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

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Fri Jun 20 12:09:17 EDT 2008

> 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.
The policy proposal talks about IANA freepool exhaustion, not ARIN
freepool exhaustion.  The thinking was that would prime the pump
prior to ARIN runout, but, not too early so as to create other problems.

When we started the process of developing this policy, I regarded
the ability to do these kinds of transfers as a potential necessary
but undesirable thing that would have to be tolerated during
the post-runout and pre-ipv6 time gap.

Having observed all of the discussion and attempts to tweak the
policy to avoid speculators, gaming the system, etc., and also
believing that this policy has the strong potential to create
a class system that I consider highly undesirable on the
internet, I have become more and more convinced that there
is no way to implement such a policy without doing more
harm than good.

As such, I, personally am of the opinion that we should simply
live with the existing mechanism until there are no addresses
to allocate/assign and then move to IPv6 for all future allocations
or assignments from ARIN.

I do not take this lightly, nor do I necessarily expect this to be
a popular opinion widely shared by my colleagues (although
I hope they will eventually come to similar conclusions).
However, I see a trading market in address space as having
a great potential to change the characteristic of the internet
in very harmful ways.

I do not believe that allowing address space to flow only to
those with the greatest financial resources is in the best
interests of the internet.  That is one predictable outcome
of an address trading market.

I do not believe that speculation will improve the distribution
of IP addresses, but, I do not believe a market without
speculation/speculators is possible without burdensome
regulations which make the market somewhat impractical.

I question ARINs ability to enforce such regulations, and, I
expect that there would be a constant struggle against these
regulations in the policy process until the controls were eroded
and a speculative market evolved.

I think that the subprime mortgage and oil futures markets are
examples of how professionally regulated markets fail
to do the right thing, and I cannot imagine that we will
somehow miraculously do better than the regulators in
those markets.

Finally, I do not believe that this proposal has very much
potential to do actual good.  I do not believe that the amount
of address space which would be made available by
enacting this policy proposal will make a significant
difference in the date at which IPv4 scarcity becomes a
serious problem, and, I don't see the market as making
much in the way of resources available to the community
until people start to turn down their IPv4 networks after
having migrated to IPv6.  By then, the lack of IPv4
addresses will be virtually irrelevant anyway.


More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list