[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Thu Mar 15 04:37:49 EDT 2007

> I agree that the proposal as written is far from perfect, to say the 
> least.  I want to get past that, 

You cannot get past that. If this is a global policy proposal then an
identical policy must be passed by each RIR. Therefore, you can't change
the wording of this proposal to fix it. It has to be bounced from the

> I do see that it is possible that ARIN ought to be in position to 
> terminate the distribution of IPv4 space under the term of 
> "stewardship."

That is a real stretch. Stewardship refers not merely to allocating the
space and it also does not mean being frugal with the addresses. It
certainly does not mean being miserly. Stewardship refers to everything
associated with the address space including whois, in-addr.arpa,
maintaining contact with the allocees, fair policies based on justified
need, processes for auditing justified need, etc.

> It is also not ARIN's place to take back resources that are being 
> properly used.

Indeed! When the IPv4 space runs out, it runs out. ARIN also manages a
big chunk of IPv6 space that can be used in place of IPv4 in a growing
number of situations.

> Imagine a day in which a lot of the network outside of the ARIN 
> region is IPv6 and only ARIN is still using IPv4.  We'd have a 
> network ripped in half (well, not 50/50) with our region falling 
> behind the rest of the world (in IPvX).

In my version of this thought experiment, the ARIN region quickly
realized that roughly 90% of their infrastructure was capable of running
IPv6 with only a software upgrade so they did upgrade. Problem solved.

> Imagination running wild - there are 2.3 billion living in the 
> largest *two* nations in the APNIC region.  There are what, 0.4 
> billion in the ARIN region?  50 years from now, where's the center of 
> the Internet going to be?  If now we  feel we are and we are 
> comfortable that we have enough IPv4 and can stand NAT, will the 
> following generations of engineers thank us for standing still when 
> the center has shifted away?

In my version of this thought experiment, I finally got permission to
attend the ARIN meeting 50 years from now after showing my boss my new
certificate of proficiency in Chinese. 

People who indulge in this kind of thinking are generally unilingual and
are unaware of how language issues affect Internet architecture. The
centre of the English language Internet is unlikely to shift. The centre
of the French speaking Internet wobbles between Canada and France. The
centre of the Chinese speaking Internet is squarely in Asia. And so on.

--Michael Dillon

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