AS Number Registrations

Bryan Socha byans at
Wed Aug 30 10:55:51 EDT 2000

I think you also need to look at the industry. Its no longer just providers
running bgp anymore.  I know with my company we need to run bgp even though
we don't exactly fit a "provider" model.  Then again we are on 5 upstreams
with 2 more in provisoning.  

The change in policy does worry me..  The number for the most part speak for
themselves, but we would never be able to operate without bgp and since we
have an ASN because we are multihomed, a policy change would not have
allowed us to reach where we are now.  We do offer some provider like
services such as colocation and hosting but our model is a moderate sized
collection of affiliated websites and those services are provided at a
discount since we have an interest in their success and can watch
instabilities on the internet better than they can from their home setups.  

I do agree that something needs to be done but if it does affect multihomed
ASN owners only, I think it needs to be very defined as to when you are
eligable for one.

Just my thoughts,
Bryan Socha

-----Original Message-----
From: J. Scott Marcus [mailto:smarcus at]
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 10:07 AM
To: Shane Kerr
Cc: ppml at
Subject: Re: AS Number Registrations 

At 10:23 08/30/2000 +0200, Shane Kerr wrote:
>> The number of AS numbers ARIN issues has increased steadily over the last
>> three years.  Members have expressed concern about this large increase in
>> AS number registrations.
>> 	Issued in 1998 -- 915
>> 	Issued in 1999 -- 1,685
>> 	Issued in 2000 -- 1,596 (through July)
>> The vast majority of these AS numbers are issued to newly multi-homed
>> sites.  Is this increase in AS number registrations a concern to the
>> community and should ARIN policies be changed, as a result?
>Note the current assignments on the IANA page:
>At 3000 issued a year, the AS numbers will exhaust the "Held by IANA" 
>in 4 years, and the "Reserved by IANA" in 15 or so.  Given a modest 50% 
>increase in number issued each year, they'll all be gone in 2004 or 2005...

Thanks, Shane.  Interesting comments.

My concern has been with the rate of increase.  If you look at the numbers
above, it appears that we are witnessing an increase of about 100% (_not_
50%) per year in the number assigned.  Exponential growth tends to be
unsustainable in many real world situations (cf. Malthus), and this is no
exception.  If current trends imply the need for ARIN alone to assign 6,000
AS numbers in 2001, 12,000 in 2002, and 24,000 in 2003, we are in deep
weeds indeed.

In many cases, trends like these are self-limiting.  Many exponential
growth curves top out and go sigmoid (s-shaped) as they encounter natural
limits.  Perhaps this is not a problem -- perhaps we run out of networks to
multi-home, for instance, long before this becomes a serious issue.  But
looking at the numbers above makes me nervous as heck.

- Scott

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