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

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Wed Mar 19 09:14:30 EDT 2008

In a message written on Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 12:20:02PM +0900, Randy Bush wrote:
> arin is not directly not concerned with the end customer.  we are mostly
> self-serving medium and large isps because that is who can afford and is
> motivated to keep sending people to these meetings and reading drivel
> such as this message.  it's not an evil plot, it's economics.  who can
> afford the time and energy?  to whom is it worth the cost?

Directly to your last question, no one.

I actually rather like your consumer advocacy position here, but
I'm afraid it's misplaced.

To use a really bad analogy, but one I think makes my point.
Consumers have been quite involved in Telco politics, PUC's, FCC,
FTC, elected officials passing special laws, there's really no end
to how consumers and lawmakers have gotten involved.

But what about NANPA?  How many consumers or consumer advocacy
groups show up to discuss number plan administration?  Virtually
none.  The few times the do say anything it's a statement about the
cosmetics of phone numbers (e.g. selecting particular area codes
for overlays).

The group that runs numbering can only do two things for consumers,
raise costs.  ARIN could raise fees, ARIN could withhold addresses
(which indirectly raises cost).  Consumers pretty much never like
more cost.  As long as ARIN keeps the cost of the IP's a consumer
needs low enough, they simply won't care....the situation we're in

By contrast, ARIN's policy costs ISP's a lot.  Some is direct cost
(fees), but most of it is indirect cost; how easy it is for them
to turn up customers, how much memory and CPU routers need.  It's no
surprise the are quite interested.

I do think more consumer advocacy in this industry would be a good
thing; but for ARIN to have any role it would have to be part of a
larger organization doing other things (domain names?  a PUC type
role?) to have any effect.

Last, but not least, some of the larger consumer advocacy groups
have budgets that make ARIN look like a mom and pop.  If the AARP,
for instance, thought that they could make a difference for seniors
by changing ARIN policy they would be here in a heartbeat, have
people running for the AC and the Board, make sure many seniors
showed up to every meeting.  They are one of but many well funded
groups.  Why don't any of them ever show up?

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