[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal: Dedicated IPv4 block to facilitate IPv6 deployment

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Tue Jul 15 19:46:43 EDT 2008

On Jul 15, 2008, at 9:50 AM, Matthew Pounsett wrote:

> On 27-Jun-2008, at 14:26 , Tom Vest wrote:
>> If it wasn't already obvious, I support this proposal.
>> However, I think that the reservation should envision a 20-year
>> transition timeframe, if not longer.
> In discussing this with Alain early on, we talked about how to  
> figure out how large the block should be.  I think a reasonable  
> approach is to look at the growth curve of the number of unique  
> organizations ARIN has, and then project out to whatever horizon we  
> want from there.  It shouldn't be too hard to figure out an average  
> allocation per org under this policy, which should tell us the size  
> of the reserve that's necessary.
>> I am assuming that a resource transfer proposal will advance in
>> parallel, and ultimately versions of both policies may be approved.
>> If that happens, some very risk-averse and/or very windfall-driven
>> IPv4 holders/users may still be tempted to hold out until the  
>> reserved
>> pool too is exhausted. The size of the reserved pool is the only real
>> deterrent to discourage that kind of strategy.
> Agreed.  I hadn't really considered this impact to transfers, but it  
> certainly seems plausible... so setting the horizon a long way out  
> seems like a good idea to me.
> Matt

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the reply.
You should consider this to be the *single most important and  
influential factor* that will impact transfers, hands down.

For example, if you think that only fringe elements are placing their  
bets on no IPv6, ever, then I commend to your attention:



I've looked (and inquired directly) to see if this is still the  
Renesys view; absent any evidence of a change of  positions I assume  
that it is.
Of course one could produce many op-eds and presentations that  
champion the opposing view, including a few authored by equally  
knowledgeable and well-connected sources. However, this alone should  
make it plain enough that there's a credible commercial message and a  
receptive commercial audience of some size for opinions, advice --  
maybe even strategies and tools (note: this latter bit is purely  
speculative) -- that build on the assumption that IPv6 will remain a  
non-starter, permanently.

So, to clarify and reaffirm my position on this policy, I believe that  
it will create a tension between the goal of extracting maximum rents  
from legacy IPv4 resources (the "just business" default assumption),  
and the goal of maintaining openness to new entrants -- which is good,  
since if a resource transfer policy moves forward without any  
accompanying policy like this, then the most likely outcome is no new  
entrants, no problem! However, that tension could lead to a kind-of  
waiting game, with incumbent IPv4 holders who cannot command a price  
that they will accept choosing instead to hold onto all of the IPv4  
that they have or could decommission until the reservation is  
exhausted and the price of  IPv4 is unbounded.To the degree that that  
happens, then of course the whole goal of the resource transfer  
proposals -- to create a liquid supply of IPv4 address space for  
whatever future awaits -- could be undermined or thwarted entirely.

The best way to mitigate that risk while keeping the industry open and  
the antitrust intervention risk low would be to make the reservation  
large enough so no one could imagine holding out long enough to enjoy  
that unbounded price opportunity.

A /8 per RIR would have a nice symmetry. It would leave the developing  
regions especially well stocked for new entrants if IPv6 is ultimately  
rejected. In the more advanced industrial regions, where the  
aforementioned strategic considerations are more important, a /8  
should suffice to deter all but the most patient and determined would- 
be price maximizers.

Actually, once the substance of this policy is solidified, I would  
strongly encourage the AC to consider revising 2008-2 so that it  
*incorporates* the text.... Think of it as an earmark for the "future  
network operators" special interest ;-)


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