[arin-ppml] Legacy Space authority

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Sat May 3 18:28:09 EDT 2008

> > The interpretation of 
> the past is 
> > up to the lawyers, and may never be figured out because in 
> two years, 
> > anyone who thinks that IPv4 addresses have any value on the public 
> > Internet, is going to be considered a crackpot.
> >
> >   
> Am I the only person who's made a calendar entry for 2 years 
> from now, so I could laugh at this again?
> Did I miss some flag day law being passed or a major carrier 
> announcing that they were discontinuing support for IPv4?

The key date is not when IPv4 is discontinued. It is when IPv6 *BEGINS*
to be used for general Internet services, i.e. the various gateway
such as NAT-PT are pretty much solved. That date is highly likely to 
coincide with the time, about two years from now, when the well
publicised runout of the global free pool of IPv4 addresses happens.
After all, if at least one company can make a business out of selling
Internet access over IPv6, then it is abundantly clear, even at the CEO
level, that hanging on to IPv4 numbers is no more than a short term
insurance plan for the transition to IPv6. IPv4 addresses cease to
be valuable on the public Internet, and are only valued for internal
network uses. This is when some ISPs will begin transitioning access
customers to IPv6 in order to free up IPv4 addresses for expansion of
their MPLS or v6-over-v4 core networks, or for expanding their
systems. These are all slow growth areas where there is some leeway
in deployment decisions that you don't have on the access side.

> I think I'd expect to see some notice in advance that my ISP 
> was going to stop delivering IPv4 to me.

So would I. This is something that should appear in renewal contracts
any time now, if not already. Of course, existing IPv4 connections will
not stop working, but any contracts that allow for adding sites, or
expanding the size of a connection for more end users (with more
are going to be reworded a bit. End user companies who absolutely,
positively want to guarantee that they can add sites to their IPv4 VPNs
in 3, 4, 5 years from now, are going to be adding special language to
their contracts. And to cover that, ISPs will change other contracts so
that they can back out without penalties if sufficient IPv4 addresses
are not available. In two to three years, every network operator is 
going to start cannibalizing their own network, cutting off some IPv4
customers in order to recover IPv4 addresses for their most valued and
profitable customers.

End user companies can ride out the chaos of IPv4 runout simply by
their contracts right. But all ISPs will have to deal with IPv6 and at
minimum, make sure that they can provide a seamless Internet access
service that works regardless of which IP version, any two endpoints
are using.

> Maybe I'm reading too much into your statement, but you're 
> implicitly saying that IPv4 addresses will have NO value in two years.

They have no intrinsic value today. Things will get tight for a while,
but once it is clear that IPv6 is relatively easy to deploy with
capex/opex, I don't see how IPv4 addresses can retain any value that
they *MIGHT* have gathered in the next couple of years. Some people
are really pushing for IP addresses to be monetized, and it may
happen to some extent, but if it does, it will collapse in about two
years when the IPv6 technical issues are mostly solved.

In other words, if you want return on your investments, then get
working on seamless IPv6-IPv4 interworking. 

> I'm quite sure that using *my* current IPv4 addresses, I 

Current? What about "two years from now" makes you think
of today?

>I'm sorry if it sounds 
> cynical, but I just don't see vendors, ISPs, or businesses 
> demanding that they or anybody else ready for IPv6 *now* for 
> what might happen in two years.

Rip van Winkle, eh? Have a look at Cisco's and Juniper's website
and you will see that they have been doing IPv6 ready for years.
Look on ARIN's wiki to find the April 2nd article in Network
World that tells what several of the largest US ISPs are 
doing. http://www.getipv6.info/index.php/IPv6_in_the_News

Same website has this page
with links to various work being done right now to iron out the
issues between IPv4 and IPv6.

Before you know it some market analyst will start asking telecoms CEO's
what they are doing to prepare for the IPv4 runout in 2010 and share
values will dive (or not) based on the answers. 

> You'll probably just see proxies/caches/NATs being used to 
> expand IPv4 address space, and anyone launching a new web 
> service is going to need to find someone to host it on an 
> IPv4 server, or their business is going to go bust, because 
> they will be talking to a small crowd of IPv6 users, or only 
> aiming at users in emerging markets/developing countries.

Hosting providers can run 6to4 gateways so that v6 websites
are fully accessible. If you are going to invest in proxies
caches and NAT, then NAT-PT seems like the most risk-free way
to do that.

--Michael Dillon

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