[arin-ppml] Draft Policy 2009-1: TransferPolicy (UsingtheEmergencyPDP)

Matthew Kaufman matthew at matthew.at
Thu Mar 26 13:23:16 EDT 2009

michael.dillon at bt.com wrote:
>> the future where IP addresses are unavailable and *not 
>> even the highest bidder* can get them is worse.
> The science fiction list is over that way.
> Here, in the real world, we have plentiful cheap IPv6 addresses
> for anyone who wants them. Leading organizations such as Google
> have already tried these IPv6 addresses and discovered that they
> taste great, like a good address should.
You conveniently left out my "the IPv4 space it needs to last through a 
transition that is starting too late to be done before runout".

IPv6 is the future. Between now and that future, there will be 
organization that need IPv4 addresses in order to operate. Some of that 
demand will occur after the runout.
> What would you rather have, an intractable policy problem in how
> to allocate a fixed pool of scarce addresses, or a technical problem
> in how to make IPv6 and IPv4 networks intercommunicate?
I have yet to see a technical solution to IPv4-IPv6 interworking that 
doesn't require any IPv4 addresses during the transition. And I refuse 
to believe that when IPv4 addresses are no longer available from RIRs 
that entrepreneurs will grind to a halt and no longer fund, build, and 
grow businesses that have a need to talk to the existing IPv4 Internet.

Where does a hosted service that needs to deploy more servers to serve 
increased demand from existing IPv4 clients get IPv4 addresses from 
after the runout?

Where does an innovative new service that needs to deploy servers to 
serve customers who are only on the existing IPv4 Internet get IPv4 
addresses from after the runout?

Where does a new ISP that wants to deploy IPv6 to customers with an 
IPv6-IPv4 translation gateway to reach the legacy IPv4 Internet get IPv4 
addresses for the IPv4 side of that translation gateway after the runout?

The answer is that if there is money to be made in having those 
addresses then acquiring those addresses will be part of the capital 
expenditure required to start or grow one of those businesses. Yes, it 
will cost more than it does now, and so yes there will be business 
models for which that no longer makes sense... but there may very well 
be business models where the cost of getting a few more IPv4 addresses 
to continue growing, high as it might be, is lower than the cost of 
*not* having the addresses.

I have two significant issues with people who are completely opposed to 
a transfer policy:

1) The idea that things have worked well so far with the friendly 
cooperative addresses-are-nearly-free model we have now and so we should 
keep things as-is.

The problem is that the world we must plan for is not the world we 
inhabit today. *There is no "as-is" after the runout.* The world we must 
plan for is one where IPv6 addresses are as available as IPv4 addresses 
are today, but IPv4 addresses are *no longer easy to come by*. And I 
believe that because the transition is starting as late as it is and 
going as slow as it is with an new protocol that is as poorly suited to 
a smooth migration as IPv6 is there *will undoubtedly be a continuing 
need for both existing and new organizations to get a limited number of 
IPv4 addresses*.

2) The idea that if we don't have a transfer policy then transfers won't 

Existing entities which need more IPv4 space in order to continue 
operating and/or growing, or new entities which need even small amounts 
of IPv4 space in order to exist at all (imagine, for instance, a new ISP 
serving a previously unserved region which needs IPv4 addresses for that 
side of their IPv6-IPv4 gateway) *will* find a way to get these 
addresses if there is economic value in doing so. They will purchase 
existing entities which have underutilized space, they will ask entities 
with space to spin off subsidiaries or lease address space to them, etc. 
All of this is more legally complicated, and thus more costly in lawyer 
time, than just being able to transfer the address space. That adds an 
unnecessary transaction cost to solving the needs of the entities which 
need IPv4 addresses after the runout, and so that is *even worse* than a 
clean transfer policy would be, as far as increasing the cost to the 
acquiring entity goes.

Of course there are folks for whom the lack of a clean and simple 
transfer policy is a win: the lawyers who will orchestrate the 
more-complex transfers that will happen anyway, and the people with 
existing IPv4 services who want as big a barrier to new entrants as 

Matthew Kaufman

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