[ppml] Policy to help the little guys

William Herrin arin-contact at dirtside.com
Wed Mar 19 16:17:32 EDT 2008

On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 1:49 PM, Danny McPherson <danny at tcb.net> wrote:
>  > http://bill.herrin.us/network/bgpcost.html
>  I'm certainly not an economist (though I do have a background
>  similar to many of those here who now believe they are), but
>  I think trivializing in such a manner is a bit disingenuous.

Hi Danny,

I'm not a cost analyst but I have the advantage of having an
award-winning cost analyst in the family. I asked him to vet the
analysis for me. The short version of his answer is that my analysis
uses appropriate methodology, so if the individual source numbers hold
then so does the result.

The long version included about an hour's discussion explaining how
estimating the cost of fighter aircraft was reduced to a formula which
considered only three simple input numbers. It was truly fascinating
and I couldn't accurately repeat it to save my life.

On Wed, Mar 19, 2008 at 2:34 PM, David Williamson <dlw+arin at tellme.com> wrote:
>  Can you explain to me how a PI /24 would be in any way different from
>  an otherwise identical PA /24?  If an end-site is multi-homed with a /24,
>  it seems to me that the cost is the same for PA or PI.  I can get a PA
>  /24 for multihoming pretty easily.  Why can't I get PI?

Hi David,

The difference between PA and PI is an artificial result of the RIRs'
upside down solution to the BGP cost problem. You can't get PI because
you probably won't put enough money into the backbone infrastructure
to fairly cover the cost of your being there while someone getting PA
probably will.

Barring a better solution to BGP cost, it doesn't really help to point
out what we already know: that the difference between PI and PA is
arbitrary and artificial. However goofy, that distinction has kept the
ever-threatening BGP table explosion down to a steady creep. We need
it as a crutch, a placeholder until someone comes up with a better

If you're interested in tackling the problem from the "reduce BGP cost
until it's moot" angle, you should catch up with the folks involved in
the IRTF RRG and join the mailing list. Details at

I'm not aware of anyone actively working on a way to fairly bill those
announcing a route for carrying that announcement. Perhaps you'd like
to get something started?

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin herrin at dirtside.com bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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