[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoFRe: NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri Mar 7 11:27:19 EST 2008

> at layer 11, i am hearing a lot of noise on the line of 
> "registries desperately trying to assure a continuing income 
> stream," and "amateur
> over- regulators are worse than most markets."  i do not 
> think either is completely true.  but discussions such as on 
> this list are being read by folk who wear different and 
> expensive clothes and they are not impressed.  heck, i am not 
> impressed.  "guns in the hands of children."
>  and guns on which more and more of our economies and 
> societies are increasingly dependent.

Then these layer 11 people should ensure that their legal
and regulatory people get involved in their ARIN relationship
instead of leaving it entirely to the technologists or
clerical administrators who often fill the role today. Not that
they should replace these people, but I get the sense that
not many ARIN representatives have a full dialog within their

>  hint: the grown-up economists i heard earlier 
> this week said a benefit of a market is that it finds "best 
> use" for the goods (not magically, of course).

IP addresses are not goods. It costs money to posess goods because
they consumer space which must be paid for. There is also a risk
involved in possessing goods because they could be stolen by thieves
or destroyed by floods which would cause you to lose your investment.
IP addresses cost nothing to hold onto, and there is no real risk of 
damage or loss of your investment, which is probably less than
$1000 even if you count up all the manpower costs involved in getting
the addresses in the first place.

> bingo!  much of this discussion is about how best to shoot 
> ourselves, as an organization and an industry, in the foot.  
> i suspect we will succeed in killing ourselves as amateur 
> over-regulators, but the guns will be removed from our hands 
> before we do serious damage to the industry.

I agree with the first, disagree with the second. Yes, just about
all the discussion of introducing soft-landing or transfer policies
is an amateur attempt at creating a regulatory regime. But, no
I don't think we will succeed at killing ourselves because I
believe that most of these initiatives will ultimately be 
rejected. Or perhaps watered down so that they fail upon

> from listening to some economic grown-ups early this week, 
> one of the take-aways was that these are not simple issues 
> and even the language we seem to be using is a far from 
> productive.

It's not just the language, it is the perspective from which
these proposals come. It smacks of people playing one of those
civilization building games on a computer where the player has
the powers of God. In the real world, nobody has that kind of 
power, and you cannot attain significant change in a short 
period of time. 

> what it will likely do is bring in the professionals, and i 
> am starting to look forward to that as preferable to all this.

I think that we should take more initiative to invite the professionals
in so that they can educate us. Over time, ARIN has added regular
presentations by legal counsel, and recently an economist. Perhaps
we could also find an expert on the SEC and market regulation,
as well as somebody who could speak about the FCC regulatory

And it wouldn't hurt to look for a university which could
do some cooperative research between their high-speed network 
research people and their economics department, to get a sense
of the real costs of stretching the lifetime of IPv4 and deploying
IPv6 services. 

--Michael Dillon

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