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

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu Jan 1 13:59:40 EST 2009

On Jan 1, 2009, at 9:34 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:

> Leo
> 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?
The problem here, Milton, is that you assume redistribution based on  
relative need is required. You make no allowance for the possibility  
that first-come, first-served could be a perfectly valid mechanism.  
Once it's exhausted, it's exhausted and no need for involuntary  
redistribution exists. Period. I don't know whether this is the best  
solution or not, but, I haven't seen any evidence that a market is a  
significantly better process, either. The problem with first-com/first- 
served is the potential for early hoarding. However, hoarding can be  
mostly avoided by requiring justified need in order to obtain the  
resource and reducing (to the extent possible) the rewards available  
as a result of early hoarding. (Note, btw, that a market CREATES many  
of the rewards in question).

Those organizations who want IP connectivity after the IPv4 free pool  
is exhausted can move to IPv6 and make use of transitional  
technologies. True, the current state of those technologies is less  
than ideal, but, organizations moving to IPv6 will, I suspect, drive  
significant and rapid improvement in both the transitional tools, and,  
the availability of IPv6 connectivity to what is currently a mostly  
IPv4 only internet.

> 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.
I think it is perfectly reasonable for the following scenario:

1.	Status quo until IANA free pool is exhausted.
2.	ARIN continues to issue under status quo until ARIN free pool's  
largest remaining block is a single /6
3.	ARIN continues to issue what it can without invading that /6  under  
status quo rules.
4.	Applications which cannot be satisfied under status quo rules as  
stated above are rejected and applicants are encouraged to apply for  
5.	Applicants which receive IPv6 and require IPv4 space for  
transitional technologies to interconnect their IPv6 networks to the  
existing IPv4 world apply for small pieces of the remaining /6 under  
recently adopted policy (2008-5 if I recall correctly).

> 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.
I don't see this.  I think that the status quo continues, but, enters  
a phase we have not yet seen which is the post-runout phase of the  
status quo. In that phase, the IPv4 internet can no longer grow and  
remains largely as it exists at that time. Growth is forced to IPv6.

A similar transition will occur when the world runs out of petroleum  
products if we don't destroy the environment first. Some other stored  
energy mechanism will be adopted. The transition will be painful (as  
will the IPv6 transition), but, when there is no more oil, there will  
be a migration to some other technology.


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