ARIN African Regional Meeting Minutes - 23 June 2004
Ray Plzak called the meeting to order at 09:45 UTC/GMT +3. He gave a brief introduction to ARIN's organization and structure and discussed membership statistics, including membership totals for Africa. He introduced the members of the ARIN Board of Trustees, Advisory Council, staff, and RIR colleagues present at the meeting. He also introduced Adiel Akplogan, the newly appointed CEO of AFRINIC, the emerging Regional Internet Registry for Africa.
Ray thanked the meeting's sponsor, the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH). Theophilus Mlaki, on behalf of COSTECH's Director General, welcomed the attendees to the meeting and gave an overview of COSTECH's operations. He also thanked SimbaNET for its sponsorship of the wireless network and welcomed everyone to Tanzania.
Richard presented an overview of ARIN's services. He began by reading the mission statement and related how all services ARIN provides tie directly to it. He discussed IPv4, IPv6, and ASN registration practices, the WHOIS directory, the Routing Registry, the policy development process, ARIN meetings, and training and education efforts.
John discussed the role of the Board of Trustees in ARIN's operations. The Board is responsible for ARIN's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and provides oversight to the execution of ARIN's mission. The Board ratifies ARIN policies as instructed by the membership and Advisory Council. It ensures the established policy development process is upheld so that members and the Advisory Council develop, review, comment, and provide feedback on all policies before they are ratified by the Board. The Board also ensures that fair and open elections are held consistent with the requirements in the Bylaws.
Ray gave a presentation on ARIN's Internet Resource Policy Evaluation Process. He emphasized that policies come from the Internet community and that all steps of the process are open and transparent. The entire policy process is outlined at http://www.arin.net/policy/ipep.html.
Ray presented a history of the Internet and numbering resources as well as the formation of the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). All RIRs are nonprofit corporations with open membership and each RIR elects its own officers. Each RIR publishes its policies and its policy process documentation; holds regional meetings; coordinates training and education activities; supports the ASO; and maintains its documentation in an open and transparent manner.
Ray emphasized that resources are not owned and that "IP" does not mean Intellectual Property. The RIRs' management objectives are conservation, aggregation, and registration of Internet number resources.
Alec discussed the Advisory Council's role in ARIN's policy development process. The AC works with community members on policy modification recommendations and then forwards those recommendations to the Board for final ratification. The AC also responds to the Board of Trustees when the Board asks for advice on specific topics. The policy development process gives the Advisory Council the authority to combine similar proposals, reject proposals, or send proposals through the rest of the process.
Alec described the overall makeup of the AC. The AC has 15 elected members that serve 3-year terms and each year it holds an internal election to appoint a Chairman and Vice-Chairman. No other RIR has an Advisory Council.
Richard presented statistics from all the RIRs as of March 31, 2004. Highlights included IPv4 allocations, allocations by RIR in years, and Africa-specific statistics. Tunisia has one IPv6 block and ARIN has allocated 4 IPv6 blocks in South Africa.
If the minimum allocation criteria for multi-homed is /23, should we proxy all requests to ARIN or should we continue to provide an LIR function?
Response: Richard responded that if the customer that has a /23 comes back, it is up to the LIR to decide whether or not to let them know they now meet the criteria to go directly to ARIN for their space.
Einar presented an explanation of ARIN's numbering policies for IPv4, IPv6, and AS number registrations. He defined the terms ARIN uses, including allocation, assignment, and multi-homed. He explained the minimum allocation sizes for IPv4 and IPv6 and the criteria to get space.
How does ARIN define efficient utilization and what documentation is required?
Response: Richard responded that it is the ISP's responsibility to record its customer reassignments in the database to be reflected in WHOIS. ARIN uses that data to verify the utilization of IP address space associated with customer reassignments. ARIN expects ISPs to assign an appropriately sized block to their end-user customers based on their immediate and one-year requirements. Twenty five percent of the block will satisfy their immediate requirement and the customer will need to show that it has a plan to use fifty percent of the block within one year. Information about other types of IP address utilization is also collected. If an ISP is requesting IP address space from ARIN for the first time, it may describe any utilization it currently has behind NAT so that it may be counted toward meeting the utilization criteria of the policies.
