[arin-ppml] Draft Policy 2009-1: Transfer Policy - Revised andforwarded to the Board

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Fri May 8 15:47:08 EDT 2009

>  If companies hear that they can 
> get money for giving up space, many (but not all) of them are 
> going to do an inventory and find out what they have but 
> don't actually need so that they can cash in. 

Sorry, but the business world does not work like that. In 
order to do any recovery work, you have to make a business
case which involves balancing the costs of the work, versus
the returns from selling the IP addresses and also factor in
the risk that the price will be rather lower than expected,
plus the risks related to potential disruption caused by the

Earlier you described seeing many cases of sloppiness and
your motive is to provide an incentive to clean up. But did't
you notice that this kind of sloppiness is accepted within
the businesses that you looked at? They've looked at the 
full spectrum of activity that they could do, and decided
that some things, although ugly, just don't cause negative
impacts to customers, so it is better to leave well enough

This isn't going to change unless it really starts to hit
the bottom line, and that will happen when IANA runs
out of IPv4 addresses and companies have to face up to
the fact that they are unlikely to ever get more addresses
from ARIN, or if they do get more, it will be less than
they need. At that point, something which could cause a
simple T1 install to fail becomes a big risk to the bottom
line because the customer ordering that T1 has a hundred
or two other circuits, plus colo, plus other value-add
services, and the company risks losing all of it for the
want of an address. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_Want_of_a_Nail>

That is what will motivate businesses, not a few paltry
thousands of dollars gained by selling IP address blocks.

--Michael Dillon

P.S. I don't doubt that a few businesses will spend some big
cash to buy up addresses and avert catastrophe, but they will
pay big bucks because the supply will be extremely limited.
That will be the end of the IP address market as people realise
that it is not stable, can't be relied on, and that there may
not really be enough available addresses anywhere in the world.
IPv6 will be like an oasis in the desert. End of story.

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