[arin-ppml] ARIN's Authority - One view (was: Re: LRSA concerns)

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Aug 25 16:25:36 EDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bmanning at vacation.karoshi.com 
> 	ok, so I'm going out on a limb and will posit that properly used
> 	in the new period of coexistance, that IPv4 addresses are -NOT- 
> 	going to be the gating factor - claims of "address scarcity"
> 	be used by those who wish to exploit fear, uncertainty and doubt
> 	into monetary gain, either as a direct party or as a broker.
> when all anyone will ever need is a few addresses to 
> gateway into the increasingly smaller IPv4 world - 
> there will be an abundance of IPv4 space ... 
>(which will still need to be managed/accounted for)

This is one scenario, it may turn out to be true. Indeed, a transfer
market could hasten that result by encouraging the reallocation of
address space to such "gateway" situations. 

> part of your premise seems to be that the purpose/use of IPv4
> will not change.  

Untrue. I am sure that once IPv4 blocks command a price that accurately
reflects their value, and once they can be shifted more easily from
lower valued to higher valued uses, their use will change dramatically.
That is one reason why I favor a more flexible transfers policy. 

If you want to understand what I am trying to tell you, stop thinking
like a techie and start thinking like a policy person. I don't need or
want to predict the precise uses and adaptations that operators will
take. I do want to make sure that those decisions are based on an
accurate assessment of the relative cost of the alternatives. 

> But the use/purpose of IPv4 will change and while there 
> may be some uncomfortable points in a transition/coexistance epoch, 
> the end result will be an abudnance of IPv4 ... which no one will find

> interesting.
> in a nutshell - a possible strategy is to repurpose IPv4.

As a prognostication I find that plausible. 

But who makes the decision to repurpose? Operators or RIRs? Referring to
my just-sent reply to Tom Vest, the issue is not whether a transition is
needed, but where that decision is located and what role the RIRs play
in facilitating it. I'm simply suggesting that given a scarce, legacy
resource that everyone now needs, and an abundant, next-gen resource the
utility of which depends on a massive migration across two incompatible
standards, RIRs need to adopt policies that provide accurate price
signals and which facilitate shifting the remaining ipv4 resources to
their highest and best uses. I'm also suggesting that they refrain from
exploiting their leverage over both resource pools to impose a top-down
transition plan on operators. 

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