[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Tue Mar 20 14:05:23 EDT 2007


On Mar 19, 2007, at 3:24 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>> You seem to have a view that there is a responsible adult who can
>> make the hard decisions.  That entity does not exist.
> That isn't true.  There is always a "responsible adult" lurking around
> out there, you just want to stick your head in the sand and ignore
> it.

Not really (since I have to deal with them fairly regularly).

> That "adult" is called the government, and it's form is of the
> various legislatures and courts and dictators out there who run
> things in the world.

As Owen pointed out, it isn't "the government" and therein lies some  
of the problem.

> You seem to think that these governments don't give a hoot if we
> all botch up this IPv4 thing and end up with a train wreck on the
> Internet because nobody stepped forward and implemented the hard
> decisions.

Not at all.  There are inter-governmental organizations that are  
likely already rubbing their hands gleefully at the direction the  
existing address allocations mechanisms are heading.  Of course, the  
individual governments associated with those IGOs all have their own  
agendas, very few (if any) of which have any consideration of "for  
the good of the Internet".

> I can tell you they do.  If we don't do it, they will, with  
> legislation.
> And the results will not be pretty.  That is what happened to the
> DNS ssytem.  Do you want a repeat?

Which government passed legislation to make hard decisions on the DNS  

> What do you think the likely outcome will be if a large network  
> with many
> very rich online porno customers needs more numbers and makes a  
> request of
> ARIN and is denied because there are no more IPv4 numbers?
> a) they will tell their customers "sorry no more servers"
> b) they will just grab a random IPv4 block allocated to someone else
> that they don't think is being used.

c) they will purchase address space on the {black,grey,white} market,  
passing the cost on to their customers.

d) they'll cannibalize their own internal infrastructure addressing,  
perhaps renumbering their internal infrastructure to IPv6 (in some  
version of "the best possible world"), passing the cost on to their  

e) everybody will magically switch over to IPv6 and live in peace and  
happiness forever more.

I'm guessing (c) & (d).  I doubt they'll do (b) as the owners of the  
address space the network has just stolen will undoubtedly have their  
own lawyers.

In the end, I suspect what you'll see is a much more address- 
efficient use of IPv4.  The implication of this, of course, is a much  
less routing-efficient use of the address space, with whatever that  


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