[ppml] Free Market

Jonathan Barker jonathan at qx.net
Sat Aug 25 10:17:50 EDT 2007


I have a proposal. In an earlier e-mail someone made mention of the word 
'oil'. IPv4 addresses are like oil, in that it is a finite resource, and 
one day... we will run out. The way our economic markets handle this is 
simple. Increase the price of oil. Allow economic demand to set the 
price, and as the price of oil increases, other, often environmentally 
friendlier technologies take hold.

What if we increased the price of new ipv4 allocations, across the board 
- and altered the current pricing scheme, such that those with legacy 
/8s pay what they are truly worth. This would be an incentive for those 
who have large volumes of unused space just sitting there to get rid of 
it, but also allow growth and use for those who are willing to pay for 
it. IPv6 prices, of course, remain forever at rock bottom.

If you inserted economics into it - you might see some large blocks 
being returned. I know of one ISP here in Lexington that has 130,000 
legacy IPv4 addresses. They use... maybe 2000. In fact, if Arin were to 
turn down a request for me - they'd be my first stop. I'd buy a t-1, 
with a /19 attached. I can't use the T-1 of bandwidth - but I'd 
certainly advertize the space out my Gig-E or OC12 links. That is an 
example of what some of us have to do to get additional IPv4 space in a 

I know starting up, we had to get our address space from upstreams. When 
we'd cancel an upstream... .renumbering time! Now that we have ARIN 
space, we don't have to do that - but if ARIN can't assign it - I'll 
certainly 'buy' it from someone else using the method detailed above. 
Paying monthly for "bandwidth" but actually for IP space.

So, one way or another when IPv4 becomes scares, restricted or 
unavailable, the market will handle it. Why not shift the burden now 
onto those who hold all those massive allocations, and use ARIN to 
regulate the price of IP space.

Maybe we should even be fair about it, and charge a fee for each and 
every address assigned by Arin. I'd be happy with 30 cents, per IP 
address, per year. That would be a nice incentive for those who don't 
use their space, to return it. It would also speed the switchover to 
IPv6, by inserting an economic incentive to do so. That's my 30 cents.


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