[arin-ppml] Policy Proposal 93: Predicable IPv4 Run Out b Prefix Size - Revised

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Jun 22 12:37:00 EDT 2009

>The only thing that ARIN and/or industry members can do, at any/every
>point in time, is take steps to make sure that some kind of
>*functional* IP addresses remain available to aspiring and eligible
>new entrants on a non-adversarial, non-discriminatory basis 

I've never understood this aspect of your argument, Tom. Please tell me how in an environment of exhaustion of the IPv4 space, ARIN makes IPv4 resources freely available to "aspiring" new entrants on a non-adversarial basis. Scarcity is coterminous with competition for possession. Scarcity means one person's occupation of addresses is mutually exclusive with another's. You posture as the holy man saving the open character of the Internet, but I have not yet heard a single feasible policy proposal from you that makes IPv4 addresses any less scarce. 

I totally share your concern with maintaining open entry, and allowing newcomers. Totally. I just think you've psychologically projected that concern into the wrong place. You did it with the debate over transfer markets, and you just keep doing it. 

Chopping up the last large blocks and handing them out in small chunks rather than large chunks does not make IP addresses more available to "aspiring and eligible new entrants." There is no guarantee in the policy that the small blocks will go to new entrants rather than, e.g., small incumbents or small chunks to big incumbents, or organizations in the education or financial industry. If your business plan depends on standing first in line for the last remaining scraps of v4 space, then you're entry into the Internet market may be doomed anyway, perhaps that's what Dillon is trying to tell you. 

As a rationing device, the finer-slice/maximum limit idea has some merit on purely equitable distribution grounds. But I do wish you'd quit distorting this debate with your posturing about new entrants. You want to do something about new entrants, start taking a look at levels of venture capital, bandwidth costs, spectrum availability, FCC regulations, etc. Any examples of specific firms who've left the market because of inability to access v4 addresses? That would be useful data. anmy data on how many such "aspiring" firms are standing in line waiting for some v4 crumbs? and who business plan depends on it? 


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