[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Wed Mar 5 15:42:57 EST 2008


On Mar 5, 2008, at 11:57 AM, <michael.dillon at bt.com> wrote:
> How are you gonna have a market when you start with zero supply
> and then suddenly shift to zero demand when the supply begins to
> appear.

It doesn't appear you've been paying attention.

The discussions about "transfers" are between folks who have IPv4  
addresses and don't need them (the "supply") and those who need them  
but can't get them because the IPv4 free pool has been emptied (the  

In the ideal world, if you had IPv4 addresses and didn't need them,  
you'd return them to the RIR.  Alternatively, you could just turn on  
IPv6 and be done with it.  However, we don't live in the ideal world  
last I checked.

The folks who have IPv4 addresses but don't need them currently have  
no incentive to do anything with those addresses.  If "transfers" were  
liberalized, these folks could have an incentive (e.g., cash,  
services, cattle, whatever) to transfer those addresses to those folks  
who continue to need IPv4 addresses.  If the incentive is high enough,  
folks who have addresses but are using them inefficiently could see it  
in their best interests to increase utilization efficiency and offer  
the recovered address space to those who need it.  On the other side,  
if the cost gets too high to continue obtaining IPv4 addresses, it may  
be easier to justify the costs of migrating to IPv6.

Currently, there are "transfer" policy proposals in 3 RIRs.  They  
range from the APNIC proposal which I would characterize as imposing  
minimal constraint/regulation to the ARIN proposal which I would say  
has maximal constraint/regulation.  From my personal perspective, I  
would imagine the APNIC model could result in attempts by some folk to  
"corner the market" while the ARIN model (in particular, the  
restriction against subdividing) could result in the creation of more  
liberal alternative registries, further eroding the role ARIN plays in  
its role within the addressing community.

Much of the discussion to date has been the equivalent of rearranging  
deck chairs on the Titanic.  IPv4 is sinking.  Fast.  You can create a  
fractal maze in front of people trying to get to lifeboats (the ARIN  
model) or you can facilitate a stampede (the APNIC model).  If the  
goal is to get folks to use IPv6, the APNIC model has certain  
advantages.  If the goal is to encourage the creation of alternative  
registries, the ARIN model has certain advantages.

However, it should be noted that in either case, the core aspect of  
the end result is the same: people are going to be fighting for seats  
on lifeboats and the ship will be on the bottom of the ocean.


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