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AFRINIC Whois Database Update Process


  • Ref. Name:
  • Old Ref:
  • Status:
  • Date: 
    15 May 2014
  • Author(s):
    - Jean-Robert Hountomey


1) Summary of the Problem Being Addressed by this Policy Proposal

The African network infrastructure is growing with changes and extensions. This growth has brought changes in telecommunication and Internet infrastructure. With the emergence of new operators, mergers and acquisitions, the dynamism brought by the penetration of Internet technology has required organizational changes with job rotation. The need for accurate whois data has been in the news for years all over the world.

Inaccurate data is still present in the AFRINIC whois database because changes have occurred in organizations (points of contact, contact information etc.) and object owners have not updated their records. The result is a "No response" from "whois" contacts listed in the AFRINIC whois database.


The goal of this proposal is setting a process towards ensuring that AFRINIC whois database is updated. A previous proposal (AFPUB-2012-GEN-001-DRAFT-02: AFRINIC whois Database Clean-up) was withdrawn by the Author after AFRINIC advised that there was already an internal process to handle the cleanup of whois data and do general contact update. However it has been noticed that objects in AFRINIC whois database are not accurate. According to AFRINIC’s update to the community, at end of April 2014, 79% of the current members portfolio are yet to confirm accuracy of their contact information in the AFRINIC whois Database against 21% whose confirmations are still pending.


2) Summary of How this Proposal Addresses the Problem

This proposal asks AFRINIC to maintain accuracy through a periodical database clean up. Furthermore, at least once a year or at the renewal of resources, AFRINIC staff must conduct a whois database information validation.

3) Proposal

AFRINIC members are committed through the RSA to maintain their data and keep it accurate.  AFRINIC must then maintain accuracy of whois information through periodical database clean up and update. Object owners in the whois Database are required at least once a year to actively check and update the accuracy of their data in AFRINIC whois database.

3.1 Cleanup

3.1.1 - General Database Cleanup: At the ratification of this policy, AFRINIC staff will conduct a first cleanup by asking all members and their Points of Contact except those who have received their objects in less than a year to confirm their POC information.

3.1.2 - Annual Clean up. After the first cleanup, AFRINIC must conduct a cleanup once a year.

3.1.3 - At the request of additional resources or services, an organization must update its records.

3.2. Change requested by another policy: In case another AFRINIC policy makes mandatory a change or introduces another object, the object owner is required to make this update.

3.3. Steps and timeline.

3.3.1 - Contact Initiation.

  • AFRINIC staff will ask members by email to confirm the accuracy of their records in the Whois database within thirty (30) days.
  • Fifteen (15) days after the first contact initiation, AFRINIC staff will send a reminder email to members who have not responded, notifying them that they will enter a "Grace Period" within 15 days, should a response still not be forthcoming.
  • For contacts whose email has bounced back for "Non Delivery", AFRINIC Staff will immediately begin attempting to reach organizations via alternative means of communication.

3.3.2 - Grace Period.

Thirty one (31) days after the first contact initiation starts the Grace Period. The Grace period lasts thirty (30) days. During the Grace Period, AFRINIC Staff will use any communication tools at their discretion to reach points of contact for member organizations who have not confirmed the accuracy of their records. AFRINIC will continue its efforts to reach those whose email has bounced back.

3.3.3 - Record is marked invalid and the community notified.

At the end of the Grace Period (61 days after the first contact initiation), AFRINIC will publish, within 24 hours, the list of non-responsive contacts and the objects associated with them. The associated objects will be marked INVALID.

3.3.4. Conditions to withdraw an invalid record from the publicly available website.

An invalid resource record that has not expired can be withdrawn from the publicly available website after the object owners (new or old) address written notification to AFRINIC confirming that the records have been updated.

AFRINIC shall acknowledge the object owner notification within 72 hours of receipt, and the withdrawal of the object from the publicly available website should occur within 72 hours of such acknowledgement.

3.3.5 - Expiration

  • One year after the first contact initiation, if the data is still not accurate and the organization has failed to respond to the requests to resolve the data inconsistency, AFRINIC will mark the Resource EXPIRED and claim the associated number resources back.
  • The resource will go back to AFRINIC's pool. If the Organization contacts AFRINIC after the expiration, a new application with associated fees will be required with no guarantee that the Organization will keep the same resource.
  • Once the resource is reclaimed, it will be removed from the publicly available website.

3.3.6. - No Refund.

This current policy gives a year to an Organization to update its information in the AFRINIC Database before expiration. In case a record reaches an expiration status and is returned to AFRINIC's pool, the organization cannot claim a refund for any portion of unused fund.

3.3.7. - Hours and timezone.

For the purposes of this policy time periods specified are literal and not based on working days. Where time frames are specified in days, a day is deemed to have begun at 00:01 after the communication is received/sent. The time frame expires at 23:59 on the corresponding days. Times are based on the timezone relevant to the registered address of AFRINIC.


Version History:


15 May 2014:     AFPUB-2014-GEN-001-DRAFT-01 posted on rpd.


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