[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

Scott Leibrand sleibrand at internap.com
Fri Mar 7 00:31:02 EST 2008

Michael Smith wrote:
> Hello Scott:
> On Mar 6, 2008, at 8:29 PM, Scott Leibrand wrote:
>> 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 update out-of-date contact information, and will prompt a number of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 think that the legacy holders with a sense of the Internet "community' 
> have already returned, or are in the process of actively returning their 
> unused space.  I don't think we should even worry about the rest of 
> those folks because I can't think of a single reason it is in their best 
> interests to return their space, given the present state of ARIN policy.

I didn't say anything about community-minded legacy holders returning 
space to ARIN.  I was talking about profit-minded legacy holders 
contacting ARIN to update their records and sign legacy RSAs, so they 
could then turn around and transfer some of the IPv4 addresses they hold 
to parties needing (and willing to pay) for them.

>> 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.
> If a consortium is formed of the holder of legacy space, in particular, 
> then supply will be regulated by the consortium, not by market forces.  
> Then, if they're smart, they will regulate prices to the highest level 
> the market will bear and sell them off a bit at a time.  Think OPEC.

That's a mighty big *if*.  Generally suppliers in markets compete rather 
than collude, particularly when the number of suppliers is large, and 
each supplier controls a small fraction of supply.  Those conditions are 
both met in this case: no address holder controls more than 1% of the 
IPv4 addresses, and there are thousands of different holders who might 
participate in the market.

> <rant>
> The only way to make any of this a moot point is to make IPv4 irrelevant 
> because IPv6 is fully embraced by the community.  One way or the other, 
> ARIN will lose control of the IPv4 space, whether by natural deprecation 
> in favor of IPv6 or by continuous end-runs around ARIN policy through 
> legal and illegal means.  Unless ARIN wants to spend a large portion of 
> its budget in legal battles my guess is there is not very much we can do.

I think everyone is fully in favor of making IPv4 irrelevant through 
widespread adoption of IPv6.  It's just a question of how quickly that 
can happen, and how we can make the transition less painful and costly 
for everyone involved.  I believe that a transfer policy is necessary to 
get us from here to there as smoothly as possible.

> I know that ARIN says that they/we don't support one protocol over 
> another, but it seems to me that we spend an inordinate amount of time 
> working on policies that continue to buttress IPv4 with no comparative 
> policies in "support of" IPv6.  If ARIN doesn't support IPv6 then who 
> will?  If we don't make the ARIN community believe IPv6 is coming and 
> that ARIN is more concerned with promoting IPv6 than trying to breath a 
> little extra life into IPv4 then who will?  It seems to me that the 
> policy direction seems to be overly concerned with the latter.
> </rant>

I think the reason you don't see much policy work on IPv6 is that there 
aren't a lot of problems with IPv6 policy.  Since there's no shortage of 
IPv6 addresses, we have the liberty of a very liberal IPv6 policy, 
providing huge blocks of addresses to just about any applicant who asks.

If you can identify any policy areas where ARIN could better support 
IPv6, please share them.  I for one believe we've addressed all the 
issues identified to date.


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