[arin-ppml] DTV and IPv6

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Thu Jan 29 11:25:21 EST 2009

> -----Original Message-----

> This is an excellent event for IPv6. Now we have a concrete way
> to tell people in the USA that they have to act and cannot
> delay the change. The IPv4 runout is not like the switch to
> digital TV where you can delay things by legislating it. It's
> like the millenium bug where you have to get stuff fixed now,
> not later.

The DTV delay is a very bad sign for the v6 migration. It indicates that politicians in the US are so fearful of the possibility that people will be stranded when analog is shut off that they are willing to maintain very costly "dual stack" equivalents (broacasting on two channels) for another 6 months (or more). It indicates that after 13 years of planning for this transition no one has any confidence that it will work when we actually pull the trigger.  

Yes, as Dillon there is says one critical difference: broadcasting is a highly regulated industry with an overlay of political control and responsibility lodged directly in governments. (This hierarchical, political form of control has done as much to delay the transition as hasten it, as anyone familiar with the politics of U.S. broadcasting knows.) 

But anyone who thinks that this somehow demonstrates that we should laugh in the face of v4 address runout and that running into a brick wall will somehow facilitate a smooth and effective transition, is being irresponsible. What the DTV case really indicates is that such migrations are complex, unpredictable and difficult to manage. Anyone who imposes an artificial constraint on that migration, such as not fully utilizing underutilized v4 addresses in the vain hope that this will "force" people to behave the way they want them to behave, is playing a game of chicken. Who will be responsible when the internet gets into the crash? Some guy on a listserv who urged ARIN to speed up as it approached the brick wall? 

Do you think politicians will remain on the sidelines when the game of chicken results in a smash-up? 

More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list