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Is APNIC policy of Members Voting Rights doing the Justice with NIRs and Corresponding Countries

APNIC (the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) is the regional Internet address registry (RIR) for the Asia-Pacific region, service 56 economies, including India, Bangladesh, China, Australia, Japan and others. APNIC is one of the world's five RIRs and is part of the Number Resource Organization (NRO).

As of date, the following 7 NIRs (National Internet Registries) are registered with APNIC for serving the local community a b c --
NIR Serving Economy Member under each NIR d
APJII (ID) Indonesia 2916 e
CNNIC (CN) China  1399
IRINN (IN) India  3368
JPNIC (JP) Japan   474
KISA (KR) Korea Not Available
TWNIC (TW) Taiwan   299
VNNIC (VN) Vietnam   624

APNIC Membership is classified into 7 tiers depending on the IP holding by each member. Each membership tier has voting rights. These voting rights play a crucial role in governance and policies matters of APNIC.

For IPv4 address space, the membership tier is assessed as follows: 
Membership tier IPv4 Holding
Associate         None
Very Small         Up to and including /22
Small                 Greater than /22, up to and including /19
Medium                 Greater than /19, up to and including /16
Large                 Greater than /16, up to and including /13
Very Large         Greater than /13, up to and including /10
Extra Large         Greater than /10

For IPv6 address space, the membership tier is assessed as follows:
Membership tier             IPv6 Holding
Associate                 None
Very Small                 Up to and including /35
Small                         Greater than /35, up to and including /32
Medium                         Greater than /32, up to and including /29
Large                         Greater than /29, up to and including /26
Very Large                 Greater than /26, up to and including /23
Extra Large                 Greater than /23

Membership tier         Number of votes
Associate                 1
Very Small                 2
Small                         4
Medium                         8
Large                         16
Very Large                 32
Extra Large                 64

As per the Membership tier voting chart, every member can have a max of 64 votes (including NIRs) but APNIC charges an additional 190% premium on the annual membership fees from NIR, which leads to effective membership fees for NIRs equals to 290% of the ordinary membership fee , but with no added advantage of voting rights. Members of NIR didn’t get the voting rights in APNIC, even though they pay the fees to NIR and indirectly pays to APNIC, as NIR pays to APNIC as per resources holdings of all its members plus an additional 190% premium over and above of ordinary fee. 

Top economies (and NIRs) based on the voting rights under APNIC region (as of 11th Nov 2021) g
Country No of APNIC Members Voting Rights Avg votes per member Rank as per voting rights
AU 2015 7032 3.49 1
HK 949 3733 3.93 2
BD 1067 3442 3.23 3
IN* 608 2434 4.00 4
SG 391 1728 4.42 5
CN* 310 1666 5.37 6
NZ 447 1657 3.71 7
AP 419 1633 3.90 8
JP* 316 1258 3.98 9
MY 313 1228 3.92 10
PH 284 1078 3.80 11
TH 223 1046 4.69 12
PK 262 932 3.56 13
ID* 89 484 5.44 14
TW* 55 305 5.55 18
VN* 2 65 32.50 27

Average vote per member across top 13 economies -- 4.20
* Economies which have NIRs are star marked
(Vietnam is not included while calculating the average vote per member because VN has only 2 members, VNNIC and “VN Post and Telecommunications”, and including VN while calculating average votes, leads to changing of figures from 4.20 to 5.97 as VNNIC has 64 votes)

If every resource holder (doesn’t matter whether membership is with RIR and NIR) has voting rights in APNIC, then the voting rights table will change to (average votes per member are 4.20, as calculated above. Here, I am taking 2 votes per NIR member for conservative calculation and 3 votes per NIR member for more realistic calculation) – 
NIR Serving Economy Member under each NIR Votes (2 per member) Votes (3 per member)
APJII (ID) Indonesia 2916 5832 8748
CNNIC (CN) China  1399 2798 4197
IRINN (IN) India  3368 6736 10104
JPNIC (JP) Japan   474 948 1422
KISA (KR) Korea Not Available Not Available Not Available
TWNIC (TW) Taiwan   299 598 897
VNNIC (VN) Vietnam   624 1248 1872

Adding this vote count with the existing voting rights which every economy has, the results would be like this –
Country Total Member (APNIC+NIR) Total Voting Rights (Avg 2 votes per NIR member) Total Voting Rights (Avg 3 votes per NIR member)
AU 2015 7032 7032
HK 949 3733 3733
BD 1067 3442 3442
IN* 3976 9170 12538
SG 391 1728 1728
CN* 1709 4464 5863
NZ 447 1657 1657
AP 419 1633 1633
JP* 790 2206 2680
MY 313 1228 1228
PH 284 1078 1078
TH 223 1046 1046
PK 262 932 932
ID* 3005 6316 9232
TW* 354 903 1202
VN* 626 1313 1937

The new Ranking of the economies will change like this (based on 2 votes per NIR member) -- 
Country Rank
IN* 1
AU 2
ID* 3
CN* 4
HK 5
BD 6
JP* 7
SG 8
NZ 9
AP 10
VN* 11
MY 12
PH 13
TH 14
PK 15
TW* 16

In the above example, i have considered every NIR member have 2 voting rights, on an average (which is more towards the conservative side), and the results are as - AU is no more in top position and Indonesia rises from 14th position to 3rd position, similarly, China rises from 6 to 4th and Vietnam rises from 27th to 11th position. So, If APNIC gives fair chances to the countries where NIR is doing great work in the expansion of the Internet, then ID and VN will get the maximum benefits concerning the voting rights. 

Now, let’s see what will be the ranking status, if I consider an average of 3 votes per NIR member (which is more on the realistic side) –
Country Rank
IN* 1
ID* 2
AU 3
CN* 4
HK 5
BD 6
JP* 7
VN* 8
SG 9
NZ 10
AP 11
MY 12
TW* 13
PH 14
TH 15
PK 16

In this case, India will rise from 4th to 1st position, Indonesia rises from 14th position to 2nd position, China rises from 6 to 4th, Vietnam rises from 27th to 8th position and Taiwan rises from 18th to 13th position. 

Current position across RIRs with respect to Voting Rights 
Only APNIC and LACNIC have the concept of NIRs. As mentioned above, APNIC has 7 NIRs and LACNIC has 2 NIRs, namely, Brasil ( and México (IAR.MX).
As per info available here -, every member, whether a direct LANIC member or a member of mentioned two NIRs, have the voting rights in LACNIC.

I think it’s a high time to update APNIC membership and voting policy rules and guidelines, and allow NIR members also to participate in APNIC policies. This will also help APNIC in expanding the user base and can be helpful in avoiding the hostile takeover type of situation, which we have recently saw in AFRINIC.

References -- 
 c. Please note: In the EC meeting of 27 February 2012, the EC resolved to impose a moratorium on accepting any new NIR applications while the EC evaluates the future of the NIR program, without prejudice to existing NIRs.
Ref -
 d. Member info is picked from the respective slides of NIR of APNIC 52 conference 
 e. IDNIC member count is updated till 14.12.2021 while rest other NIRs member count is as per info from APNIC52 conference

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