[ARIN-consult] Fee restructuring

Jo Rhett jrhett at netconsonance.com
Sat Oct 27 16:32:40 EDT 2012

On Oct 27, 2012, at 10:47 AM, Owen DeLong wrote:
> I know of a number of community networks and other non-profit end-users

It's time to start naming names. Everyone is claiming they know "a numer", "thousands", "tens of thousands" but nobody has brought forward a single real case. This won't harm the organization: if they are a real non-profit providing networking services, their name should be well known in these circles.

> for whom $100 is a burden they meet through the largess of a handful
> of their members donating to cover the ARIN fees each year.

So I want to be very clear on this topic, and I really hope John Curran can pull together some real numbers on this topic.  I am going to float some numbers as estimates here just to show the idea. I would love to see real numbers put to this.

My experience would suggest that in reality there are likely something like 3k-5k small businesses paying $100 a month, and something like 20-50 actual registered non-profits who depend on member donations to cover these fees. **PLEASE SUPPLY REAL NUMBERS.

I do not feel that we should be discounting fees for 2950 - 4950 small businesses who likely pay something a minimum of $2k per month for all aspects of their internet service.

I am absolutely willing to support a special discount for the 20-50 registered nonprofits (or any legitimate not-doing-this-for-profit we can identify) to give those entities a better discount.

Truth in advertising: I am a person who runs a small network and offers free hosting to charities and causes I support, and I don't make a single dollar from it. I would benefit from the proposal that I am arguing against.

> That is an entirely different statement, but, it's also not a statement
> which is inherently true. Many of these organizations operate on
> donated equipment and shoestring budgets.
> public access community network that requires 1,000 IPs can be done
> using donated hardware and labor such that $300 is, in fact, more than
> 90% of the annual operating budget.

Sorry, have to call you on this one. As you very well know, the largest cost of this kind of business is power, not connectivity. You cannot run a single, lower-power server for $300 a year of power, no matter your power supplier. You can say that the power is donated, but then it remains part of the budget.

> Many of these networks don't have more than one computer host device
> and are located such that the electricity (and real estate) is basically
> donated. It's a lot easier to find donations of small amounts of space
> and electricity than cash.

Sorry, something is starting to smell here. They have a single computer, but need multiple disparate /24s that they can't route from a single place.  They operate from a single server in donated real estate, but need an ASN and PI space to peer with multiple providers. I think you are blending the needs of a very diverse set of people together to come up with a single killer to the proposal. I call bull.

In the only situation where it makes sense, that being loaned real estate within a colo facility, they are already on someone else's network and don't need to do their own peering. If they truly need to do their own peering, then they are paying for cross connect fees which add up to thousands of dollars at the very cheapest facilities. So $300 being 90% of their budget is unbelievable.

I'm calling bull on this entire line of reasoning.  You can't pick and choose attributes of a hundred different solutions and combine them to together to create your best case argument.

> I'm very much aware of all of these things. I'm also aware of the fact
> that when you assume that all ARIN entities are businesses and ignore
> community-service minded organizations doing things for motivations
> other than making money, you come to conclusions like the ones above.
> Since I happen to believe that such organizations are useful and
> beneficial to the communities that they serve, I prefer not to encode
> such assumptions into ARIN fees or policies.

I agree that there are a few providers who we should be willing to make special policy for. I don't believe that all small businesses should get the same discount.

Jo Rhett
Net Consonance : net philanthropy to improve open source and internet projects.

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