[arin-ppml] Q1 - ARIN address transfer policy

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Sat Jun 21 02:07:20 EDT 2008

On Jun 21, 2008, at 12:27 AM, bmanning at vacation.karoshi.com wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 04:21:47PM -0400, Tom Vest wrote:
>> Hi Leo,
>> I think that, purely from a protocol/software standpoint, an
>> individual IPv6 address might be pretty close to substitutable for an
>> individual IPv4 address, if not today then pretty soon.
>> Since your bottom line is revenue/profit, how will you maximize this
> 	Tom,
> 	While I'll agree to the lema that the Internet of today is
> 	not the same as the Internet of last century, I refuse to
> 	beleive that all users/potential users of Internet Addressing
> 	are driven by revenue/profit.
> 	Non-profits, research, government, military, public service
> 	sectors all can and do benefit from equal access to communications
> 	capabilities...   And their use of IP addresses is not driven
> 	by revenue/profit.  Does an open market best serve the needs of
> 	these communities?  Or is the existing needs-based system do a
> 	better job of resource allocation?
> --bill

Hi Bill,

I never said, and I don't for a minute believe, that all current and  
potential address resource users are motivated as you suggest; if I  
did it certainly wouldn't have made much sense to make a plea for a  
"collaborative, cooperative" response, as I did in one message earlier  

Neither did I say (and I do not believe) that who those that are  
"driven" or otherwise subject to market forces/profitability  
requirements are somehow "bad" by virtue of that fact. By itself, the  
fact of one's participation in some market doesn't make you bad, or  
good; it doesn't damn you, or absolve you either.

What I did suggest was that the fact that market forces are irrelevant  
for some Internet resource users won't matter at all, and absolutely  
won't prevent what I described from coming to pass. The only way that  
such users could possibly make any difference is if they happen to  
BOTH (a) directly control a very large share of very popular/critical  
Internet content and services, which they elect to voluntarily,  
promptly, and unilaterally make native IPv6 accessible, AND (b) that  
they can also provide at least gateway-sized PI IPv4 assignments, on  
"reasonable terms", for most/all aspiring new Internet entrants for  
long enough (several years at least, I reckon) to deter others from  
pursuing the completely rational, a-moral, profit-maximizing strategy  
that I outlined. That's why I used the "choose altruism" terminology  
in my long message.

The point about markets is that occasionally they "fail"; for some  
markets it's not even occasional, but now a predictable/cyclical  
phenomenon. The vulnerability of markets to failure generally doesn't  
say anything about the ethical character of market participants, most  
of whom are stuck with whatever circumstances that they confront. No  
doubt "bad" actors sometimes have some contingent role in determining  
the timing, trigger, etc. of a market failure -- but the point is that  
a "good market" is one that cannot be easily (hence frequently)  
perturbed by any participant regardless of their intentions or actions.

While the intentions of most market actors don't really matter all  
that much, the same is not true for those who enjoy the rare luxury of  
being able to define and launch a new market of their own. They -- we  
-- are obliged to consider the consequences of what we set in motion,  
because we do have choices -- many of which will not be available, or  
reversible, or modifiable without great cost by those who have to live  
with(in) that market once it's set in motion.

I'm not even close to being the smartest or most experienced person on  
this list -- am probably much closer to the other end of the spectrum  
-- but I've seen plenty of "strategic behavior" like this both in  
commercial institutions that I've worked for and in others that I've  
worked/interacted with. I know many readers of this list who have seen  
much, much more. If I can figure this out, then it's a good bet that  
many others already have, and that many more will, with 100%  
certainty, as soon as the incentives that a transfer market would  
create actually come into play.

So, to paraphrase Yakov's 1995 Montreal presentation once again, we  
may choose to deny or simply ignore the possible/predictable  
consequences of the forces that we set in motion, but that won't stop  
them from working, or absolve us for the consequences. Ditto failing  
to take any action at all.

I received a couple of offlist responses asking, in effect, when "the  
other shoe is gong to drop." I'll drop one of my own later this  
weekend (fair warning: many of you have already been subjected to it,  
willingly or unwillingly, in Denver or Taipei or Berlin), but I'll be  
even more interested to hear from others how to mitigate if not  
eliminate these risks -- and/or how and why my prediction is flawed. I  
would like (almost) nothing better....



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