Moderator: Richard Jimmerson, ARIN Director of External Relations
Richard moderated the Open Microphone Session, which was provided to give participants an opportunity to ask additional questions.
What opportunities does ARIN offer for training on Internet resource allocation?
Response: Training is available online and other training is tailored to meetings. The respondent pointed to the two days prior to the meeting where training was offered on Internet Service Provider and Internet Exchange Point operational practices. ARIN will consider specific requests where necessary for conducting such training.
Bill Woodcock asked if ARIN offered any support for African members to be on ARIN's Advisory Council or for attending meetings.
Response: John Curran, Chairman of the Board, answered that African members are encouraged to participate in all activities including the policy development process and nomination of AC members, and to make themselves known to others so they can be nominated. ARIN provides financial support for travel by AC and Board members. Currently ARIN has no provision for regional representation in the AC, but if members feel this is important they can make a request for advocacy. Susan Hamlin, Director of Member Services, further explained the nomination and election processes, which are at http://www.arin.net/elections.
It seems there is very low participation from the Africa region. Why?
Responses: No survey has been conducted to establish the reason, however the ARIN president asked participants to bring forward things that they feel hinder their participation. One participant suggested the reason is a lack of awareness on issues of numbering resource allocation. The suggestion was that AFRINIC should take a more active role. ARIN welcomes suggestions for opportunities or forums where such dissemination could be made. A participant pointed out that local policies in most African counties are so prohibitive that they limit the number of ISPs. He said that the growth of ISPs is not as it should be and therefore there is less demand for resource allocations. Further, the concept of democracy/openness is still new to most Africans; he cited online registration as being less recognized than receiving a direct invitation.
Is it understood by everyone what "consensus-based" policies mean?
Response: John Curran, Chairman of the Board, explained that ARIN's policies are evaluated through an open and transparent process where everyone has an opportunity to voice an opinion, either at a meeting or on a mailing list. Consensus simply means that a proposal doesn't have to be supported by 100 percent of the community, but by a large enough group of those impacted by it. There may be a vocal minority that does not approve, but that does not mean a proposal can't move forward. The Advisory Council makes the judgment about whether a policy proposal has reached consensus.
Ray discussed the Number Resource Organization's (NRO) purpose and its formation. He provided some historical background, including the RIRs' signing of an MoU with ICANN, ICANN reform, and the formation of NRO. More information on the NRO is available online at http://www.nro.net. He then discussed the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and RIRs. A FAQ sheet on the NRO is available in multiple languages.
- The Number Resource Organization is a single point of contact to the RIRs.
- In the absence of ICANN, the RIRs could still fulfill their functions.
- In regard to WSIS, the RIRs are on the same side of the issue with ICANN, but act independently.
- WSIS presents a situation requiring strong liaising and joint actions with industry partners.
- In the report from the first part of WSIS in Geneva, Switzerland, the NRO agreed with the goals, but the means believed best to achieve them may differ. International management of the Internet should be: multilateral; transparent; democratic; with full involvement of all stakeholders - government, private sector, civil societies, and international organizations; equitable distribution of resources; access for all and stable and secure functioning of the Internet.
Presenter: Adiel Akplogan, AFRINIC CEO
Presentation (Read-only): PDF
Adiel reported on the status of AFRINIC's transition to a recognized RIR and included background on the basics of its mission, its current structure, and the milestones it has reached so far.
- AFRINIC has been Incorporated in Mauritius and staff has been relocated to South Africa.
- First public policy meeting, held May 2004 in Dakar, Senegal, featured Board elections, policy adoption, and budget approval for 2004-2005.
- First two issues of the newsletter have been published and AFRINIC's newly redesigned website is available at http://www.afrinic.net.
