[ppml] Policy Proposal: Decreasing Exponential Rationing of IPv4 IP Addresses

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Thu Aug 23 18:40:29 EDT 2007

On 23-aug-2007, at 20:43, Dean Anderson wrote:

>> The main reason is because its premise is flawed: the policy supposes
>> that making sure we don't run out of IPv4 address space the next 10
>> years is better than the situation where we do run out.

> I find it curious that people think that the effect of rationing (a
> temporary stop) is somehow worse than a permanent stop.

Allow me to direct your attention to the "frog in a pot of boiling  
water" metaphor. If you throw the frog in the water when it's already  
boiling, the frog immediately jumps out. However, if you put the frog  
in the water when it's still cool and then slowly increase the  
temperature, the frog's reflex to avoid heat never kicks in and it's  
boiled alive.

Stretching IPv4 only means that people will delay the move to IPv6,  
increasing the duration of the non-optimal period where it's hard or  
impossible to get enough address space. By giving address space out  
as long as we can we delay the start of this period, by completely  
running out (well, whatever that means) people are very much  
encouraged to move to IPv6, bringing the end of the painful period  

> So you think we shouldn't turn down any request ever?  All requests
> should be fullfilled under that notion. Obviously, we are already
> turning down requests.

Well, if this were 1993 that might have been an option, but we've had  
restrictions for the past decade that seem fairly workable, so let's  
keep those and not get more severe ones

>> Also, the policy doesn't describe a workable practice for the ARIN
>> staff.

> This happens whether rationing occurs or not, because exactly the same
> thing happens when there are only 4 million addresses left.

My assumption of what would happen when we run out (in the absense of  
new policies) is that if a request comes in for more address space  
than is available, the request is denied A request for a smaller  
amount of address space that can still be accommodated would be  
honored. If you want your policy to work like that, you should say  
that in the proposal.

>> And the benefits of gaming the system increase astronomically, so
>> "address request fraud"  will become much more common.

> But this happens anyway, rationing or not rationing. Hoarding isn't
> caused by rationing, its caused by resource exhaustion.  However,
> rationing helps fight hoarding because they have to come back and show
> actual usage.

With rationing, there are opportunities to try again, with running  
out, when you're done, you're done. In my opinion, hoarding isn't  
possible to harmful degrees with simply running out because only the  
organizations that already use large amounts of address space will be  
able to get large amounts of address space, so the address space is  
going to end up with those organizations whether they try to hoard or  
not. The only issue would be some organizations trying to hoard while  
others play by the rules.

>> As I said, rationing IPv4 addresses is a bad idea. But if the
>> community wants to do it, there are better ways.

> Without an alternative proposal, its pretty hard to suppose there are
> better ways.

I don't want to give people bad ideas.  :-)

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