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AFRINIC-21 | PDWG Meeting Minutes

Minutes of Face-to-Face Policy Meeting

Where:         AFRINIC21, Cybercity, Mauritius

When:           28 November 2014, 1100 – 1800

Co-Chairs:    Seun Ojedeji, Adam Nelson

Scribe:           Ernest Byaruhanga



Session 1: 11:00 – 12:30

1.   The Policy Development Process (PDP)

2.   Policy Implementation Status Report

3.   Summary of proposals under discussion in AFRINIC

4.   Summary of Interesting proposals in other regions

5.   Resource Policy Manual (RPM) Status Report

6.   Proposal: Out-Of-Region Use of AFRINIC Internet Number Resources

Session 2: 14:00 – 16:00

7.   Proposal: AFRINIC whois Database Update Process

8.   Proposal: anycast Resource Assignments in the AFRINIC region

Session 3: 1600 – 1730

9.   Proposal: Resource Reservation for Internet Exchange Points

10.  Proposal: AFRINIC Service Guidelines

11.  Policy implementation experience report

12.  Open Microphone


1.0 The Policy Development Process

The meeting started with co-chair Adam Nelson taking participants through the AFRINIC region policy development process (PDP). More information on the PDP can be found here.

2.0 Policy Implementation Status Report

Ernest Byaruhanga reported about the following policy proposals that have been implemented since AFRINIC20 in Djibouti, June 2014:

  • anycast Assignments in the AFRINIC region (AFPUB-2012-v4-001)
  • No reverse unless assigned (AFPUB-2012-dns-001)

Ernest stated that the implementation delay had been due to code-changes in the AFRINIC whois database system, which was successfully upgraded and the policies consequently implemented.

3.0  Summary of proposals under discussion in AFRINIC

Proposals to be discussed during the meeting were presented, as follows:

  • Out-Of-Region Use of AFRINIC Internet Number Resources
  • AFRINIC whois Database Update Process
  • anycast Resource Assignments in the AFRINIC region
  • Resource Reservation for Internet Exchange Points
  • AFRINIC Service Guidelines

4.0  Summary of Interesting proposals in other regions

The following active/ongoing policy proposals from other regions were presented to the meeting as they were deemed relevant to our region:

  • ARIN-2014-1: Out-of-Region IPv4 address use: An ARIN resource holder can use their resources out-of-region as long as they are using the equivalent of IPv4 /22, IPv6 /44, 1 ASN within the ARIN service region.
  • RIPE-623: Policy for Inter-RIR Transfer of Internet Number Resources: The policy describes how the transfer of resources between RIPE NCC and other RIRs (and likewise) will occur.

5.0  Resource Policy Manual Status Report

Ernest reported on the Resource Policy Manual (RPM), which is a single reference document for all policies used in the AFRINIC region which had been at draft level (published here) and has recently been ratified/approved by the AFRINIC board. The following highlights were mentioned about the draft version of the RPM:

  • Initial version was published by AFRINIC staff.
  • No changes to existing policies have been made; proposals have only been combined into one document, for ease of lookup, referral and update. (The document is a simple reformatting of existing policy documents, and no content changes to the policies)
  • All future policy proposals, after the implementation, will be reflected as changes to sections of the RPM.
  • A policy proposal must state what section of the manual will be affected.
  • All previous policy documents will be archived, for future reference.
  • RPM Update guidelines will be incorporated into the PDP where appropriate and published online.

Ernest stated that the RPM was presented to the community initially in November 2013, published for public comments in Jan 2014, recommended to the Board for approval in April 2014 and received Board approval in November 2014. AFRINIC will implement the RPM in January 2015 and all guidelines for the community to work with the new RPM will be published on the AFRINIC website.

A new policy proposal ID numbering format was also shared with the meeting, and that it will take the format afyyyy-nnn-vvv, where “af” prefix denotes AFRINIC, “yyyy” the year in which a proposal is received,  “nnn” is a digit that increments with each new proposal received, as well as “vVVV” being the version number (prefixed by the letter “v”).

6.0 Out-Of-Region Use of AFRINIC Internet Number Resources

This proposal was presented by Douglas Onyango, and is published here.