- Changes in the ARIN and RIPE communities on IPv4 minimum allocation size policy will help ease transition to AFRINIC.
- Presented plan for transition; expects provisional recognition by ICANN in December 2004, with full service based on adopted policies to begin in the first half of 2005.
What is the time frame for completion of AFRINIC's transition phase to full operation?
Response: All phases will be completed by December 2004, when a provisional recognition is anticipated.
Is there any help required from the African community?
Response: More involvement of the African community in policy formulation would be a great help to AFRINIC.
Participants advised AFRINIC officials to seek existing policies that are operational and to try to adopt suitable ones instead of "re-inventing the wheel."
Response: This is the method that is being used by AFRINIC in the policy development.
The current community participation in Africa is still very low. Are there efforts by AFRINIC to collaborate with governments to secure more involvement?
Responses: Ray Plzak, ARIN President and CEO, responded that governments can be promoters, but can also be regulators. AFRINIC needs more individual participation in the day-to-day Internet activity, rather than asking governments to force them. Adiel added that governments have a part to play, and in some countries, they are one of the stakeholders. AFRINIC needs to know all stakeholders in each country and look for ways to collaborate. Some governments are organizing outreach efforts to help AFRINIC, which is good.
If I cannot work with AFRINIC, will I still be able to come to ARIN for resources?
Response: Ray Plzak replied that once AFRINIC is officially recognized by ICANN, the African community will need to go to it for resources and will not be able to get resources from ARIN instead. Multinational companies can go to a variety of RIRs, depending on where they are based. The best way to ensure you can work with AFRINIC in the future is to get involved now in its transition to operational status. John Curran, Chairman of the Board, added that once a new RIR is operational, the other RIRs can no longer serve those in that region.
Questions from the previous presentation spilled over into this agenda item.
In May 2002, ARIN presented a letter of support for AFRINIC. The letter was provided in Arabic, English, French, and Swahili. Ray highlighted ARIN's support to the other RIRs in terms of global support and specific support to AFRINIC. Support has included Registration Services training, technical support, transition planning, and policy coordination. Additional support included assistance with application to ICANN.
*Due to equipment problems, these slides were not available at the meeting.
Lee explained that ARIN charges fees to members and direct customers only and not to downstream users. Customers pay fees for registering resources, for annual subscriptions, maintenance, or membership, depending on the resources or membership status they have requested. Further details on fees are available on the ARIN website at http://www.arin.net/fees/fee_schedule.html.
Moderator: Richard Jimmerson, ARIN Director of External Relations
Richard opened an Open Microphone session for comments.
- Can an exchange point (IXP) apply for a group of ASNs as one organization, rather than each ISP using the exchange applying for an ASN?
Response: Lee Howard replied that there had been a proposal to allow for that, but it has not been passed. Currently, all ISPs should apply separately. There is a $500 registration fee for each ASN and $100 for each organization.
- The fees charged can be very high for African ISPs. Is there any provision for a waiver at the initial process?
Responses: John Curran, Chairman of the Board, replied that there was a proposal at a recent meeting for a waiver of ASN fees, but consensus was that this was not a major issue and the proposal lost support. Support can be expressed both in mailing lists and at the meetings, so this is a good example of why the African Internet community should get involved on the Public Policy Mailing List. Lee Howard added that fees are generally discussed by members and that the ASN registration fee was a significant part of ARIN's revenue, perhaps as much as 15 percent. All fees are set to support services and cost recovery is the general principle. For ARIN to waive the majority of those, organizations might jeopardize ARIN's ability to provide services. Every fee suggestion gets discussed by the ARIN Board's Finance Committee. Adiel Akplogan added as a point of clarification that ISPs receiving direct allocations from ARIN did not have to pay the annual maintenance fee.
Richard Jimmerson said that ARIN would work to supply an expanded description of "efficient utilization" on its website, and develop better guidelines on the process of Registration Service's review of resource requests.
The meeting was adjourned at 17:00 UTC/GMT +3.