[ppml] Definition of "Existing Known ISP"

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Mon Apr 30 10:06:32 EDT 2007

Thus spake "Michael Hertrick" <m.hertrick at neovera.com>
> I think that today's definition of ISP not not limited to user access,
> transit, and backbone services as it once was.  Companies
> providing web hosting and co-location services should be
> considered ISPs.  For that matter, there are also companies that
> call themselves ASPs, Application Service Providers, that have
> the same Internet number needs as ISPs.  I suppose that an ASP
> is an ISP even though the inverse is not necessarily true.  There
> are undoubtedly many Internet related services that would
> constitute a company's recognition as an Internet Service Provider.
> Does the ARIN staff acknowledge that?

I've heard comments to that effect.  I've also heard comments that
such folks often claim they're _not_ ISPs because getting direct
space as an end-user org is much easier than as an ISP.

I think that the common definition of ISP is pretty clear.  However, I think 
that referencing "ISP" in the v4/v6 policy in the first place is
inappropriate.  The v4 policy should be modified to say "LIR" everywhere it 
currently says "ISP".  That allows non-ISP LIRs, such as ASPs, web hosters, 
colo houses, etc. who meet the requirements for a direct allocation to 
become LIRs and get all the same services as ISPs.

Also, I would propose that an LIR is any organization that sells some sort 
of IP connectivity and whose assignments to other orgs are _other than_ 
incidental to their business (for instance, McDonald's assigning space to 
its stores is incidental to selling burgers, therefore they shouldn't be an 

> In response to the numerous recommendations that IPv4 has
> some influence on the IPv6 policies, I think that the definition of
> "existing, known ISP in the ARIN region" needs to remain
> somewhat ambiguous.

In contrast, I think it's completely broken because it's _not_ ambiguous. v6 
policy doesn't reference ISPs at all except in that bullet point. However, 
since v4 policy currently talks about ISPs and not LIRs, it's hard to fix 
the v6 LIR qualification policy until the v4 policy is fixed.

In the meantime, current v6 policy clearly says one must be an "existing, 
known ISP" to become a v6 LIR under that rule, and unfortunately that's what 
our answers to Leslie must be based on.  Proposals welcome.

[ Of course, one doesn't need to be an "existing, known ISP" if one has a 
plan for making 200 assignments within five years. ]


Stephen Sprunk      "Those people who think they know everything
CCIE #3723         are a great annoyance to those of us who do."
K5SSS                                             --Isaac Asimov

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