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

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Sat Jun 20 05:27:54 EDT 2009

>could continue to service their own customers 
> indefinitely regardless of the size of the 

ISPs cannot continue to service their customers indefinitely
with IPv4 because their main service is not IPv4 connectivity
but access to the Internet. The Internet is constantly growing
and in a couple of years that growth will shift to IPv6. Any
ISP that only supports IPv4 access will be at a disadvantage.
In that climate it would be as crazy to start up an IPv4 ISP 
as to start drilling for oil in Pennsylvania. That dog don't 
hunt no more.

> The goal is to preserve industry openness as long as it takes 
> for that environmental shift to occur.

Unfortunately, IPv4 runout is an absolute limit to growth, and unless
some companies shift early and give up their IPv4 addresses, we will
runout and be unable to serve new entrants.

> > 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.
> But Michael, when we say "the industry," we're talking about us.
> There is no "they" in "dragging their feet" that is not us.

Unfortunately, you are wrong. The people on PPML are such a small
subset of the industry, that it is wrong to think that they are 
us. In addition, most of the people on PPML are not decision
makers on any kind of scale. There may be CEOs here, but they
run small network businesses. The big organizations, if they are
represented here at all, are not represented by key decision

In addition, consolidation of the ISP industry and telecom 
industry, has meant that most of the Internet is now controlled
by large companies, and we all know that decision making in
large companies is complex and diffuse.

I think that the people on this list are more likely to be 
pioneers of IPv6, pushing their companies, their employers,
their vendors, to get IPv6 ready for full commercial deployment.

> An incumbent IPv4 holder who needs to grow in a post-IPv4 
> environment has three choices:
> 1. Beg/borrow/buy IPv4 from another incumbent 2. RFC 1918 + 
> reshuffle 3. IPv6
> A new entrant will have, at best, (1) -- but they'll be 
> competing with all of the incumbents who will still be 
> preferring that over the alternatives.

And that is the elephant in room number 1. New entrants
will not be able to beg, borrow or buy any IPv4 addresses
until IPv6 is widely deployed.

> The winning public argument for transfer markets depended 
> heavily on the assertion that there would be substantial 
> continuing demand for
> IPv4 *among incumbents.*
> Without that element, the transfer proposals would have taken 
> on an entirely different character.

It doesn't really matter. With virtually zero supply available
there won't be any transfers except for a few speculators who
have been sitting on unused addresses.

--Michael Dillon

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