[arin-ppml] On whether morality can be the lone argument against a transfer market (was Re: 2008-6: EmergencyTransferPolicyfor IPv4 Addresses)

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Wed Oct 1 10:07:40 EDT 2008

This thread is a complete red herring.
The question is not whether or not transfers are good or nice, but  
rather whether they'll work, and whether they'll be sustainable, and  
at what cost to everyone, participants and non-participants alike.

Many people thought that CIDR, aggregation, and route filtering -- the  
elements that made the RIR system "work" (i.e., rationalize demand for  
address resources and routing system capacity) -- were evil, because  
they reinforced customer-level "provider lock-in." That fact probably  
made it a bit easier for the largest operators at the time to sign  
onto the idea of RIRs in the first place. However, arguably, this  
"immoral" feature was counterbalanced by the fact that the system  
preserved openness at the routing service provider (including self- 
provider) level. So incumbents got something out of the deal, but so  
did everyone else -- or at least everyone else who was willing to buy  
a couple of routers and hire an engineer. That openness helped to  
assure that even those who didn't want to opt into the routing game  
would benefit indirectly from the continuous churn and competition  
that new entry *alone* permits.

Set aside the question of whether transfer markets will work or not.  
Ignore doubts about their technical sustainability. Even if the  
rosiest scenarios on these two counts come true, transfer markets will  
still undermine the interests of both "customers" and all future  
aspiring new entrants -- both of whom can look forward to a future  
with all of the downsides of PA and then some, and none of the benefits.

For that reason alone, the community should be seriously considering  
other approaches.



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