[arin-ppml] simple question about money

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Tue Jun 10 17:40:45 EDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> Finally, I do not believe that the price is set at 
> all as a result of routing table slots, but, as a 
> result of ARINs operating costs, reserves planning, 
> etc. and the number of subscribers, end users, etc.
> I do believe that some of the policies on who 
> qualifies for address  space are motivated in part 
> by routing table slots and that the result 
> of those policies may affect the numbers that feed 
> into determining fees, but, I do not believe that 
> the fees are directly tied to that issue.
> Owen

This is an interesting comment. Brian Reid's comment stated that he had
heard from Vixie that the pricing policy was designed to support route
aggregation. And indeed, if the ability of routers to handle route
announcements is a very scarce resource and needs to be conserved, and
if a higher price for portable address assignments helps to conserve
that resource, then few reasonable people would object. 

But if you think that is not the case, it raises a question: how would
one find out what _does_ motivate the pricing policies? Are the economic
assumptions underlying ARIN fees stated anywhere in ARIN documents? Are
there archives of discussions regarding that topic? 

A post by M. Dillon indicated that fees were set by ARIN
members/officers only, which is appropriate enough. However, he also
expressed an opinion that the topic of address fees was off-limits for
the public policy list. I would have to disagree with that. In the
emerging environment of v4 depletion, etc., the fees people pay
(directly or indirectly) for IP addresses will be one of _the_ major
public policy issues for the next five years or so. It will have a major
impact on address conservation, route aggregation, the v6 migration,
etc. Of course, discussion of that issue here does not constitute some
kind of a assertion that fee levels should be set here, but as the
unclear responses to Brian's original question shows, everyone could
benefit from a wider discussion of the relationship between address
utilization and fee structures.

Milton Mueller
Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
XS4All Professor, Delft University of Technology
Internet Governance Project:

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