 Comments received:

  • The policy should not apply to address space acquired before policy is ratified. The author stated he would consider rewording if this isan issue.
  • It was suggested that the proposal not be retroactive, but restrict on future resources only, and that AFRINIC conducts a thorough analysis and reports on how many members would be affected if the policy as written were ratified.
  • The provisions in RFC2050 and RFC7020 should guide staff. If networks span regions, the requestor should go to other RIR service the region where its other networks are located in the principle of aggregation. Allocations should not be based on percentages but need, and needs should be based on aggregation and minimum size.
  • The author commented on the need to apply the policy to just LIRs, in reaction to AFRINIC comment that there is no way to measure End User/PI space utilization. It was suggested that all membership types should have the same rules otherwise; the policy will encourage abuse of the system.
  • Several speakers supported the intent of the proposal, but suggested that the way it’s written does not solve the out-of-region resource usage issue due to challenges in enforcement.
  • There were suggestions that a clear definition of “out-of-region use” be put in place, as this will be the starting point to resolve ambiguities.

Decision: There was no consensus to move the proposal to last call. It was therefore sent back to the mailing list for further discussion.


7.0 AFRINIC WHOIS DB Update Process

This proposal was presented by Jean-Robert Hountomey, and is publishedhere.

The author stated that members are bound by RSA to keep whois andMyAFRINIC data accurate. He indicated that the goal of the proposal is to attain quality whois data and to have something done by AFRINIC every year on this.

The following comment were received:

  • The author asked what prevents AFRINIC to enforce the RSA clause that requires members to maintain correct contact information in the whois database, and what capacity should be given to staff to enforce this RSA clause.
  •  AFRINIC legal Counsel stated that the RSA is bilateral, so any violation of it should have the violating party accountable. He stated that although policy could help set some enforcement procedures or process, the RSA is very clear and already sets authority.
  • The author was advised to remove the statement “The need for accurate whois data has been in the news for years all over the world” as it baseless.
  • It was pointed out that since the AFRINIC RSA already has the necessary provisions that instruct members to keep whois andMyAFRINIC data up-to-date and accurate, this policy is still not needed. A “Best Current Practices (BCP)” or supporting document can however be put in place to help staff implement this clause with success.
  • The AFRINIC Board Chair stated that he would not support a proposal that will have financial ramifications on the company when implemented. This proposal would mean revoking hundreds of memberships, which has financial implications on AFRINIC.

Decision: The author withdrew the proposal immediately after the presentation and suggested staff uses the RSA provisions to ensure compliance.


8.0 anycast  resource assignments in the AFRINIC region

This proposal was presented by Mark Elkins, and is published here.

There is already an active policy that allows IPv4 space to be issued foranycast purposes, but this policy does not include IPv6 and ASN resource types. This proposal takes care of this omission.

Comments below were received:

  • The proposal received support from several people in the meeting.
  • It was noted that the need to define anycast services in-line with BCP126 was removed from the proposal, and the author was asked to explain why.
  • It was noted that BCPs keep changing, hence it is not a good practice to base policy on BCPs, as the policies would need to be revised when BCPs change.
  • It was suggested that the policy should only be ratified to covergTLDs, RIRs, ccTLD and root server operators, as these are the only ones that require anycast provisioning. However, others opposed this, and stated that any services can be anycast’ed, and the proposal should be open to accommodate any types of IP network operators wishing to serve anycast.
  • It was agreed that the following changes be made to the proposal by the author:
  • Section 1, change “and an AS Number” to “or an AS Number”
  • Section 3.1, change “An AS Number should” to “AN AS Number may”
  • Modify both section 1 and 3.1 to include the provisions of BCP126 in defining anycast services.

Decision: There was consensus to move the proposal to last call with modifications as discussed in the meeting. A revised proposal with the changes in the above paragraph should be submitted by author and will directly go to “last call” period.

9.0 Resource Reservations for Internet Exchange Points

This proposal was presented by Nishal Goburdhan, and is published here.

The proposal reserves IPv4 space (/16 for peering and /16 management subnets) and a block of 2-byte ASNs (114 or half the AFRINIC inventory) for IXPs in the AFRINIC service region and ensures that there would be discrete resources to allow establishment of new IXPs and growth of the current IXPs.

Comments received:

  • It was observed that there’s now a policy that all RIRs (AFRINIC included) issue ASNs from the 32-bit pool, and there should not be a differentiation now.
  • AFRINIC noted that although the policy is in place, RIRs have distinctly divided the 32-bit pool into 3 categories – 16-bit only, 32-bit only and 32-bit, and that these policy would seem to touch the 16-bit only pool, which is 0-65536.
  • It was noted that the problem statement was not fully clear, and the author was asked to clarify it. The author clarified that the problem statement is well explained in Sec 3.3 of the proposal.
  • Some members noted that:

Sec 5 of the “Policy for End User assignments” already asks AFRINIC to reserve blocks for IXP address space usage, and that this proposal is a duplicate of the existing one.

