[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal 2008-6: Emergency TransferPolicyfor IPv4 Addresses - Last Call

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Thu Jan 1 12:34:55 EST 2009


I write this half-heartedly because we are just repeating the same old positions. Those who are knee-jerk against markets (Kargel, you, etc.) have used Herrin's simple rewording proposal to reassert their view. Yawn. It might be more productive to debate the merits of the rewording. Anyway,

> The thing I find odd about people who believe both of these things
> is they seem to have been for "needs based" allocation in the past.

Nothing odd here. The IGP paper and other analyses have explained why the rationale for needs-based administrative allocation breaks down completely when the free pool is exhausted. Once the free space is gone it is no longer about "need" is it is about "relative need"; i.e., it is possible for 2 - N applicants for the same address space to have fully justified claims on the same amount of the address space. At that point the administrator has to use some criterion other than "need" to redistribute the resource. What will it be?

Even if there are no market-based transfers, the definition of "need" will change radically, to reflect the greater scarcity, as ARIN will be forced to impose tougher standards of what constitutes need based on this relativistic (scarcity-based) assessment, and to reassess the allocations of people who got them based on "need" in the past in order to reclaim them for other uses.

The status quo you defend so doggedly will and must end. You are not opposing markets you are opposing the fact of scarcity, which is (as the Canute story suggests) a futile exercise.

Milton Mueller
Professor, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
XS4All Professor, Delft University of Technology
Internet Governance Project:

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