[ppml] IPv6>>32

Geoff Huston gih at apnic.net
Tue May 10 15:49:54 EDT 2005

>If we do, then the best course of action is to leave
>well-enough alone. We have shown that it is likely
>to work just find for many decades. In particular,
>Geoff Huston has shown that if there is a future need
>for a revised IPv6 addressing plan, there are lots
>of spare addresses to use for this great renumbering.
>It is premature to be changing the addressing scheme
>when we have so little experience with IPv6. In that
>repsect we simply are not qualified to make these decisions.
>We should leave this decision to the experts. And who
>are those experts? The engineers of the future who
>will have 10-20 years of IPv6 operational experience
>are the experts I am referring to.

At which point the installed base will either be so large that
the problem of inertial mass and potential inequities in distribution
structures will effectively imply that any changes will be extremely
tough (yes, we're visiting this space already in IPv4!), or the installed
base will be insignificant, in which case the entire topic would
be irrelevant. When to consider this is very much a public policy
topic. While there is a temptation to leave well alone, from
a public policy perspective we stand the risk of yet again visibly
creating an early adopter reward and a corresponding late adopter
set of barriers. I suspect that we have already exhausted any
tolerance we may have enjoyed in the past on this type
of behaviour and there is a strong impetus on the part of many
developing populous economies not to see such a precise rerun
of what they would call previous mistakes. This is not an abstract
concept but one where we are already seeing proposals from
the ITU-T to establish an alternative address distribution system
that is based around this particular concern.

In other words you may well believe that this is premature, but others,
for valid reasons, see it as merely timely, while others see
this as an urgent priority.



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