[arin-ppml] The price of address space

Martin Hannigan martin.hannigan at batelnet.bs
Fri Jul 24 21:23:15 EDT 2009

There's already factual data and a derived host value that has been
published and presented at various RIR meetings.

That price was determined by an actual for cash transaction.

We also have hard evidence of ip addr leasing in the form of media.

This is old news at best. Search engines are your friends.

Yes, maybe it comes crashing down. Maybe. Too soon to tell.

On 7/22/09, michael.dillon at bt.com <michael.dillon at bt.com> wrote:
>> To be serious, I think it's unwise to extrapolate from your
>> anecdote about someone offering a six figure sum for a /20.
> Not at all. In several years of discussion of IP address markets,
> this is the first time that I have seen someone put an actual
> dollar value on an address block. Granted, it was an offered
> amount that did not result in a sale, but it is the best data
> point that I have seen so far.
>> For one thing, who could possibly know
>> for sure if the figure you quoted that was offered recently
>> will be the going rate for a /20 after the IPv4 run-out?
> I think that we all realise that in a real market, prices go
> up and down with every transaction. So, given that someone is
> willing to offer 100,000 USD for a /20 today, when there are
> free alternatives at the RIR, what do you think the going rate
> will be after the free alternative is gone?
>> If we assume there will be a market in IPv4 after the
>> run-out, we should expect the usual laws of supply and demand
>> will mean there's some sort of price equilibrium in the
>> market.
> Equilibrium? When I learned basic economics, scarcity caused
> prices to rise. After IPv4 runout, every block sold just makes
> IPv4 addresses scarcer which means that there will be no equilibrium,
> just increases until nobody can afford to pay the price. I would
> expect that to be a stairstep increase because everyone knows that
> addresses are scarcer and scarcer as time goes on.
> Then the whole thing comes crashing down when IPv6 gathers enough
> momentum and people start releasing large amounts of IPv4 addresses.
>> Just like
>> any predictions for the prices of shares or exchange rates or
>> commodities N years in the future.
> You may not be able to predict exact prices, but you can do pretty good
> at predicting minimum and maximum prices relative to a hard currency,
> i.e. ounces of gold or barrels of crude, or Big Macs.
>> For instance more use of NAT and ALG
>> (if these turn out to be cheaper than buying a /20 or
>> whatever).
> How cheap do IPv4 addresses need to be to make it worthwhile for an
> equipment vendor to buy up addresses today to drive up the price and
> make it worthwhile for the market to buy carrier grade NAT boxes?
>> The point I'm making is that it doesn't seem sensible or even
>> possible to predict what these prices might be post run-out.
> We could prohibit 3rd part transfers and only allow returns to
> the RIR in which case we can confidently predict that the price
> will be zero. In any case, it is very sensible to do these types
> of scenario analysis as part of the policymaking process.
>> Or to invent policies which
>> somehow influence or control those prices. [That might well
>> have the look and feel of a cartel.]
> We have a cartel today and the price is zero. It's been like
> that for many years now and nobody is complaining or investigating
> the RIRs.
>> It would be an
>> interesting academic exercise for economists to model the
>> impact of various pricing scenarios though I'm not sure how
>> useful that would be in practice. That said, it would be nice
>> to have some sort of idea of the price points where the
>> trade-offs between buying
>> IPv4 or using more NAT/ALG or deploying IPv6 start to get fuzzy.
> I agree on that. Where are all the economics grad students?
> --Michael Dillon
> P.S. My position is that IPv6 is the answer and post runout, most
> larger ISPs should be able to satisfy growth of IPv4 in one area
> of their business by migrating lower margin services onto pure IPv6
> in order to free the IPv4 addresses for the sluggish corporates who
> are willing to pay a higher margin for service using legacy technology.
> Note that an economist might well consider this to be a market
> alternative
> because money is exchanged in return for IPv4 network services with
> IPv4 addresses bundled in.
> _______________________________________________
> You are receiving this message because you are subscribed to
> the ARIN Public Policy Mailing List (ARIN-PPML at arin.net).
> Unsubscribe or manage your mailing list subscription at:
> http://lists.arin.net/mailman/listinfo/arin-ppml
> Please contact info at arin.net if you experience any issues.

More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list