[arin-ppml] Draft Policy2009-1: TransferPolicy (UsingtheEmergencyPDP)

Matthew Kaufman matthew at matthew.at
Thu Mar 26 14:01:10 EDT 2009

Kevin Kargel wrote:
>> 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".
> Then complete the transition *before* IPv4 runout.
Demonstrably not possible. Slowing IPv4 allocation sufficiently to not 
run out before transition completion would at this point have the same 
effect as immediate runout. Wishing the transition could happen faster 
won't help, either.
>> 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?
> Umm , did you just ask where to get more stuff when there is no more stuff?
> The answer is you don't.
No. You get it from people who have it but for whom it has much lower 
value than the value to you. They give it to you in exchange for enough 
money that the money is worth more to them than the addresses are.

Google isn't going to stop growing just because ARIN won't give them 
more addresses. They will go back and scavenge all the ones they have, 
they will get them from other RIRs until those RIRs are also out, they 
will assign additional value to potential acquisitions that have 
existing PI IPv4 space, especially if that space is underutilized, and 
they will acquire or lease address space as necessary from other 
entities that, with money applied, can find spare addresses to release.

This is a lot like how Sprint and Clearwire leased ITFS (now EBS) 
spectrum on 30-year leases from universities that didn't need all the 
instructional television channels they were licensed for. It gets the 
cash-strapped university a bunch of money to do other interesting new 
things, and it gets Sprint and Clearwire a bunch of spectrum that 
otherwise wasn't available. Good for everyone except little guys who 
didn't think to lease the spectrum first, or didn't have the cash to 
outbid Sprint or Clearwire... but then that's business, at least in this 
country, these days.
>> 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?
> See above.  Shouldn't innovative new services be using ipv6?
Innovative new services probably will be using IPv6. But they'll also 
want to serve the large pool of existing potential customers who are on 
IPv4 and who don't have access to an IPv4 to IPv6 proxy yet. So, at 
least for a while, there'll be a lot of value in having IPv4 addresses 
to reach these new services. Perhaps enough value to make it worthwhile 
to spend cash to convince someone else to part with, or at least lease, 
address space to the new entity.
>> 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 see lots of questions describing problems of how to continue to use a
> technology that is unavailable.  Face it, IPv4 is a finite resource, when it
> runs out it runs out.  
There is a big difference between "new IPv4 address space is not 
available from RIR" and "the IPv4 Internet is shut down".

In between those two times, there is value to new entrants and growing 
entities in acquiring more IPv4 space. There is also value to failing 
entities and entities with more IPv4 space than they need for their own 
growth to NOT having IPv4 addresses... at least there would be, if for a 
reasonable transaction cost the addresses could be moved to the entities 
with need. As I point out, that can already happen with existing 
policy... this policy would just reduce the transaction cost.

So you're against reducing the transaction cost to those entities which 
might need additional IPv4 address space? I don't understand that 
position given your belief that "when they run out, they run out". If 
they've actually "run out" then new or growing entities won't have any 
reason to acquire addresses from existing entities with excess and so 
there won't be any transactions covered by this policy anyway!
> So why can't people go back to ARIN and get more IP addresses?  If they are
> available for transfer they are available for recycling.  If they cannot be
> returned then they can't be transferred either.  
In our society, people often are more willing to part with things they 
are using if they are offered something else of value in exchange.

I could have put the motorcycle I've had in my garage out on the curb 
with a "free" sign on it. But I didn't. Instead I sold it on eBay for 
$3000. When you understand why, you'll understand why address space that 
isn't available for recycling might be available in trade for other 
things of value, like money.

(Among other things, as I've pointed out months ago, an IT department 
may find it much easier to justify the equipment needed for an IPv6 
transition if they can tell their management and/or shareholders that by 
reducing their need for IPv4 space they can recoup some of the 
transition cost by transferring those IPv4 addresses for entities which 
have figured out that the monetary value of getting more IPv4 space is 
> So we are back to "if it's going to happen anyway we might as well legalize
> it" option.  Pshaw, come up with a better argument.
> I still maintain that creating an IP market will increase the cost of
> internet to the point that it will be unaffordable by many if not most.  You
> may be willing to sacrifice that section of society but I am not.  
I believe that a clean and simple transfer policy *decreases* the cost 
when the alternative is complex legal arrangements to make transfers fit 
into existing policy. That is why I am in favor of a transfer policy.

As you have pointed out, when we run out, we run out, and so it isn't 
like you can just go back to ARIN and get more IPv4 for free.

And as I have pointed out, there is a reason why people are willing to 
sell things on eBay that they aren't willing to take to the local recycler.

> Go ahead and screw the little guys, the heck with the end users, keep
> supporting big business.  It will come back to haunt you.
Again, big business can afford the lawyers to do the transfer "the hard 
way". Passing a cleaner and simpler policy helps the smaller guys by 
reducing the transaction cost.

I'm not going to be the one who floats a proposal wherein ARIN forcibly 
takes back all the IPv4 space from everyone, including legacy holders, 
and then redistributes it based on need as determined by committee. But 
that's really the alternative to capitalism's solution to the problem 
that *will come*, wishful thinking or not.

Matthew Kaufman

More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list