[ppml] Markets, pricing, transparency, 2008-2 / 8.3.9

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Tue Mar 18 21:58:02 EDT 2008

In a message written on Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 10:38:37AM +0900, Randy Bush wrote:
> if we really were a pubic policy planning culture, we would have at
> least had the conversation of whether ip resources should have been
> allocated proportionally to wealth, or whether they should have been
> tilted toward new entry, rural, poor, ...  even the telco industry had
> that conversation, and it resulted in universal service, not to hold
> that up as an ideal trade-off from a modern perspective.

(Un)fortuantely ARIN is not the FCC.

The problem with defining society is society wants a say.  Were
ARIN to have said "IP's cost $500 in Urban areas and $1 in rural
areas", and then offered to pay the other $450 in subsidies (keeping
$49 to "administer the program") to rural ISP's the government would
have taken over ARIN's function a long time ago.

Even if you believe that was a good idea from a social policy
perspective, you must admit the only effect could have been to delay
the deployment of the Internet.  Such a scheme increases costs
across the board (IP's in cheap to build locations cost more, ISP's
are compelled to build more in areas where it's costly to build),
which results in slower deployment.  I suppose from a conservation
perspective that seems sexy; if we'd deployed half as much
infrastructure we'd not have this IPv4 problem right now.

If the goal is to have everyone connected, IPv4 is a failure.  In
a world with close to 6 billion people and only around 4 billion
IP's we can't get the job done.  We have to move to IPv6 at some

On the surface putting it off seems rather sexy, saving all the
money to transition; the effort, the down time.  But the reality
is putting it off can do nothing but increase the overall job.  We
deploy more and more network every day, making the conversion problem
larger and larger every day.

In hindsight, the right thing to do was to convert to 128 bit
addressing back in 1990 when a flag day was still possible.  If we
had done that we'd have enough addressing to give everyone on the
planet Internet connectivity, and the overall conversion cost would
have been a teeny fraction of what it will cost to covert today,
or 5 years from now.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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