[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Fri Mar 16 22:46:50 EDT 2007

Thus spake "Ted Mittelstaedt" <tedm at ipinc.net>
>>Nothing is simple when lawyers get involved, and this sort of
>>contract is novel in a variety of ways, so until it's been tested in
>>court, we really don't know how enforceable it is.
> OK so according to this logic since no contract is really valid until
> it's tested in a court, there is no point for businesses to bother to
> sign contracts with each other because none of those contracts
> have been tested in court and so are bogus anyway.

Ah, good ol' reductio ad absurdum...

New contracts are generally based on prior contracts and case law so one has 
a basis to determine how courts will view them.  While I'm sure ARIN's 
counsel has done their best with the RSA, it is unique enough we're really 
not sure what the courts will think of it.  ARIN is still in court over 
their first lawsuit (well, I haven't seen any discussion of a conclusion to 
the case yet) regarding the RSA, so we don't really know what its status is. 
The result could be anything from 100% enforceability to anti-trust or 
restraint-of-trade actions against ARIN.

> Or better yet, businesses should sign contracts then immediately
> break them so they can go to court and have the court rule if the
> contract is valid or not so they can know if it's OK to break it.
> You have been watching too much LA Law on television.

Never saw it.  This is based on discussions with my own attorney regarding 
drawing up personal contracts, negotiating contracts with partners and 
customers at my employer, discussions on this very list regarding the RSA, 

>>All of the address space is either reserved or assigned to an
>>RIR.  The issue is that legacy assignees/allocees(?) are not
>>bound by any contract with their respective RIR that dictates
>>the terms of that relationship.
>>In theory, since there's no contract ARIN has no legal obligation
>>to maintain those registrations, but the community has, to date,
>>felt that there is a moral obligation to maintain them at no cost.
> What exactly do you think "maintaining" something means?
> OK, I'll capitulate.  I agree with you that ARIN should initiate
> processes to reclaim IP addresses from non-contracted address
> space because to not do this would mean that they are failing
> in their duties to maintain such space.
> You cannot have your cake and eat it too, I am sorry to say.

You can't agree with me, because I said nothing of the sort.  ARIN is 
maintaining registrations for legacy space (and for most IPv6 space, for 
that matter) without fees.  They're actively providing a service (if nothing 
more than rDNS in many cases) at no charge because that's what the community 
has told it to do.  Part of the reason the community has made that decision 
is because we're unsure if we have an alternative, but that's not the only 

I would support a policy proposal that directed ARIN to actively try to 
reclaim address space that was no longer in use, regardless of what terms it 
was assigned/allocated under.  I would _not_ at this time support a proposal 
to revoke registrations for space that _was_ being used simply because there 
is currently no fee attached, or to impose a fee on registrations that 
currently do not require one.

Side note: if ARIN _were_ to start charging for services that are currently 
free (including, but not limited to, maintenance of legacy blocks), we would 
need to either lower fees across the board, accelerating consumption*, or 
find new expenses (that didn't violate ARIN's charter!) to offset the 
additional revenue.  Both of these results seem to be of dubious value to 
the community.

>>Then quit arguing about it and submit a policy proposal.
> Someone was complaining a few days ago about policies written
> wth no input.  Now your wanting policies written with no input.
> I guess there is no satisfying people.

Float a draft of _actual changes_ to the NRPM and see what people want you 
to modify in order to gain their support.  Waving your hands saying "the end 
is near!  we need a policy!" is not constructive.

>>Do note that the projections for how long address-reclamation
>>efforts will extend the exhaustion are on the order of six months.
>>That means it'll take us longer to reach consensus and
>>implement the changes than the period of time we'll buy by
>>doing so, meaning we're better off _not_ doing it and instead
>>spending our time figuring out how to get people on IPv6.
> Ah, now the truth comes out.  You want IPv6 and are happy to see
> reclamation efforts on IPv4 fail so it hastens the day for IPv6.

We do not have a choice.  The IPv4 address space _will_ be exhausted, and 
it'll happen in about four years if we do nothing.  The best projections, by 
people who are quite authoritative on the matter, is that reclamation will 
buy us six more months.  If you want to claim, as you did in another 
message, that it'll really buy us 5-10 years, you need to come up with 
better studies and data than we already have.  And we'll be in the same boat 
again after that much time anyways, so we might as well save the effort and 
convert now before we buy/deploy _another_ hundred million routers and PCs.

I don't buy the "all the studies show I'm wrong, but let's try it anyways 
and find out while wasting millions of dollars and putting off our only 
remaining viable option" argument.  But that's just me; float an _actual 
proposal_ and see what others think.


* If one asserts that higher fees would discourage consumption, one must 
also accept that lower fees would encourage consumption.  Either consumption 
is linked to price or it isn't.

Stephen Sprunk      "Those people who think they know everything
CCIE #3723         are a great annoyance to those of us who do."
K5SSS                                             --Isaac Asimov 

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