[ppml] Definition of "Existing Known ISP"

Edward Lewis Ed.Lewis at neustar.biz
Thu Apr 26 08:42:53 EDT 2007

At 14:03 -0700 4/22/07, Owen DeLong wrote:
>Content-Type: multipart/signed; micalg=sha1; 
>	protocol="application/pkcs7-signature"
>According to Leslie, ARIN staff would like community input on the
>definition of "Existing Known ISP" in the NRPM.
>I would propose that the following definition seems self-evident to me,
>but, I would like to see what others here have to say:
>"An existing, known ISP is any ARIN Subscriber Organization who has
>received an IPv4 allocation from ARIN or an ARIN predecessor which
>now is an ARIN Subscriber Organization."

At 8:51 -0400 4/23/07, Leo Bicknell wrote:

>Perhaps simpler, clearer language would be:
>	Any current resource holder who has a signed RSA with ARIN.

Defining any "insert adjective here" ISP has risen many times in 
different contexts, particularly on the NANOG mail list.  Each time 
the topic has been raised the effort stalls over a concern about 
creating a categorization that runs afoul of someone's legal issues 
with anti-trust, etc.  (I am not pretending to understand the legal 
issue/red herring, I'm just mentioning it because it seems to be the 
end of the effort to categorize ISPs.)

I like Owen's definition because it gets to the core of what is 
important to ARIN - the bar to joining the group is the same bar as 
it takes to get resources.  There is no other secret handshake or ISO 
certification implied.  And, for the purposes of ARIN policy, 
"known/established" to ARIN is what is important, not any other form 
of legitimacy.

What's lacking in Leo's definition is that ARIN does have a different 
policy section for ISPs and for end-users.  Both sign RSA's but the 
policy proposal that (if I recall correctly) prompting the need to 
define "existing known" does differentiate between ISPs and end-users.

The intent is to draw a somewhat restrictive circle around the 
registrants for the purpose of making a definition.  Defining the 
term does not mean that it is a policy, so I don't think it hurts to 
at least define this as tightly as we may need - and then worry 
whether the policy that uses the term does so with the right 

I have in mind too that there were legal council comments encouraging 
the goal of having policy that does not differentiate between ISP and 
end-site, in general, does not classify registrants.  But there are 
places in the policy where a distinction is useful to have.

In summary - I think the start Owen has is on the right track - 
perhaps I would loosen it a bit and tighten it a bit by saying that 
it is any organization that currently has resources from ARIN and has 
(in the past emphasized) received number resources under a policy 
that it qualified it for as an ISP, maintained records, and has 
qualified at least once for additional resources.

By resources, I mean IPv4 and IPv6 ranges, possibly AS numbers.
Edward Lewis                                                +1-571-434-5468

Sarcasm doesn't scale.

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