[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal: IPv4 Recovery Fund / history lesson #1

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Sun Nov 23 16:35:37 EST 2008

On Nov 22, 2008, at 8:36 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> At some point, perhaps 50 years from now, IPv4 will be on the
>> decline.  At that point we will likely return to a simple needs
>> based system for those who still need it.  It would be nice if
>> whatever system we put in place does not make that transition back
>> difficult.
> Let me see if I understand what you are concerned about.
> If most of the Internet is on v6, and v4 has become something like
> DECNet, who the heck cares whether we return to a "simple [sic] needs
> based system" for v4? Does ARIN propose to reclaim declining v4  
> space in
> order to become a Smithsonian Institution for obsolete protocols, or a
> national park service to preserve old-growth regions of cyberspace? If
> so, wouldn't a market transfer system allow it to buy back these  
> rapidly
> depreciating resources at low prices?
> But if I misunderstand you and you are talking about the impact of v4
> transfers on v6 resource allocations, I can't see the logic here. A
> system of transfers for IPv4 addresses has no inherent impact on how
> IPv6 resources are handled today, or 50 years from now.
> I think it is obvious that there is no _intrinsic_ value to ARIN's  
> role
> as "needs assessor" nor is there any _intrinsic_ value to avoiding the
> creation of transferable property rights in v4 addresses. ARIN's
> functions, and the property status of addresses, should be  
> determined in
> a pragmatic way, they are purely a function of the nature of supply  
> and
> demand for addresses, and the technical constraints of the addressing
> system. If you don't need needs assessment, don't worry about it. If
> more flexibility in the tradability of address blocks helps the  
> Internet
> develop efficiently, then do it. You are just so stuck on ideological
> constraints, and it is so obvious to outsiders.

Someone is definitely stuck on ideological constraints alright; I just  
wish there was an easier way to make plain who that someone is.
But since there isn't, and much of your past advocacy work apparently  
does not appear on your published "Academic CV"*, I guess we'll have  
to do it the hard way.

You've been telling the same story for 25+ years now, Milton, and it  
never seems to deviate much, regardless of whether you're talking  
about radio, or telecom, or the Internet. I'll resist the strong  
temptation and let others judge how well your past predictions and  
recommendations have played out over the intervening years.

Of course everyone has a right to their own fundamental convictions.
I guess among my own is the belief that such "ideological constraints"  
should be transparent to all when discussing matters of public policy.


*Reference: http://faculty.ischool.syr.edu/mueller/

**denotes a Mueller co/authored reference that is not listed in the  
above published "ACADEMIC CV"

note: I can post full-text of all of the articles listed below if  
anyone is interest.


**Milton Mueller (then "Associate Policy Analyst with the Cato  
Institute"), "Property Rights In Radio Communication: The Key to the  
Reform of Telecommunications Regulation," (CATO Institute Policy  
Analysis #11: June 3, 1982). http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=877


**Milton Mueller, "Privatization of the Airwaves," Reason Foundation  
Federal Privatization Project Issues Paper, April 4, 1988.
Cited in Jams L. Gattuso, "Raising Revenues with the Auction Option  
for the Telecommunications Spectrum." Heritage Foundation Government  
Reform Issues Bulletin #147, May 11, 1989. http://www.heritage.org/Research/GovernmentReform/IB147.cfm


**Milton Mueller, "Reform of Spectrum Management: Lessons From New  
Zealand," Reason Foundation Policy Insight No. 135, November 1991.


**Mueller, M. and Schement, J.R., (1995), "Six myths of telephone  
penetration: Universal Service from the bottom up."
Cited in Comments of Bell Atlantic in the Matter of CC Docket No.  
9645, Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service (April 12,1996).

