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

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Wed Aug 27 16:39:10 EDT 2008

Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
>> 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.  
> Please don't use straw men.  If you know of any, cite who they are.

I can't cite specific examples because the details are covered by 
various NDAs that I'm subject to.  I have no desire to be sued into 
bankruptcy by several dozen of the Fortune 100.

If I were putting up a strawman, or proposing a hypothetical scenario, I 
would make that clear.  In this case, I am giving aggregated facts as to 
what I have seen in practice.  You could come to the same conclusion as 
to what is _likely_ by analyzing publicly-available data, but you 
couldn't be sure you were correct without seeing the other side of their 
firewall, as I have.

>> These ISPs have the market power to force their vendors to support IPv6,
> They do and they are.  All major router vendors today support IPv6.  And we are even starting to see IPv6-compliant code in SOHO routers now.  All current Windows, Mac and UNIX os support IPv6.
> Where is this equipment that vendors aren't supporting IPv6 on
> that these big ISP's can apply pressure?

The desktop OS vendors are mostly there.  The big router vendors are 
getting close.  However, the little cable and DSL modem vendors, home 
firewall vendors, etc. are still absent from the game with the exception 
of Apple (kudos!).  As a consumer, I have one DSL option and one cable 
option, and neither will even admit to having plans to roll out IPv6 -- 
ever.  My 3G GSM provider doesn't do IPv6, though at least they'll say 
it's coming at some indeterminate point in the future.  _Any_ of those 
companies could force their vendors to implement IPv6 if they chose to.  
How many millions more modems are they going to buy before they get 
around to marking IPv6 support "mandatory" on the RFP instead of "optional"?

Business-class providers are doing better, but every week on NANOG I 
read responses about how various major ISPs don't do v6, only have it as 
an experimental service, require a second pipe, require special contract 
addenda, don't offer SLAs, etc.  At least in that market, customers can 
choose to change providers; consumers can't, in general.

>> 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...
> If they go to NAT-PT or multilayer NAT it will be for their NEW
> customers, they won't be changing their legacy customers out.
> Doing this will not free up IPv4.

Consumer service is all about cookie cutter designs.  If they do all the 
testing necessary for NAT-PT or multi-layered NAT in one market, they're 
going to roll it out to every customer as their standard solution.  At 
most, they might make non-NAT service a "business class" product and 
charge you five times as much for it, like most already do for static 
addresses.  And why wouldn't they give back all the IPv4 space they 
don't need once they've completed the rollout?  That'd cut down on their 
ARIN fees...

>> 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? 
> WE can't force anything.  When IPv4 runout happens, the most logical
> thing will be for the ISP's to tell BRAND NEW customers that they
> must use IPv6.  This requirement will be SO NOT A PROBLEM for your
> typical Windows Vista user on a cable modem or DSL modem, the
> ISP will simply supply a bridged modem, and the user will plug
> their OS in and be able to surf the web and read e-mail as before.

None of the four major ISPs (any given area has a duopoly, but which two 
varies) where I live will give a "bridged" modem to customers.  They're 
all routers, with no way to turn NAT off.  A firmware update is needed 
to add v6 support, but that same firmware update would get rolled out to 
_every_ customer for support reasons.  You'd need to add v6 in every 
CO/headend for "new" customers to be able to work, so why not enable it 
for "old" ones too?  And, after that, why keep giving the "old" 
customers v4 addresses?


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