[ppml] Is the time for conservation over?

Michael.Dillon at radianz.com Michael.Dillon at radianz.com
Mon Oct 27 08:54:45 EST 2003

One area of address policy that is fairly consistent world-wide is the
view that IPv4 address space is scarce and that the policy must
be conservative, i.e. the policy must make conservation of IPv4
addresses a high priority.

I don't think that's true anymore. 

On the one hand, we have IPv6 deployed commercially in 3 of the
4 policy regions (Europe, AsiaPac, America) which indicates a continuing
trend toward a future time where IPv6 service will be almost as 
easy to find as IPv4 service. On the other hand, the worst possible 
outcomes discussed when CIDR was first deployed are not going
to happen. For instance there was a fear that the People's Republic
of China might want 1/4 of the IPv4 space because they have 1/4
of the planet's population. This has not happened and is now quite
unlikely to happen.

Therefore, I believe that all the RIRs should jointly do some research
to establish a prudent date at which IPv6 will be considered to have
reached critical mass so that there will be a significant migration of
users from IPv4 to IPv6. Once we set our sights on this date we should
set aside a certain amount of buffer in the IPv4 space, and then design 
our policy to consume the rest of the IPv4 space, not to preserve it.
At the same time, this policy shift should be presented as part of
a global IPv6 migration strategy because that is what it is. 

In addition, I don't see any good reason to wait until LIRs come and ask
for IPv6 space. It's not scarce and the vast majority of IPv4 LIRs will
be deploying IPv6 sometime. So why don't we just give every single
one of them an IPv6 /32 today. Instead of creating barriers to the 
of dual v4/v6 networks as we are today, we should be facilitating the
operation of dual v4/v6 networks. We need to create an environment
in which the end user can choose whether to use v4 or v6 rather than
constraining the end users with our v4-centric regulatory bureaucracy.

--Michael Dillon

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