[ppml] 2002-02 Address space allocations for experimental purposes

Geoff Huston gih at telstra.net
Wed Dec 11 21:06:44 EST 2002

A few comments to Ted's note and a proposed revision/edit to the policy.

Firstly it is true that there are wide variety of experiments that are 
conducted on the Internet today that use existing allocated number 
resources, and the extent to which these experiments are coordinated 
technically with various folk who perceive that they have some interest in 
this is a matter for the experimenters. Such activities fall outside the 
scope of this policy proposal.

There have been in the past a number of experiments that have some direct 
relationship with address allocation. The experimental use of in 
the early days of CIDR deployment is a fine example. Experiments in the 
dynamic behaviour of the  BGP routing system using particular test address 
prefixes could concievably be another such experiment. (Note that I'm 
attempting to illustrate the scope of such activities, rather than enter in 
to a discussion of the metirs or otherwise of such examples)

The observation is that there is no clear way in the current IETF / IANA / 
RIR environment for this latter type of experiment to be undertaken. It is 
my understanding of the worrent working relationships between these bodes 
that the IETF cannot undertake temporary address alssignments to end users 
for such experiments, and that the IANA undertakes address allocations to 
RIRs, so that the IANA is in no position to undertake this role either. And 
right now there is no RIR policy to undertake such assignments outside of 
the conventional policies. This policy is intended to allow the RIRs, and 
in this case ARIN in particular, to undertake such temporary address 

The basic question here is of course is "what is an experiment in this 

Obviously this is a difficult question to rigidly define in advance, so the 
proposal attempts instead to document how an experiment that proposes 
temporary use of Internet number resources should be described. The lowest 
common denominator is that the use of such resources should be justified in 
a public experiment proposal.

Over and above this lowest common denominator there is a stated preference 
for documented experiments that exhibit some background of technical 
coordination - obviously there is some reticence by all of us to support 
experiments that may have some negative impact on the operation of the 
Internet. The policy proposal points to the IETF as a preferred venue for 
such technical coordination and uses a reference to experimental RFCs as a 
demonstration of an experiment proposal that has been subject to some 
review within the IETF that would include consideration of technical 

Comments I have received on this preference have included observations of 
the extended time for an experiment proposal to be published by the IETF as 
an experimental RFC, and one concrete proposal to address this was to use 
the wording of a document that has achieved "IETF consensus"  where this 
consensus is described in RFC 2434. This would allow Internet drafts to be 
referenced, under the specific circumstances where the draft has achieved 
this consensus. Of course this poses the issue of how the RIRs could, as an 
external body, clearly identify the difference between a draft that has 
achieved this consensus and one that has not. One proposed refinement of 
this is to allow the RIRs to refer such experiment proposals to some form 
of liaison with the IETF.

Another comment I've received is that there is an Internet Research Task 
Force and it too may have a motivation to propose such an experiment. It is 
not clear that an IRTF proposal along these lines should also need to 
obtain IESG approval via this proposed RFC 2434 IETF consensus.

I have also revieved various comments along the lines that "all such 
proposed experiments should be described in such a RFC 2434 IETF consensus 
document" and other comments that "this is desireable but should not be a 
mandatory constraint".

 From all these discussions I've noted that there appears to a rough 
consensus that some form of technical coordination is prudent and 
responsible for such experiment proposals, bit some variation on how this 
technical coordination should be undertaken.

I would suggest that Ted's suggestion of using the ARIN Advicory Council as 
a "designated expert reviewer" is a way forward, and if you combine this 
with the option for the designated expert reviewer to utilize a liaison 
mechanism with the IETF to obtain specific advice on matters of technical 
coordination then this could address many of the uncertainties that have 
been voiced about this proposal (obviously some of the comments have been 
direct opposites and I'm not claiming that this is a full synthesis of all 

So in that vein I would like to propose, as an individual contribution to 
this ARIN consideration of this proposed policy, a re-wording of the policy 
proposal - it attempts to rephrase the first three sections to make them 
as well as taking into account the considerations noted in text above, and 
includes the designated expert reviewer role. It also specifically words 
this as an ARIN policy, as I understand that the other RIRs have / are 
considering different wording in their regions.

kind regards,



2002-2: Experimental Internet Resource Allocations

There have been a number of experimental address allocations
undertaken in the Internet over the past decade. These experimental
address allocations have been made by the IANA in coordination with
the IETF, on an ad hoc basis. There is currently no systematic means
of receiving other Numbering Resources on a temporary basis as part of
a recognized experiment in Internet technology deployment. The
following policy is proposed:

ARIN will allocate Numbering Resources to entities requiring temporary
Numbering Resources for a fixed period of time under the terms of
recognized experimental activity.