"Public policy on universal phone access has been guided primarily by  
the presumption that local access cost is the main disincentive to  
service. A new Rutgers University report debunks this and other  
assumptions on who is phoneless and why they remain so. The report,  
funded by Bell Atlantic, offers a few surprises: Given an either/or  
choice, many inner-city households would opt for cable over phone  


Federal Document Clearing House Congressional Testimony (March 1, 1995)
Testimony of Robert W. Poole, Jr., President of the Reason Foundation,  
Presented before the House Budget Committee, March 1, 1995

"...A growing number of communications analysts now agree that the  
existing frequency allocations should be converted to true private  
property rights and offered first to those who now hold the relevant  
license. Since a majority of all these licenses are today held by  
firms which purchased them from someone else (reflecting their  
economic value), it would be unjust to charge the current license- 
holder the full market value (even if government could accurately  
assess what that might be). Analyst Milton Mueller has suggested  
instead that incumbents be offered the opportunity to convert their  
current frequency license into a true property right for a one-time  
fee. Those frequencies whose were incumbents unwilling to pay this fee  
would then be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Mueller estimates  
that such a procedure would raise $8.6 billion for the Treasury."



"The public has to decide whether it wants a truly competitive arena  
or an "arena where policymakers provide free goodies to
organized constituencies," Milton Mueller, a professor with the  
Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library
Studies, told a Cato Institute forum on universal service issues  
yesterday (5/1)... Mueller said he understands the appeal to  
policymakers that want to ensure that people are not left economically  
behind because they lack access to the latest infrastructure.  But he  
pointed out that it is "impossible for
new services to be available everywhere" as soon as they are  
introduced.  "They have to start somewhere and grow," he said, noting  
that it took over 100 years to get U.S. telephone subscribership up to  
94 percent."



"New Zealand, considered one of world's most open telecom markets,  
dismantled its monopoly network without strong regulatory role, in  
sharp contrast to Telecom Act and direction FCC is heading, several  
panelists at recent Cato Institute forum said. New Zealand is  
considered unique because it's the only developed country, they said,  
that has made transition to competitive telecom environment without  
strong role by regulatory body such as FCC.

... Mueller said economists view New Zealand as "blank slate in  
telecom" where industry has been completely remade according to market  
principles. However, he said, agreements signed since market opened in  
1991 are "highly unequal" by U.S. standards and favor TNZ. Mueller  
said long distance competitor Clear Communications -- partnership that  
includes MCI, Bell Canada, New Zealand Rail, TV New Zealand and Todd  
Corp. -- signed deal in 1991 and had 18% of market in 1993, Mueller  
said. Clear's bargaining power was enhanced because it emerged as only  
competitor able to sign agreement.

But agreement falls short of equal access agreements in U.S., Mueller  
said, because: (1) Clear's network is more difficult to access; (2)  
TNZ "has engaged in practices that would be considered prima facie  
anticompetitive in other legal and regulatory environments"; and (3)  
Clear gets only 6% discount on TNZ local and toll transport rates.

Mueller said Clear and TNZ's local interconnection talks dragged on  
for years, weren't settled in court until March 1996, more than 5  
years after negotiations began. He said New Zealand's lack of  
regulation meant issue would be settled by courts. Case demonstrated  
that govt. intervention is needed only at beginning and that  
competition is viable without equal access."


(February 9, 1998).

"Milton Mueller has come to Syracuse to train students for jobs that  
may not exist yet, jobs they may even have to create themselves.  
Mueller, a national authority on telecommunications policy, signed on  
in December to run Syracuse University's Telecommunications and  
Network Management program..."

MUELLER: I'm willing to bet that the telephone companies will stop  
charging so much for that local line once they realize that that's  
their connection to the customer, instead of just being a monopoly  
service that people have to have. But the thing we have to understand  
is that that level of competition is going to evolve very slowly.


MUELLER: Because duplication of this large capital investment is a  
slow process. You're building physical plant and you're trying to  
extend it to everybody.

KRAUSS: Where will the competition come from?

MUELLER: From a wired basis, it will come from cable companies,  
possibly. In fact, that's already happening in some respects. It will  
come primarily, I think, from wireless alternatives (such as PCS or  
satellite services). And in business districts, it will come from  
these new competitive carriers, who are already putting fiber rings  
around central business areas and extending connections to  
businesses... That's really the bottleneck to competition right now -  
the local market.

KRAUSS: What will ease the bottleneck?

MUELLER: I think we just have to be more patient about the development  
of these alternative technologies and new infrastructure. ... You  
won't see immediate benefits. You won't see 16 new companies jumping  
into the market tomorrow and offering local service. Because the only  
way to do that would be to resell the existing facilities of the  
telephone company. And in the long run, that's not really going to  
create much competition.

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