[arin-ppml] Stepping forward, opening my mouth and removing all doubt about

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Wed Aug 27 12:21:19 EDT 2008

Alain Durand wrote:
> On 8/27/08 11:24 AM, "William Herrin" <bill at herrin.us> wrote:
>> The proponents of a liberalized transfer policy say that the inability
>> to get new address from ARIN will bring a market into being regardless
>> of what ARIN does. It falls to ARIN to determine what the constraints
>> on the market process will be. Should it fail to act, ARIN will lose
>> its relevance as a resource steward and registry. Address assignment
>> will devolve into a poorly documented black or gray market process in
>> which everybody gets hurt.
>> The opponents of a liberalized transfer policy say that everybody
>> should just switch to IPv6 which won't have this problem for many
>> decades. Liberalizing the transfer policy would dilute the urgency
>> behind deploying IPv6 and bring about all the problems the existing
>> transfer policy is designed to prevent, like route disaggregation and
>> hording. Everyone would be hurt by that in the end.
> Then there is also those who say, me included, that a liberalized transfer
> policy will not solve the problem at all. Recent ARIN stats showed that most
> addresses have been allocated in large or very large blocks. This is a
> direct consequence of the market concentration. Other recent data showed
> that what would be potentially available via a liberalized transfer policy
> would mostly be legacy Bs & Cs. Those blocks are simply too small to meet
> the global demand.

OTOH, there are several large companies that have legacy As, which 
currently have no incentive to return them to ARIN.  Many could renumber 
into a /16 or less, using NAT, if only they had the financial motivation 
to incur that cost; ditto for the hundreds of companies sitting on 
multiple Bs that could renumber into a /24 if motivated.  However, that 
still only buys us another year or two at current growth rates...

Plus, I don't hear many folks here being sympathetic to the big ISPs in 
the first place, since they're the ones consuming most of the address 
space and causing problems for the rest of us.  These ISPs have the 
market power to force their vendors to support IPv6, which would trickle 
down to the smaller players, but so far there's been little visible 
motion on that front.  They're the ones that are going to be hit the 
hardest in the coming crunch, given their rates of consumption, so they 
_have_ to go to IPv6 with NAT-PT (or multi-layered IPv4 NAT) in the near 
future.  Once they do, though, they could return most of their IPv4 
space, which would eliminate the address space depletion problem for the 
rest of the community...

There are lots of paths out of this problem, and I'm sure that the 
Internet will keep on working no matter which one we choose.  Transfers 
seem to minimize short-term pain, but forcing a transition to IPv6 would 
minimize long-term pain.  Do we have the guts, as Lincoln did, to 
destroy the Internet in order to save it?  If not, the only option left 
is a liberal transfer policy.


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