[ppml] Legacy users and ARIN duties

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Fri Jul 27 10:46:20 EDT 2007

In a message written on Fri, Jul 27, 2007 at 09:37:09AM -0400, Cliff Bedore wrote:
> If there is really going to be an IPv6 Internet "real soon now" why the 
> hell does anybody care about getting fees/RSAs from the legacy holders 
> of IPv4 address space after all these years.  The only reason I can 
> think of is that nobody really believes IPv6 is going to happen and all 
> that legacy space (however much that is) is beginning to look more and 
> more attractive as there is less and less available.  People are 
> sharpening their knives at how to carve up the legacy space. 

I think you're right, however I think you may have the wrong target
of your concern.

The impression I get from your e-mail is that you believe the ARIN
community would like legacy blocks under RSA so they can be partially
repossessed (carved up) and handed back out later.

I don't think that's a very likely outcome.  Estimates put the most
optimistic view of such action at extending the life of IPv4 by 2-3
years, which from a policy cycle is about the same amount of time
it would take to pass and implement such a policy.  Quite simply,
it doesn't make sense for the RIR community to take such action on
a grand scale.

However, your concern is right.  Move forward to a time when you
can no longer get IPv4 space from ARIN.  You also can't get it from
your ISP.  It's not hard to envision a legacy /8 holder deciding
to "sell" their /8 as a bunch of small /24's to the highest bidder.
People who can't get their space anywhere else will likely pay.

What's the effect of that on the community?  Well, if one /8 did
that we'd be talking another 65,536 routes in the routing table,
potentially.  If they charged $10,000 per /24 (which if you can't
get it anywhere else as a one time fee seems quite reasonable; that
company will add 655 Million dollars to it's bottom line.

The fear, at the end of the day, is for the routing table.  If ARIN
can't give out blocks of PA space to ISP's, and ISP's can give out
PA space to their customers then people will turn elsewhere.  The
effect is to turn customers who get PA space today into PI space
holders of space they "bought" on the open market.  With only a few
moderate sized block holders doing this it's fairly easy to see the
routing table double from the current 220k routes to 440k routes
in a short period of time, perhaps under a year.  This would greatly
hurt the entire community.

Now, specifically about IPv6.  I don't think the concern is that
it's not going to happen, but that it won't happen in time.  If you
had to pay $10k per /24, there's a lot of economic incentive to
move to IPv6, so people would move.  If the IPv4 routing table
exploded, ISP's would move to IPv6 and then aggressively filter IPv4.
Rather, the concern is simply we're not going to move to IPv6 in
time -- the community seems to be on a crash course to feel some
sort of major pain before they are willing to make the transition.

In fact, I believe what we've walked into is a real life case of
the Prisoner's Dilemma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner's_dilemma

We'd all be better off if we could cooperate, but we can't all trust
each other so that won't happen, so we're doomed to all betray each
other in the hopes of at least finding a equilibrium state.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
Read TMBG List - tmbg-list-request at tmbg.org, www.tmbg.org
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