[ppml] Address Space versus Routing Slots

Geoff Huston gih at apnic.net
Thu May 4 22:15:06 EDT 2006

>The reason I asked the question is that it sometimes appears that  
>folks assume the Internet will grind to a halt when the last v4 /8 is  
>allocated so we must deploy IPv6 at all costs.  I would be curious to  
>see what people think.  In particular (and in keeping with the  
>charter of this mailing list), I would be interested in hearing what  
>the public policy implications are of events of v4 free space  
>depletion (at 11:11 GMT Dec 12, 2012 I assume :-)).

I had asked those questions at the RIPE open policy meeting last year, 
and also at the ARIN meeting where there was a round table on this topic.

What appears to be obvious (well obvious to me at any rate) is that at 
the time when an RIR can no longer meet allocation demands via 
provision of unallocated address space (i.e. the RIR "runs out") then the 
current policy framework also reaches its current end point.

Exhaustion of the IPv4 unallocated address pool does not imply complete
unavailability of IPv4 address resources to industry players. i.e. the
exhaustion of the unallocated IPv4 address pool does not appear to imply a
forced IPv6 conversion onto the industry at that point in time

There is reason to believe that the Internet industry will continue to use
IPv4 as a base protocol well after this IPv4 unallocated address pool
exhaustion date comes and goes. This raises a number of considerations,

a) market-related considerations

   In the absence of the imposition of specific external control functions,
   a conventional economic response would be the emergence of various forms
   of trading markets in address resources. In conventional markets
   scarcity tends to operate as a pricing premium factor. Market behaviours
   would then imply an entirely different behaviour in terms of IPv4
   address distribution functions. Release of current address holdings
   based on conversion to address compression technologies could come into
   play within a market-based pricing dynamic.

   The policy questions such a market dynamic would appear to raise
   include: What form of market regulation would be appropriate? How would
   it be applied? Who would apply it? Why would it be useful to have?

   From a "network integrity" perspective it may also be useful to
   consider: How can we preserve address utility (the integrity of address
   uniqueness) in an environment of market-based trading?

   Is the emergence of such markets Good or Bad? Avoidable or Inevitable?
   Appropriate or Inappropriate? Fair or Unfair?   Are there any practical
   alternatives for the industry? How would address trading markets be best
   supported? Would such markets be regulated? How? What is the RIR role in
   such an environment?

b) RIR policy considerations

   In the area of RIR Allocation Policies, there are the policy-related
   questions of: What is the threshold point where the application of
   different IPv4 address allocation policies may be appropriate? Or is “no
   change” a wiser course of action? Or should the RIRs establish
   “strategic reserve address pools? Why?

c) broader considerations

   What about “Equity”, “Affordability”, “Fairness” of access to address
   resources at a global level? And in what venue are such concerns best
   expressed? And how would they be expressed within the overall model?

Overall I suspect that all these boil down to:

   What are most appropriate address management policy measures that will
   support the continued well-being of the global Internet and its users?

   And when will they be needed?

The above are my personal opinions, of course.



More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list