[ppml] ARIN IP conservation and FREE IP Addresses

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Sat Oct 6 22:57:37 EDT 2007

Thus spake "Jason Schiller" <schiller at uu.net>
> On Sat, 6 Oct 2007, William Herrin wrote:
>> The "Local Internet Registries" do. If you're a SOHO or hobbyist
>> customer its not unusual to pay anywhere from $10 to $60 per IP
>> address per year for as much as 32+1 static IP addresses.
>> Why should a Regional Internet Registry, one step up the food
>> chain, not charge the LIR's $1 per IP address per year? Fair's
>> fair, right?  They charge the end users per-address so why
>> shouldn't ARIN charge them the same way?
> I would just like to point out that not all ISPs charge for IP
> addresses.  If ARIN added a per IP address charge, then I
> suspect Verizon Business would be temped to charge their
> customers for IP addresses.

The point is that right now, all your (VZB's) new addresses are _free_ from 
ARIN because you use/waste so much of them.  That gives your sales people 
_no_ reason not to give customers as much as they want at no extra charge 
other than the general practice of squeezing them for as much as possible. 
This _is_ used as a competitive tactic -- mega-ISPs will give address space 
to customers at no extra charge as one way to win deals because their 
smaller competitors have to pay up to $5/yr/IP to ARIN (which they have to 
add to the customer's bill, one way or another, unlike you) just to get the 
same space.  Instead of encouraging customers to conserve, a mega-ISP 
encourages customers to waste by giving them free IPs -- which they may 
never even use.  If the mega-ISPs actually paid for their addresses, they'd 
be encouraging customers to conserve like their smaller competitors are 
forced to.

> Charging for IP addresses gives the impression that the
> addresses are property.

There are lots of monthly or yearly services I pay for that do not convey me 
any sort of property rights.  I don't own my phone number, despite paying 
for it for the last 10 years.  It's debatable whether it's even _possible_ 
to own a number, though I'm sure the lawyers would have a lot of fun arguing 
both sides of the point.

> As a result, it leads to the conclusion that the only justification
> required to get said addresses is if one pays enough money.

The NRPM does cover that, but I doubt it's enforced much in practice.  In 
the real world, yes, customers can get as much address space as they're 
willing to pay for.  The problem is that some LIRs the customers are paying 
to get that space from have to pay for it, while others do not (and take 
those fees as pure profit).  Please explain to me how that's remotely 

> The question I have is do we want to limit the use of IP addresses
> based on address utilization or based on the amount of money
> an org is willing to pay for each address?

The utilization requirement still applies.  Requiring payments in addition 
to (not instead of) encourages people to use less than they can justify, 
i.e. conserve.

I'll also note that I have personal experience with at least one mega-ISP 
that insisted on SWIPing a /23 to my company, even though we had our own 
(smaller) PI space and didn't want to use theirs.  They wouldn't have done 
that if they had to pay for that unused PA space.  I won't name them since I 
don't know if they have the same practice today, but it's a perfect example 
of why RIRs giving addresses away for free to certain "special" LIRs is a 
bad idea.


Stephen Sprunk         "God does not play dice."  --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723         "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS        dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking 

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