[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown

Tony Hain alh-ietf at tndh.net
Wed Mar 14 19:38:19 EDT 2007

David Conrad wrote:
> ....
> > Eventually this will resolve itself as
> > people realize the machines they have are capable of IPv6, some
> > services
> > will offer IPv6 access forcing others to follow suit or loose
> > eyeballs, at
> > which point the only ones that will even be aware of IPv4 or care
> > are those
> > that just refuse to evolve.
> I'm not sure I follow this.  Services would lose eyeballs if they
> were IPv6-only so any IPv6-only site will need to have some mechanism
> to communicate with the vast majority of the Internet that only has
> IPv4.  

I was not suggesting IPv6-only service. 

> Since IPv4 will not be available (thus breaking the base
> assumption of the "dual stack" transition strategy), the only option
> I see is NAT.  Since you're already doing NAT, why bother deploying
> IPv6?

The model I didn't do a very good job of explaining is:
Pool exhausts
   - watches Ebay & calculates probable cost for adding new customers 
   - charges existing customers that much so everyone gets 'equal' service
   - revenue from existing customers is used to acquire space for adding new
Random Web site
   - adds IPv6 access anticipating customer reaction
   - sees the cost of remaining on IPv4 at contract renewal
   - notices IPv6 is in their products & works with Random Web site no
matter what ISP offers
   - chooses to opt out of IPv4 to reduce cost
Other Web sites 
   - recognize that traffic is dropping while Random is reporting higher
   - figure out that IPv4 costs are causing Customer to change behavior &
add IPv6

> Given inertia and your observation of human nature, it would seem a
> likely outcome of the impending IPv4 free pool runout will be a vast
> swamp of IPv4 NAT end points, interconnecting and interconnected with
> private networks (either IPv4 tunneled through IPv6 or RFC 1918 space).
> Blech.

Well that will be the endpoint if there is no cost bias to cause the
consumer to switch before we get there. It is not in IANA or the RIR's power
to cause cost biases. Education is something that can be done, but some
consider that to be 'publicity'. I have been out telling everyone I meet
about the exhaustion event, because I agree with Geoff that the responsible
thing to do is keep everyone informed. If people are 'surprised' by the
exhaustion event there will be political backlash targeting the IANA/RIR
structure as being incompetent. Yes at some point that awareness will lead
to a run on the bank, but I care less about the impact to the dead-end IPv4
than I do about the long term management of IPv6. 


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