apply to your resource request  and  ensure you have all the required documentation as per the checklist below. If you need further clarifications regarding the requirements or you believe some requirements are not applicable to you or your organisation, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Any missing or omitted document may lead to significant delays in the processing of a new membership request.

1) Application

After you have reviewed the eligibility criteria for AFRINIC Membership and IP resources and you believe that you or your organisation may qualify for AFRINIC Resource Membership, you can submit your application on the New Membership Registration Portal(NMRP). You will first have to register an account on NMRP before you can submit your application.

When you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email with a ticket number - all correspondences shall be conducted and recorded in the ticket. If you believe you have additional documentation which shall ease your adherence as a member, you may reply to the email which you received and attach the documents, keeping the same subject line.

  • Average Time: 30 minutes to fill and submit the form

 

2) Compliance checks

A member of the Customer Services team will carry out the preliminary administrative checks to determine your eligibility for AFRINIC membership. Your organisation’s registration papers(e.g Founding or Incorporation document) as well as phone numbers and email addresses provided would be verified.

At this stage, you will also be asked to check the Registration Service Agreement(RSA) and ensure that it is filled in and signed.

Note: It is highly recommended to have more than one contact person to represent your organisation in all matters related to AFRINIC.

  • Average Time: 2 working days*

 

3) Evaluation

The request for AFRINIC Resource membership will then be handled by the Registration services team. The request will be evaluated against applicable policies and a hostmaster will contact you regarding the approval or if additional information is required.

  • Average Time: 4 working days*

 

4) Invoicing & Payment

If your request is approved, you will receive an invoice for all the applicable fees. The invoice has a validity period of 60 days and payment can be made by electronic transfer or credit card. If the payment is not made during the validity period, the approval of the request is deemed void and you will have to submit a new application to restart the application process. Refer to the fees section for more details.

  • Average Time: Invoice is due immediately after being issued.

5) Compliance Check

At this stage, we shall verify whether a signed & validated RSA as well as the payment have reached us and are on record.

  • Average Time: 2 working days*

 

6) Registration

After the payment is received and signed RSA is on record, AFRINIC shall issue the approved IP resources and activate your MyAFRINIC portal account. The registration information will be accessible on the AFRINIC whois database.

  • Average Time: 2 working days

* The average time to complete each step in the process provided that the submitted membership request is complete - that is, all required documentation has been provided.

 

Eligibility for AFRINIC Membership

AFRINIC membership is open to all individuals and organisations geographically present and providing services in Africa as per sections 6.1 & 6.4 of the AFRINIC Bylaws.

  • Request should be made in the name of an entity based in the African region
  • The entity shall originate the services requiring IP resources from the AFRINIC service region.
  • Founding /incorporation document is a mandatory requirement . This can be certificate from the local Registrar of Companies, an Act of Parliament
  • If requesting as an individual, provide a valid passport or driving license, with all information fully disclosed. We shall also require proof of legal address

Outcome: AFRINIC shall match the designation of the requesting organisation with the incorporation documents. The applicant will be sought to provide relevant ‘name change certificate’ / documentation to justify any differences/discrepancies noted, should there be the necessity.

 

Eligibility for IP Resources

Criteria for initial LIR allocation

Organisations seeking their first IPv4 or IPv6 allocation must meet the minimum criteria, which are;

  • Be an AFRINIC resource member in good standing or be in the process of becoming an AFRINIC resource member
  • Have a plan to use IP number resources within the next 8 months for IPv4 and 12 months for IPv6
  • Can demonstrate existence of network infrastructure in Africa
  • Have a valid service license in the country of operation(If the service require a license in that country)
  • Comply with applicable resource policies. (These are documented in the Consolidated Policy Manual, accessible here.)