The following criteria for this policy are proposed:

1. Documentation of recognized experimental activity

A Recognized Experimental Activity is one where the experiment's
objectives and practices are described in a publicly accessible
document. It is a normal requirement that a Recognized Experimantal
Activity also includes the undertaking that the experiment's outcomes
also be published in a publically accessible document.

     A "publically accessible document" is a document that is publicly
     and openly available free of charges and free of any constraints
     of disclosure.

ARIN will not recognize an experimental activity under this policy if
the entire research experiment cannot be publicly disclosed.

ARIN has a strong preference for the recognition of experimental
activity documentation in the form of a document which has achieved
"IETF consensus" as described in RFC 2434.

2. Technical Coordination

ARIN requires that a recognized experimental activity is able to
demonstrate that the activity is technically coordinated.

    Technical coordination specifically includes consideration of any
    potential negative impact of the propsed experiment on the
    operation of the Internet and its deployed services, and
    consideration of any related experimental activity.

ARIN will use a designated expert reviewer to review experimental
activities to ensure that the activity is technically coordinated. The
reviewer may liaise with the IETF to complete this review.

3. Coordination over Resource Use

When the IETF's standards development process proposes a change in the
use of Numbering Resources on an experimental basis the IETF should
use a liaison mechanism with the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs)
of this proposal. The RIRs will jointly or severally respond to the
IETF using the same liaison mechanism.

4. Resource Allocation Term and Renewal

The Numbering Resources are allocated on a lease/license basis for a
period of one year. The allocation can be renewed on application to
ARIN providing information as per Detail One. The identity and details
of the applicant and the allocated Numbering Resources will be
published under the conditions of ARIN's normal publication policy.

5. Single Resource Allocation per Experiment

ARIN will make one-off allocations only, on an annual basis to any
applicant. Additional allocations to an organization already holding
experimental activity resources relating to the specified activity
outside the annual cycle will not be made unless justified by a
subsequent complete application.

     It's important for the requesting organization to ensure they have
     sufficient resources requested as part of their initial
     application for the proposed experimental use.

6. Resource Allocation Fees

ARIN may charge an administration fee to cover each allocation made of
these experimental resources. This fee simply covers registration and
maintenance, rather than the full allocation process for standard ARIN
members. This administration fee should be as low as possible as these
requests do not have to undergo the same evaluation process as those
requested in the normal policy environment.

7. Resource Allocation Size

The Numbering Resources requested come from the global Internet
Resource space, and are not from private or other non-routable
Internet Resource space. The allocation size should be consistent with
the existing ARIN minimum allocation sizes, unless small
allocations are intended to be explicitly part of the experiment. If
an organization requires more resource than stipulated by the minimum
allocation sizes in force at the time of their request, their
experimental documentation should have clearly described and justified
why this is required.

8. Commercial Use Prohibited

If there is any evidence that the temporary resource is being used for
commercial purposes, or is being used for any activities not
documented in the original experiment description provided to ARIN,
ARIN reserves the right to immediately withdraw the resource and
reassign it to the free pool.

9. Resource Request Appeal or Arbitration

ARIN reserves the ability to assess and comment on the objectives of
the experiment with regard to the requested amount of Numbering
Resources and its technical coordination. ARIN reserves the ability to
modify the requested allocation as appropriate, and in agreement with
the proposer. In the event that the proposed modifications are not
acceptable, the requesting organization may request an appeal or
arbitration using the normal ARIN procedures. In this case, the
original proposer of the experimental activity may be requested to
provide additional information regarding the experiment, its
objectives and the manner of technical coordination, to assist in the
resolution of the appeal.


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