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

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri Jun 19 11:13:28 EDT 2009

> >> At a bare minimum, new entrants must be safeguarded.
> >
> > Not in the end-game.
> How do you justify this assertion?
> Do you think that accepting industry closure to new entry is 
> a good idea in general?

The end-game is created by circumstance and it is the circumstance
that closes the industry to new entrants. Just like oil production
in Pennsylvania.

There will eventually be a new IPv4 game once the Internet game has
shifted onto IPv6, and at that time, new entrants will once again
be able to build IPv4 networks, again because of circumstances.
Just like repurposing a steel mill from processing ore to processing
scrap metal.

> Do you think that the current balance of internal (i.e., current
> member) and external stakeholder interests, which favors the 
> existing industry coordination arrangements, will survive 
> that development?

This is the PUBLIC policy mailing list. Please write in English.

> > In any case, there is plenty of IPv6 for new entrants so ARIN is 
> > safeguarding them.
> I'm glad that IANA didn't think that way thirty years ago: 
> "256 /8 recipients could easily support plenty of future 
> customers, so the system is safeguarding them."

But IANA did think that way more or less. But when circumstances
changed, the thinking changed as well. 

> The fiction that IPv6 is substitutable for IPv4 *today* will 
> not hold; it will never hold until it ceases to be fiction. 
> The timing of that development will be wholly determined by 
> incumbent IPv4 holders.

The fact is that the global IPv4 network will not be able to grow
in a few years and after two years, growth will be harder and more
costly. But IPv6 can grow today, two years from now and twenty years
from now. This is fact, not fiction. The only reason that IPv6 and
IPv4 are not easily substitutable today is because the networking
industry (equipment vendors and operators) are dragging their feet.
The OS industry has been ready for years now and people who turn on
IPv6 find that it just works, until they bang their heads against
network operators who in turn are banging their heads against
various vendors. Even Cisco and Juniper, who are the best of the
lot concerning IPv6, still have some rough spots.

> How many investors were still funding real estate speculation 
> in Q4 2007?

You convinced me. ARIN should help new entrants to throw away
their money on new IPv4 networks right up until the last day.
Let the bankruptcy courts resolve the issue.

> The chaos and "dying game" that you're describing will be 
> internal to current IPv4-based operators, who need to decide 
> out what to do next.  

No, it will affect anyone running an IPv4 network that needs
to grow. That includes end users and new entrants who are not
currently running IPv4 networks.

> The most visible/prominent manifestation that the runout will 
> have in the broader context will be the stories of what 
> happens to the next generation of aspiring operators who find 
> out what our version of "safeguarding them" really means.

Nah, the press likes an underdog. They will be writing about the
farsighting new entrants whose IPv6 network is running rings around
the incumbents who are struggling to get IPv6 product out of the lab.

--Michael Dillon

P.S. that bit about helping new entrants throw away money was
sarcasm, in case anyone thought I was serious.

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