[arin-ppml] IPv4 is depleted today

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sat Aug 30 12:54:46 EDT 2008

Your long post was a really excellent encapsulation of the kind of
economic trade-offs that many organizations must face. From an economic
point of view, it is absolutely correct that depletion is not a single
event but a process, and that for many organizations the
economic-technical calculus has already crossed the threshold of what
one might call "depletion." 

Your post has two clear implications. One is that any policy regarding
IPv4 depletion should not be contingent on free pool exhaustion but
should go into effect as soon as feasible. The second is that you have
conclusively demonstrated how inapplicable and outdated the whole
business of assigning IPv4 according to "need" has become in these

One could argue that you have more addresses than you need, one could
also argue that you need them. What really matters is how much it costs
to reclaim them, how many opportunity costs you incur by giving them up,
how much it costs to implement technical measures to reduce consumption,
etc. It's not about "need" it's relative need in the context of
cost-benefit tradeoffs. 

And as you suggest, liberalized transfers may or may not make a big
difference in this calculus. But it is clearly an option we should have,
and it clearly could have some benefit. 

For me, liberalization of transfers is no longer a debate about the
merits of that policy itself. It has become a debate about whether the
ARIN community has become so ideologically rigid in its commitment to
"address Marxism" that it cannot adapt to new economic realities. I will
watch the progress of these policies with interest as a kind of
diagnosis of the health of the RIR governance regime. If ARIN and the
others cannot face reality and execute on this matter, it will not bode
well for the future. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net [mailto:arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net]
> Behalf Of David Farmer
[long snip] 
> Personally I think, increased use IPv4 NAT, some kind of transfer
> or forced return of unused resources, will be necessary to extend the
> of IPv4 long enough for us to get IPv6 ramped up.  I think a transfer
> policy will be cleaner than trying to force people to return
> But please don't take that as saying I like those options or that it
is an
> alternative to deploying IPv6, it is just necessary.  

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