 

Applicable section of the CPM:

 

Criteria for initial EU assignment

Individuals or organisations seeking their first IPv4 or IPv6 assignment must meet the minimum criteria, which are;

  • Be an AFRINIC member in good standing or be in the process of becoming an AFRINIC member
  • Can demonstrate an immediate need of at least a /25 for IPv4
  • Have a plan to use IP number resources within the next 8 months for IPv4 and 12 months for IPv6
  • Intend to announce the IPv6 prefix within 12 months
  • Have an upstream connectivity or transit
  • Justify an immediate need of at least 50% of total requested size based on their Network Infrastructure. For example, a new company

 

Applicable section of the CPM:

 

Criteria for AS number assignment

Individuals or organisations seeking an Autonomous System number must meet the following criteria;

  • Be an AFRINIC member in good standing or be in the process of becoming an AFRINIC member
  • It is currently multihomed, or
  • It intends to be multihomed and advertise the prefixes within 3 months
  • Holds at least a /24 IPv4 or /48 IPv6 from an LIR or is seeking its first IP delegation from AFRINIC
  • Have a unique routing policy (its policy differs from its border gateway peers)

Note: To be considered as multihomed, an organisation must have at least two upstreams/peers or peering at an Internet Exchange Point

 

Applicable section of the CPM: Section 7.4 Eligibility for an AS Number assignment (https://www.afrinic.net/library/policies/2479-consolidated-policy-manual-v12#EligibilityforanASNumberassignment )

 

Supporting Documentation For IP Resource Requests

As part of the process of requesting number resources from AFRINIC, the organisation submitting the request needs to demonstrate its IP addressing needs. This is usually done by submitting documentation to demonstrate how the request meets the specific requirements outlined by policy. To help ease this process, we provide below several types of documentation that may be required.

  • Provide an IP addressing plan for resources to be used within the AFRINIC service region clearly demonstrating the services involved and limited to 8 months projected requirements. Inadequate details in IP addressing plans; failure to provide a detailed IP addressing plan undermines the justification on the need for IP address space being requested. In the case of IPv6 the IP addressing plan should demonstrate the needs for the next 12 months.

 

Outcome : AFRINIC Hostmasters will check the IP addressing plan - more details will give an indication of the scope of the deployment and also help to finalise the prefix size.

  • Provide a service license - If the operations are subject to obtaining an operator's license in the country where services are being deployed, a copy of the license shall also be made available. Licenses are usually requested from prospective LIR members.

 

Outcome :  This is a required document for operators categorised as 'ISPs' and Mobile Operators as the license from the regulator is the starting point of their related operations ". This is not a mandatory document if the services do not require a license.

ISPs that are able to provide a comprehensive IP addressing plan and their service license are eligible to receive the minimum IP allocation as per policy.

  • Provide copies of signed connectivity agreements(E.g. Agreements with upstream bandwidth providers or transit providers).

 

Outcome: Public IP resources are meant to be advertised to enable connectivity to the Internet.  Lack of this documentation shall entail delays in the evaluation process.

  • Provide copies of paid invoices or signed purchase orders for the equipment that will support the immediate need to deliver the services. AFRINIC may request for the shipping documents and Customs clearance documents. You may obfuscate any financial details if needed.

 

Outcome : Since AFRINIC allocates IP resources to be used to originate services from its service region,  evidence of in-region infrastructure from which the services will originate shall be determined from such documentation. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the documentation is availed to AFRINIC (considering their purchasing rules and third parties involved)

  • When requesting for an ASN, provide the AS numbers and contact details for at least two BGP peers or a local Internet Exchange Point(IXP) where the organisation is peering or planning to peer within the next 3 months.

 

Outcome: In order to be eligible for an AS number, the organisation must be multihomed or planning to multihome in the near future. AFRINIC shall contact the BGP peers to determine if peering negotiations are having place.

Note that AFRINIC requires that all documentation data be accurate and verifiable. If we're unable to verify the accuracy of the data provided, we may request additional information to verify your request data is accurate.

 

Checklist

If your Organization is eligible to become an LIR or End-User member as described in the “Eligibility for AFRINIC Membership” and “Eligibility for IP Resources”, submit your request on the New Membership Registration Portal(NMRP).

