[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu Mar 15 21:52:16 EDT 2007

> OK, John,
>   Then please state here, is it the official position of ARIN
> that the definition of "responsible management of the IPv4 space"
> EXPLICITLY implies the following:
ARIN's official position is that "responsible management of the IPv4
space" is whatever it is determined to be through the ARIN public
policy process.

This process is well documented on the website.  It's also a process
which can be modified if necessary.  In fact, it has been modified at
least once in the time I have been an active participant in ARIN.

Current official policy is documented in the Number Resource Policy
Manual, also available on the ARIN web site.

If you don't like current policy, then, the process for requesting a  
in policy is well documented as stated above.  Follow it, and, propose
a different policy.  It will then be debated according to the process  
if there is community consensus, it will move forward and eventually
become policy.
> 1) That IPv4 space means "all routable IPv4 space on the Internet"
> including that which has not been assigned to a number registry?
IPv4 space means the collection of 32 bit integers (when used as
IP addresses).  However, the portion of the IPv4 space over which
ARIN provides stewardship is limited to that which has been delegated
to ARIN by IANA.
> 2) That ARIN has the authority to revoke either complete or partial
> IPv4 address assignments for reasons other than failure to pay the
> bill for IP registration?
There is no direct simple answer to that question because of the  
categories of addresses under current ARIN stewardship.  In the case
of addresses issued under an ARIN Registration Services Agreement,
generally, yes, there is the authority to revoke an assignment or
allocation.  However, this ability has never been put to a legal test
and it is unclear whether ARIN could prevail in such a suit.  In the  
of legacy assignments and allocations, originally issued prior to the
existence of ARIN, it is even less clear that ARIN has any ability to
revoke them.
> 3) That address assignment criteria EXCLUDES organizations that
> have no need of the addresses for their own network operations,
> or for customers that are connected to their networks?
The address assignment and allocation criteria do not exclude any
organization.  They do limit assignments and allocations to situations
of documented need, as specified in the NRPM.
> My concern is that if condition #2 isn't acceptable, that any proposal
> that aims to extend the life of IPv4 on the Internet is going to be
> quashed.  Because, implicit in the idea of "IPv4 conservation" is  
> going
> to be the idea that some IPv4 addresses that have been assigned in the
> past under certain justifiction that was valid at the time the  
> assignment
> was made, are no longer being used and the justification that was used
> to assign them is no longer valid.
If the community comes to consensus around a policy providing for
#2, then, it will be acceptable at least until such time as the courts
determine otherwise.  OTOH, if the community does not come to such
a consensus, then, there is no policy to support such action.

Currently, there is no policy to support such action.

> I would assume as a given that any organization that has a large
> assignment, or series of assignments, is going to find it easier to
> merely continue to pay the bill then to go to the trouble of  
> inventorying
> what they really are using.  Also, organizations might be  
> uncomfortable
> with having a large contiguous allocation broken into smaller
> contiguous allocations, then having an allocation out of the "middle"
> of the contigious allocations reassigned to someone else.  In other
> words, any attempt to "take back" assignments from organizations
> that are current on their bill is going to be met with resistance
> even if the organization willingly admits they aren't using the  
> numbers
> themselves.
I would say that the number of organizations who have returned
portions of very large blocks over the last 15 years would constitute
empirical evidence that while your first statement may be true, it
is not necessarily true that organizations always choose what is
easy over what is right.

I will virtually guarantee you that any attempt to take back significant
legacy holdings will be met with resistance.  Likely, any attempt to
take back significant holdings will also be met with resistance, but,
at least in that case, there is some level of plausibility that a  
exists which supports the action.


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