[ppml] IPv4 address exhaustion policy

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Mon Feb 5 03:48:09 EST 2007

Some folks in APNIC are proposing an IPv4 exhaustion policy which can be
read here:

The document contains language that suggests they will attempt to ram
the same policy through ARIN and other RIRs since they seem to think
that IPv4 exhaustion must be managed with one global coordinated policy.
Even a quick read of the policy shows flaws such as the ridiculous
assumption that if IPv4 addresses are not available, people will use
IPv6 instead. This may in fact be true in the APNIC region, but I
suspect that in the ARIN region this will lead to increased use of NAT
and "borrowed" address ranges such as DOD stuff. 

One objectional proposal is that IANA should hold "some" /8 blocks in
reserve, thus bringing the exhaustion event to an earlier date.  Another
problem is that they suggest delaying policy to deal with recycling
addresses. Since recycling addresses will mitigate the problem of
exhaustion, this again attempts to create a crisis earlier than it would
naturally occur.

My position is that IANA should do nothing new. When they have given up
the last available /8, that's it. After that it is up to the RIRs to
manage their allocations. The only area where IANA might do something
different is to encourage the DOD to give back their allocations that
they don't use on the public network. ARIN's main job is to come up with
a clear and public policy on address recycling similar to that used by
the telephony network. If you cease to use a telephone number, the
network operator will hold it unused for a certain period of time, and
then reissue it to another subscriber. ARIN should have a similar
recycling policy for IPv4 addresses.

--Michael Dillon

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