[arin-ppml] "Millions of Internet Addresses Are Lying Idle"(slashdot)

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Mon Oct 20 20:02:24 EDT 2008

Owen DeLong wrote:
> On Oct 20, 2008, at 3:58 PM, Jo Rhett wrote:
>> On Oct 19, 2008, at 7:28 PM, Robert E. Seastrom wrote:
>>> the status quo is that there is an impending train wreck which is not being adequately addressed.
>>> reclamation would preserve this status quo and give some people a
>>> false sense of security.
>> Delaying an impact does not equal a false sense of security.
>> Refusing to even try is refusing to attempt to alter course.
> 	Attempting to reclaim the space is a bit like trying to get all the passengers to bring their hair dryers to the bow of the titanic in hopes we can melt the ice berg in time.

I'm going to have to remember that analogy; it's much better than 
rearranging the deck chairs...

> 	It has nothing to do with altering course.  It's an attempt to dismantle the wall.  As crazy as that sounds, the reality is that if we put focus on reclamation, there are those who will believe that it is a solution, not a band-aid.

Indeed; there is significant risk that the media would report it that 
way: no need to go to IPv6 because ARIN is reclaiming hundreds of 
millions of "wasted" IPv4 addresses.  They simply don't understand that, 
assuming the current burn rate continues, reclamation will only buy us a 
few months, maybe a year if we're really, really good at it.

> 	We don't have infinite resources. As such, reclamation is
> definitely NOT the place where our limited resources will have
> the greatest effect.

I think it's still worth the effort, not because it will delay the need 
to migrate to IPv6, but because ARIN's position becomes a lot more 
defensible come Exhaustion Day.  If there are hundreds of millions of 
addresses still out there, idle or even abandoned, that's a guaranteed 
PR black eye and possibly a legal problem.  If ARIN, in the meantime, 
has done its due diligence in reclaiming what can be reclaimed and all 
addresses are actually in use, it's a lot harder for folks to criticize 
us -- or for other regulators to step in and take over.


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