[arin-ppml] Some observations on the differences in the various transfer policy proposals

Geoff Huston gih at apnic.net
Sun Oct 19 22:24:53 EDT 2008

Hi Scott,

>> In your article you imply that the RIRs' registry functions are not  
>> the
>> proper lever from which to apply the various regulatory functions  
>> that the
>> community has indicated are needed.  Where/how would you propose the
>> regulatory function reside / be applied instead?

Again, the real question is, MUST the RIRs have an answer for  
_everything_? Must the RIR's devise complex procedures that attempt to  
counter particular behaviours,  at the common community cost of more  
onerous procedures with higher overheads. And without any practical  
enforcement mechanism why will others even listen to the RIRs?

To quote from the article:

"But the observation should be made that markets in all manner of good  
and services have a rich history in human societies, and the role of  
the regulator is similarly one with a rich history. Market regulators  
exist in many guises and in many regimes, and can exert influence  
through various direct and indirect means. There is no need to believe  
that this issue of transfers and address markets requires a  
comprehensive solution based solely on the resources, capability,  
authority and enforcement authority of the RIR's. Once the RIR's are  
no longer address allocation entities much of their ability to enforce  
certain behaviours goes with that role, and the residual role, that of  
operation of an address registry, necessarily has to take a more  
neutral stance if it is to be a role that is discharged effectively."

>> Or, to put a more practical face on the same question: how do you  
>> propose
>> that the industry deal with the deaggregation that will result from  
>> the
>> widespread transfer of small netblocks (as allowed under prop-50)?

Thats a very good example, because deaggregation in the address space  
has been a constant factor for decades. i.e. if enforcing strong  
aggregation in the routing space was a metric of success of the policy  
framework associated with allocation, then the metrics of the routing  
system over the past 10 years would have to assign a failing grade here.

Again, to quote from the article:

"However, fragmentation of the routing space has not been directly  
linked to the further allocation function, and the results of this  
decoupling of policy with a risk of any negative outcome is clearly  
evident in the continuing fragmentation observed in the routing space."

So, no, I don't think that any transfer policy proposal will do any  
better than the allocation policy framework, and the allocation policy  
framework has been, on the whole, ineffectual.

>> I agree that restricting deaggregation through regulating access to  
>> the
>> registry will not be 100% effective, but it seems more likely to be
>> effective than any alternative I've seen so far.

Well with no successful practical experience to call upon so far, I  
suppose that we can all have a guess at what an effective policy may  
be in this area.



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