In the table below, you will find the supporting documentation needed to process your membership application. It is highly recommended that you have the documents handy at the time you are submitting your request.

 

Type of Resource Request

Supporting Documentation to demonstrate eligibility

LIR Initial Allocation

Minimum /22 IPv4 block and up to a maximum of /13 IPv4 block while still in Phase 1 of the soft-landing policy. In Phase 2, the maximum prefix size which may be delegated will be a /22 IPv4.

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa
  • Provide a Service License
  • Provide copies of signed connectivity agreements
  • Provide evidence of network infrastructure presence in the region
  • Provide a comprehensive IP addressing plan outlining the immediate and 8 months use of the requested IP address block.
  • Organisations may qualify for a larger initial allocation by providing a comprehensive renumbering plan for an existing network and customer base.

LIR Initial IPv6 Allocation

Minimum /32 IPv6 block

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa
  • Provide a Service License
  • Provide copies of signed connectivity agreements
  • Provide evidence of network infrastructure presence in the region
  • Provide a comprehensive IP addressing plan outlining the immediate and 12 months use of the requested IP address block.
  • Organisations may qualify for a larger initial allocation by providing a comprehensive renumbering plan for an existing network and customer base.

EU Initial Assignment

Minimum /24 IPv4 block and up to a maximum of /13 IPv4 block while still in Phase 1 of the soft-landing policy. In Phase 2, the maximum prefix size which may be delegated will be a /22 IPv4

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa
  • Provide copies of signed connectivity agreements
  • Provide evidence of network infrastructure presence in the region if the needs are greater than a /20 IPv4 block
  • Provide a comprehensive IP addressing plan outlining the immediate and 8 months use of the requested IP address block. The immediate needs must be at less 50% of the IP block being requested.
  • Organisations may qualify for a larger initial assignment by providing a comprehensive renumbering plan for an existing network(s).

EU Initial Assignment

Minimum /48 IPv6

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa
  • Provide copies of signed connectivity agreements
  • Provide evidence of network infrastructure presence in the region if the needs are greater than a /48 IPv6.
  • Provide a comprehensive IP addressing plan outlining the 12 months needs for the requested prefix.
  • Will announce the IPv6 prefix within the next 12 months

LIR/EU ASN Assignment

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa
  • Provide copies of signed connectivity agreements
  • Provide the exterior gateway protocol to be used
  • Provide evidence of multihoming - AS numbers and contact details of at least two peers or one Internet Exchange Point(IXP).
  • If requesting an additional ASN, provide documentation detailing how the network for the requested ASN is autonomous from all existing ASes in your network

EU - IXP as Critical Infrastructure

Minimum /24 IPv4, /48 IPv6 & ASN for peering and the equivalent for management purposes per PoP.

 

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa. If the IXP is not a legally registered entity, another organisation may represent the IXP.
  • Provide the ASNs and contact details of at least three BGP peers and/or the signed MoU by the peers.
  • Provide evidence showing that the IXP is public and open

EU - Root Server Operator as Critical Infrastructure

Minimum /24 IPv4, /48 IPv6 & ASN for peering and the equivalent for management purposes per PoP.

  • Provide evidence of legal presence in Africa.
  • Provide evidence for hosting a root server.

 

Discounts

AFRINIC offers discounts to its members based on criteria below. The discounts are only attributed after AFRINIC Hostmasters have been able to confirmed the member eligibility. In this regard, resource members may be requested to provide more documentation.

Educational Institutions

As per the current fees structure, educational institutions such as universities and Research & Education Networks(RENs) may be eligible for a 50% discount on all fees provided that the resources shall be used exclusively for not-for profit academic or research activities.

 

Critical Infrastructure

AFRINIC offers a 100% discount to organisations requesting for resources for the purpose of Critical infrastructure. This discount is applicable to the resources which would be used by the critical infrastructure.

Note: The AFRINIC membership fees schedule for these two categories can be viewed under section 5 here

 

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