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Policy for Autonomous System Numbers (ASN) Management in the AFRINIC region | AFPUB-2004-ASN-001

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  • Date:
    30 Jun 2004
  • Author:
    • Adiel Akplogan
    • Ernest Byaruhanga

1) Abstract

This document contains policies and guidelines concerning requesting, assigning and registering AS (Autonomous System) numbers in the AFRINIC region.


2) Introduction

AFRINIC (the African Network Information Center) is the regional Internet Registry for Africa and part of the Indian Ocean region (Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros). It is responsible for distributing public Internet address space and related resources (including Autonomous System Numbers) in the region and coordinating the development and implementation of the policies to manage those resources.

The policies described in this document have been developed by the Internet community through a consensus process facilitated by AFRINIC. They are to be implemented by AFRINIC.


3) Scope

This document describes the policies relating to the distribution, management, and use of Autonomous System (AS) numbers in the AFRINIC service region. These policies apply to IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Policies of other regions other than the AFRINIC service region are outside the scope of this document.


4) Definitions

The following terms and definitions are used in this document.

4.1 Autonomous System (AS)

An Autonomous System (AS) is a connected group of one or more IP prefixes run by one or more network operators under a single and clearly defined routing policy.

4.2 Autonomous System Number (ASN)

An Autonomous System Number (ASN) is a unique integer associated with an AS. The ASN is used as an identifier to allow the AS to exchange dynamic routing information with other Autonomous Systems.

Exterior routing protocols (such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) described in RFC 1771) are used with ASNs to exchange information between networks. An AS will normally use some interior gateway protocol to exchange routing information on its internal networks.

4.3 Multi-homed Network

A multi-homed AS is one which is connected to more than one other AS. An AS also qualifies as multi-homed if it is connected to a public Internet Exchange Point.

4.4 Routing policy

The routing policy of an AS is a description of how network prefixes are exchanged between that AS and other Autonomous Systems.

4.5 aut-num object

An aut-num object is an object in the Whois database used to register ASN assignment details.


5) Eligibility for an AS Number assignment

There are a limited number of available AS Numbers. Therefore, it is important to determine which sites require unique AS Numbers and which do not. Sites that do not require a unique AS Number should use one or more of the AS Numbers reserved for private use. Those numbers are: 64512 through 65535 (RFC1930).

In order to qualify for an AS number, the requesting organization must fulfill the following requirements:

  • A unique routing policy (its policy differs from its border gateway peers).
  • A multi-homed site.
  • An organization will also be eligible if it can demonstrate that it will meet the above criteria upon receiving an ASN (or within a reasonably short time thereafter).
  • Be an AFRINIC member in a good standing (End-User or LIR type)

All requests for ASNs under these criteria will be evaluated using the guidelines described in RFC1930 "Guidelines for the creation, selection and registration of an Autonomous System (AS).


6) Ownership and Routing Considerations

6.1 Ownership

The Internet community regards ASNs as a public resource that should only be distributed according to demonstrated need. Neither assignment nor registration confers ownership of resources. Organizations that use ASNs are considered "custodians" rather than "owners" of the resource, and are not entitled to sell or otherwise transfer that resource to other parties.

6.2 Routing considerations

Responsible management of ASNs is necessary to help limit the expansion of global routing tables. Aggregating contiguous IP address prefixes within single Autonomous Systems helps to minimize the number of routes announced to the global Internet.


7) Assignment Procedures

AFRINIC assigns AS Numbers for Autonomous Systems located in the AFRINIC service region and accepts requests from LIRs, non-LIR's members and non-members fulfilling the eligibility requirements in Section 5.0 of this document.

AFRINIC may ask for such information that may help to understand the planned routing policy and to decide if an AS Number is actually needed.

7.1 Using ASNs for LIRs network

Assignments to ISPs that will use the ASN in their own network are subject to the following terms:

  • The requesting ISP is responsible for maintaining the registration described in Section 8.
  • The requesting ISP is entitled to continue using the ASN, even if they change network peers or service providers.
  • LIRs with AFRINIC will not be charged any annual maintenance fee for ASNs.

7.2 Providing ASNs to non-LIRs

Assignments to any other organizations that are not LIRs are subject to the following terms:

  • The ISP that will actually use the ASN must meet the criteria in Section 5.
  • The requesting ISP is responsible for maintaining the registration described in Section 8.
  • A one-time registration fee will be charged for each ASN assigned, as described in AFRINIC's Fee Schedule. Every three years thereafter, AFRINIC will invoice the organization for an annual maintenance fee, payable on the anniversary date of the original assignment.


8) Registration Requirements

All ASNs assigned must be publicly registered in the AFRINIC Whois database. AFRINIC will create the 'aut-num' object in the database.

All attributes of the 'aut-num' object must be properly registered in accordance with the AFRINIC Whois database documentation. Without limiting these general requirements, Sections 8.1, 8.2 describe particular requirements for ASN registrations.

8.1 Registering contact persons

Administrative and technical contact persons must be registered for each ASN assigned. The registered administrative contact ('admin-c') is the person responsible for the ASN and should generally be someone who is physically located at the site of the AS.

The technical contact ('tech-c') need not be physically located at the site of the AS, but must be a person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of that AS.

8.2 Registering routing policy

AFRINIC recommends that the routing policy of the AS is registered in Whois Database each ASN assigned.

8.3 Updating registration details

LIR's responsible for ASNs should update the 'aut-num' object in the AFRINIC Whois database if any of the registration information changes.


9) Returning unused ASNs

If an ASN is not being used by the organization that originally received it, it should be returned. AFRINIC will then return it to the public pool of AS Numbers for reassignment to another Autonomous System in the AFRINIC region.


10) Miscellaneous

AFRINIC may publish other guidelines related to ASNs including charging (maintenance recovery fees) details and related agreements, request forms, a further description of evaluation procedures, practices that LIR requesting ASNs are expected to adopt and information that may assist organizations to request ASNs.

Any other guidelines published will be developed within the community (where necessary) and will be consistent with the goals and policies described in this document.


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