AFRINIC AFRINIC published FAQ to explain the litigation with Cloud Innovation Ltd

More and more people are taking cognisance of this particular matter between AFRINIC and one of its resource members. AFRINIC even issued a press communique to clarify the situation. The communique was published in a few Mauritian newspapers and news websites across Africa.

Ish Sookun

2 min read min read

Recently, AFRINIC published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on its website to provide information on the litigation between the organisation and Cloud Innovation Ltd (CIL).

The first question addresses the origin of the litigation. AFRINIC uses an example whereby a permit is given to a company to build a hotel in Africa on a plot of land. Later on, it is found that a shopping centre has been built there and not a hotel as per the initial terms agreed. With this analogy, AFRINIC attempts to explain that Cloud Innovation Ltd is not using the allocated blocks of IPv4 addresses as per the initial need that CIL specified when requesting those resources.

Due to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, AFRINIC community passed an IPv4 Soft-Landing policy in 2011. The policy came in force on 31 March 2017 and it entered Phase 1. On 13 January 2020, AFRINIC announced that Phase 2 of IPv4 Exhaustion has begun. Thus, IPv4 number resources allocation is done strictly on a needs basis.

AFRINIC states that it informed Cloud Innovation Ltd of the breach of their agreement in June 2020. It asked CIL to explain and remedy it. However, since there was no remedial action taken, in March 2021 AFRINIC started the procedure of reclaiming the IPv4 resources from CIL. The latter initiated legal proceedings.

The page contains a timeline of events as they happened.

Interestingly, the timeline stops at 14 January 2022, when the appeal of Cloud Innovation Ltd against a previous judgment was dismissed with costs. The timeline does not include the recent lawsuits.

The second question takes us down the history lane. AFRINIC explains how the internet began, the role of the IETF, IANA and the establishment of the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) — APNIC, ARIN, RIPE NCC, LACNIC and AFRINIC.

AFRINIC states that just like the other four RIRs, it has provisions to determine how IP number resources allocated to Resource Members are used. It also reaffirms its dedication to the African community.

The third question relates to the procedures that AFRINIC adopts to validate members and their requests for number resources.

The fourth and last question is about the change of usage of IP resources. That is, what should a Resource Member do if the latter needs to use the IP resources for a purpose other than what was stated in the initial request.

At the time of writing this post, Cloud Innovation Ltd has five press releases published on its website — including letters, documents and Supreme Court rulings. The press release of 14 July 2021 contains a timeline of events and how Cloud Innovation Ltd responded to AFRINIC.