[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

Scott Leibrand sleibrand at internap.com
Thu Mar 6 23:29:25 EST 2008

Tom Vest wrote:

> Now the "real world" answer. If RIR-rooted sidr is universally adopted 
> and continues to be used by all RIR members, then for as long as that 
> remains true it's possible to imagine that non-compliant transactions 
> between two RSA signatories might have "consequences." It's much harder 
> to imagine what consequence noncompliance could possibly have in any 
> other context (e.g., legacy -> RSA, RSA -> legacy, legacy -> legacy). Do 
> you think that legacy and non-RSA signatories will forebear from 
> advertising or selling address space to "unqualified" RIR members for a 
> little extra? What would prevent them from doing so?

I think the main reason legitimate transfers (ones recognized by the 
recognized authority on who holds a resource, the RIR) will be favored 
by most potential participants due to the reduced risk of using such a 
system.  For example, if I need IPv4 space after exhaustion, I could 
either go to ARIN, demonstrate to them that I need the space, and have 
access to a centralized listing service of transferors, all of whom ARIN 
has vouched for as being the legitimate holders of the addresses they're 
transferring.  Or, I could go to some other black market, where I have 
no assurance that the organization I'm "buying" the addresses from is 
the legitimate holder of those addresses, and that they haven't or won't 
"sell" the same addresses to someone else in addition to me.  I also 
have no way to update the authoritative registry if I "buy" the 
addresses on the black market, and therefore I have a harder time 
demonstrating (to my ISP or more importantly my customers) that I have 
any legitimate claim to the space.

> I think whois provides a good benchmark. Most people seem to think that 
> the quality of whois is fairly low. Most would say that data quality 
> (completeness + accuracy) is substantially higher among current RSA 
> signatories, but low among legacy resource holders (with a few 
> giant/obvious exceptions). Setting aside for a moment the "actual 
> facts", why do people believe this? Assuming that the facts largely bear 
> this out, I would reckon that the gap between actual and "perfect" data 
> quality, and the delta between RSA signatories and legacies provides 
> some indication of the *max upper threshold* of compliance that one 
> might realistically expect. After all, when the cost of compliance is so 
> very low, but many people still decline to go along, then how much lower 
> is it going to be when the stakes are very very high?

I think that a legitimate transfer market will actually result in a 
large improvement in the quality of records reflected in whois.  In 
order for an address holder to transfer addresses, they'll first need to 
demonstrate to ARIN that they are the legitimate holder of those 
addresses (through documentation of their relationship to the original 
recipient listed in whois), and then sign an RSA or legacy RSA.  I 
anticipate that this will prompt a large number of resource holders to 
update out-of-date contact information, and will prompt a number of 
legacy holders to sign legacy RSAs.

> I'll wrap by simply stating that even if all of the above proves to be 
> wrong or fixable, and the market works "perfectly" but effectively 
> prices aspiring new entrants out of the industry, then I believe that 
> would be grounds enough to reject it.

I don't anticipate that a market will price out new entrants.  In fact, 
I favor the transfer policy proposal precisely because it provides an 
avenue for new and growing networks who need IPv4 space to get it after 
free pool exhaustion.

In my opinion, the supply curve for IPv4 addresses will be somewhat 
elastic, meaning that as the price goes up many IPv4 address holders 
will begin to free up IPv4 addresses and make them available.  Demand 
will be elastic as well (quantity demanded will go down as the price 
increases), but I think supply will be more elastic than demand simply 
because there are so many netblocks out there already, so address 
conservation efforts will have more effect on freeing up supply to be 
transferred than on reducing the demands for new space.


More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list