[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown

Scott Leibrand sleibrand at internap.com
Tue Apr 3 21:35:52 EDT 2007

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> The one thing that I have come even more firmly into belief though
> after reading all of this discussion is that it will be a huge mistake
> if IPv6 adoption by the Internet core is not done before IPv4 address
> runout, but instead was done months or years after IPv4 runout as
> a result of political/economic pressure.
> In other words, we can have it the easy way or the hard way.
> The easy way would be to get agressive about IPv4 reclamation now,
> which would push back the deadline for IPv4 runout.  Then after a
> year or so of more agressive reclamation, then set a IPv4 end-date
> that all RIR's agree would be the actual end of addresses (with the
> understanding that this is nothing more than a best-guess).  Then
> set a conversion date that would be 6 months before that date, of
> conversion of the global BGP table to IPv6.
That doesn't seem very easy to me...  :)

> The hard way would be to do nothing until the actual end of IPv4
> allocations, then see if the free market will step in and do some
> sort of IPv4 brokering thing, then let the Internet's global
> BGP table sort of morph/evolve into an IPv4/IPv6 table then
> eventually become all IPv6.
I'm not so sure this is worse.  We already have a BGP table slowly 
morphing and evolving into an IPv4/IPv6 table.  With use of tunneling 
technologies like 6PE (IPv6 at the edge running over MPLS in the core), 
it doesn't even look all that painful for the network operators.  I 
think the bigger barrier to IPv6 adoption is the work required to get 
everything else (from the NSP edge to the LAN) working as seamlessly 
with IPv6 as it does with v4.

I would agree that prudent policies to deal with impending IPv4 
exhaustion are a good idea.  But I don't think we're headed for a train 
wreck, a falling sky, or any other similar catastrophe.  An economic 
adage I heard once is appropriate here: If a trend is unsustainable, it 
won't be sustained.
> In the absense of political will or agreement for the former the
> latter is what is going to happen by default.  The sad thing is that
> it seems like a lot of people WANT the latter to happen.
I think that's because people aren't looking for a catastrophe, they 
just believe from experience that in a free market economy, shortages 
are seldom catastrophic, so there's not as much urgency to solve the 
problem in advance as there might otherwise be.


More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list