  • The soft landing policy could be sufficient if this proposal is trying to address the uncertainty of IXPs not getting IPv4 space, and being able to grow, as the IPv4 soft-landing policy will ensure prolonged supply of small blocks within the region.
  • A Member suggested adopting the proposal to include NREN, ccTLDsetc and not just be limited to IXPs.
  • It was however noted that more special Interest groups could keep popping up asking for reservations (as a precedent that this policy could create).
  • Global policy for acquiring ASNs – be careful because it may not be possible to get more ASNs.
  • The author was advised to make note of the following, and perhaps modify the proposal to cater for these factors:                 
    • Incorporate clearer text about problem statement.
    • Add a provision for the resources reserved to be returned to pool by a certain date if not used.
    • Review concerns from the community and represent an updated version of the proposal

Decision: There was no consensus to move the proposal to last call. It therefore goes back to the mailing list for further discussion.

10.0 AFRINIC Service Guidelines

This proposal was presented by Karmann Olumomo, and is published here.

Comments received:

  • It is unreasonable to automatically issue resources after a certain delay period since the policy can be gamed and abused on intent.
  • There were several statements of objection, and no person supported the proposal.

Decision: There was no consensus to move the proposal to last call. It therefore goes back to the mailing list for further discussion. In additionThe co-chairs advised the author to consider withdrawing the proposal as it did not receive any support from the community.

11.0 Policy Experience Implementation Report 

This session was presented by Madhvi Gokhool, Registration Services Manager, AFRINIC.Madhvi raised the following issues that are ambiguous in the by-laws and policy documents and urged the community to put policies in place that would help staff easier understand and interpret them.

  • Clause 6.1(i) of the by-laws: “any Person who is geographically based within, and providing services in the African region, and who is engaged in the use of, or business of providing, opensystem protocol network services; or ”. The clause is not very clear about “providing services in the African region” and needs to be clarified.
  • Additional allocation policy: “An LIR may receive an additional allocation when 80% of all the address space currently allocated to it has been utilized in valid assignments and/or sub-allocations”.AFRINIC has repeatedly encountered issues where LIRs do not want to register their customers’ usage for privacy concerns and this needs community’s input via policy on how to address the issue.
  • Policy for End-User IPv4 (PI) space requires members to “show either an existing utilization of at least /25 from their upstream provider or justify immediate need of at least 50% of currently requested space”. It was noted that many End User organizations fail to meet this conditions yet legitimately need the space for such reasons as multi-homing.
  • It was noted that there is no policy for handling internal resource transfers due to mergers, acquisitions and voluntary transfer requests.

12.0 Open Policy Hour

The following feedback was received during the open policy microphone:
  • The Policy Chairs and AFRINIC should ensure that authors use the template as written to submit proposals to ensure consistency.
  • Find method to speed up the process of determining policy consensus independent of the bi-annual meetings, by for example, decoupling the PDP from face-to-face meetings, as these happen twice a year and may not get participation from everyone. The policies can be concluded on mailing lists.
  • Others suggested that face-to-face dialogue is extremely important and that this should remain an important aspect of the PDP.
  • AFRINIC was lauded for starting an R&D department, as this will provide more insightful data to the community.
  • It was advised that the PDP co-chairs come up with other techniques to strengthen consensus measuring from remote and online participants so that the process can be all-inclusive, as it now does not favor those not present physically at meetings.
  • The issue of “off-shore” companies especially incorporated in Seychelles was brought up, and one member advised that such companies need to be closely scrutinized as they are not required by-law to conduct ant income generating activities “on-shore”.
  • Handling disputes with decisions of co-chairs: These can be discussed with the chairs and the Chairs were also advised to be open to discussing the disputes with those concerned before the process in the PDP can be invoked.
  • It was noted that meeting organizers should make sure the microphones face the room and not the co-chairs (stage) so that participants are actually talking to the meeting participants, not the co-chairs.
 Summary of decisions on the policy proposals



Out-Of-Region Use of AFRINIC Internet Number Resources No Consensus – back to rpdlist
AFRINIC whois Database Update Process No Consensus – withdrawn by author
anycast Resource Assignments in the AFRINIC region Consensus - Last Call (with minor changes)
Resource Reservation for Internet Exchange Points No Consensus – back to rpdlist
AFRINIC Service Guidelines No Consensus – back to rpdlist

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