[arin-ppml] Q1 - ARIN address transfer policy: why the trigger date?

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Fri Jun 20 11:39:34 EDT 2008

Milton L Mueller wrote:
> Let's start with a fairly simple question. The ARIN proposal says that
> the transfers it authorizes only start "when IANA allocates its last
> unallocated unicast IPv4 address block." What is the economic rationale
> for this? 
> If I have too much address space now, and someone else wants it, what is
> the social benefit of requiring me to wait for IANA's "last unallocated
> unicast ipv4 address block" to be dropped? 

I see no social benefit to that, and see some benefit to not having that 

The thinking goes, AIUI, that people are supposed to be returning unused 
space today for free, but it doesn't matter so much if they don't.  
After exhaustion, it will matter much more, so we will allow financial 
incentives to get them to do so.

However, with the possibility of that financial incentive tomorrow, who 
in their right mind would voluntarily return space today for free?  If 
we start allowing folks to put their blocks on the market now, even if 
there is no demand yet, then we prime the pump for when ARIN no longer 
has any "free" space to hand out and the demand suddenly materializes.  
We may also get a preview of what the market price is, which may provide 
interesting input to the policy process to fine-tune things before 
crunch time hits.


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