[ppml] Address Space versus Routing Slots

Martin Hannigan hannigan at renesys.com
Sun May 7 21:48:54 EDT 2006

At 5:36 PM -0400 05:07:2006, Jason Schiller (schiller at uu.net) wrote:
>On Sat, 6 May 2006, Martin Hannigan wrote:
>>  At 08:17 PM 5/4/2006, David Conrad wrote:
>>  >Hi,
>>  >
>>  >On May 4, 2006, at 7:53 AM, william(at)elan.net wrote:
>>  > > I agree with Michael - IPv6 PI is not perfect but we desperately
>>  > > need such
>>  > > policy to help in adoption of IPv6 in the US - or otherwise we will
>>  > > run
>>  > > out of ipv4 space before majority are ready.
>>  >
>>  >I'm curious: what do people think will happen when IANA allocates the
>>  >last unused /8?
>>  Nothing. The commodity market for IPV4 will move above ground prior
>>  to that and instead of faking asset acquisitions and lying on applications,
>>  we'll see blocks openly traded in commodity or auction markets. Legacy
>>  space will have value and people will exploit that. Real money will
>>  exchange hands.
>>  The registry/registrar mess is a whole lot of fun to watch. Perhaps it
>>  makes sense to work on the conversion now and let the market decide when
>>  it's time for v6 based on value of V4?
>>  -M<
>Not that I disagree, but what will be the impact of the IPv4 commodity
>market in relationship to the routing table and the concepts of good IPv4

Nothing, I suppose. Operators would not be asked to change policies.

You'd add slots, but not at the rate of the feared v6 influx. Operator
routing policy would effectively be an influence on the pricing so
theoretically, operators could squeeze the prefix. This needs more

>First off, it is likely that those with large amounts of legacy will sell
>off small unused chunks of that space.  "So you need a /22 to turn up a
>new customer, and I've got this legacy Class B.  I could sell you the .26,
>.113, .117, and .118 subnets."
>This results in de-aggegragtion and many more specific in the routing
>This also makes the only justification for IP space how much money you
>have.  This means poor companies (or countries) may be left out in the
>cold increasing the digital divide, and spinning up the efforts of
>WSIS and the UN.  It is also possible that rich companys might stockpile
>the  remaining addesses.  What would happen if say Cogent bought up all of
>the remaining space?  Can you see other ISPs hanging out the "no address
>vacancy, please try Cogent" sign?

I don't know that poor people would be up the creek. We don't know
what the pricing would be. Could be. But...

For example, if they want PI, they can go to the commodity market
and buy it. If not, they can pay for PA space from their provider.

It may also go the other way where the price of a legacy /16
isn't worth as much as people think.

Regardless, as the intrinisic value rose, there would be
ample reason to go to a V6 stategy since the amount of
address space alone would theoretically keep prices low enough
for a point of entry of almost anyone.

BTW, our friend Aaron Hughes has an excellent "cheat sheet" on
prefix lengths and recently included v6.


As far as the Internet have-nots, Africa has less than 2% of all
distributed public facing root-servers. The continent with less is
Antartica. (I made a preso related to this last week, as a matter of


Martin Hannigan                                (c) 617-388-2663
Renesys Corporation                            (w) 617-395-8574
Member of Technical Staff                      Network Operations
                                               hannigan at renesys.com

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