[arin-ppml] large vs small?

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Thu Jun 18 08:21:33 EDT 2009

> to distract the audience from the real issue - fee fairness.

Fee fairness is an important issue. But it is the ARIN members
who set the fees, and who make the rules around fees, not
the public. Therefore if you think fees are unfair then you
should take it up with the ARIN membership. Most ARIN members
do not participate in this forum, and the Advisory Council,
who does participate, has no say in the ARIN fee structure.

> > The troubles compound when others insist that we can't even 
> talk about fees here because they don't constitute policy. 
> > 
> Agreed.

Now you are talking about ARIN's charter and by-laws which are
also not subject to change by the AC or even the BoT. Again,
it is ARIN members who control all of this. If you believe
that it is important for the members to change something, then
you should start by getting at least one member on board, and
ask them to raise the issue on the ARIN members mailing list.

> 1) The ARIN Board claims their particular methodology, ie: rule 1, to 
> assess fees is valid

I looked at <https://www.arin.net/fees/index.html> and I can find
no mention of rule 1 in the Overview or the fee schedule. 
Article V c. of the ARIN by-laws does state:

The Board of Trustees shall have the power to establish and designate
other classifications of memberships, dues formulae, fees, or other

so it is pretty clear that under US law, the board is entitled to assess
fees by whatever methodology they deem fit. But the board is elected by
the ARIN members so if members called for a change, either the board
would change, or new board members would be elected. It all starts with
the members.

> 4) Subject A submits a fee suggestion.
> 5) The ARIN board takes up the suggestion and states it's invalid,
> and directs Subject A back to rule 1

Have you actually submitted a formal suggestion for a different fee
structure? <https://www.arin.net/app/suggestion/>
The evidence suggests that the board seriously considers these
Probably a better way to approach it would be to suggest that
the board consult or poll the ARIN membership about changing
the fee structure to one in which the magnitude of the fee is
roughly comparable to the total size of the IP address allocation.

But, again, the PPML and the AC cannot do anything about fees.

> I find them interesting but not particularly revealing.  Many of
> the anti-fee-discussion faction work for orgs that would stand to 
> benefit by an overhaul of fees and recognition of what the 
> yearly fees 
> are actually paying for, so they are essentially arguing 
> against their 
> own selfish-self interest.

How would we benefit from a change in our $18000 annual fee?
It could only go up because we have a lot of addresses. That
means that ARIN would have a greater dependence on the timely
payment of fees from a SMALLER number of big organizations.
That could only result in greater control of ARIN by those

> I think the real issue is that these folks have regarded fees as
> inviolate for so long that they have ceased thinking about them.

Fees are discussed at every members meeting, and they do change
from time to time.

> Since they all work for companies and orgs and none of them own 
> controlling stock in those companies or organizations, it's not their 
> money that's being spent, and they aren't used to questioning
> dollar amounts.

If my company's board of directors took an issue about a measly
$18,000 annual fee to the shareholders they would probably all
be fired by those same shareholders. Believe me, the shareholders
of large companies are not worried by such small sums of money.
Perhaps you should read the annual reports of some of the larger
ISPs (all publicly traded companies) and see the kind of sums that
do warrant mention to the shareholders.

The bottom line is that some very ethereal things are very valuable
to large publicly traded network operators such as my employer. 
A stable and fairly run ARIN is one of those things. Fair fees are
important to us, and we have supported things like the fee waivers
to help remove barriers to IPv6 introduction. Note that this means
we have supported changes to the actual fees charged and would
likely support other fee changes, if they could be shown to make
the fee structure fairer. But vague complaints about cost-per-IP
address, are not the kind of thing that will gain our support. I 
would welcome a critical analysis of the ARIN fee structure with
input from economists, but I would want some balanced set of analyses
rather than a single one-sided analysis.

> PS  Followups set to arin-discuss since this thread really shouldn't
> have been started in arin-ppml in the first place.

If you want to discuss fees on the ARIN members list, then you'll 
have to open a new thread there yourself. 

--Michael Dillon

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