[arin-ppml] Safety net for developing economies...

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Fri Nov 13 20:49:53 EST 2009

RudOlph Daniel wrote:
> This goes right to the heart of v4/v6 transistion. 
> If we accept what Jeff Houston at APNIC reported : that only 40 % of 
> legacy space is routed and that 3.6 % of allocated addresses are 
> actually occupied by visible hosts, then it is perhaps worth speculating 
> that there are out there, market makers who are laying the foundation to 
> profit from "runout".

I'm sure there are.

> The ideology of stewardship of a common pool, whilst displaying good 
> economic and social properties, does not prevent hoarding by one party 
> thereby restricting use by another party. 


> Remember that allocation is based on case by case demonstration of need. 
> Such a procedure is more akin to your central city planning function and 
> therefore relies heavily on the accuracy of the information or should I 
> say the symmetry of information between the requestor and the registry. 
> So when you get the kind of market conditions suggested by Houston, it 
> become a major challenge to the case by case administration process. In 
> other words, your staff begin to complain of headaches :)
> Because of the legacy space situation, ARIN's policies have more impact 
> than any other RIR.
> So it can also be argued that how legacy space is managed at "runout" 
>  directly affects not only the timely adoption of v6, but also Internet 
> development and capacity building in the RIRs region.

You can make that argument regardless of whether ARIN's policies have
more impact than any other RIR, ARIN is not unique in having some
unused space in it's IPv4 allocations.  But, go on,

> ARIN as a region possibly has the widest digital divide of the RIRs: 
> contrasting, the USA, Canada, and  the 22 small Caribbean states.
> Supposing we accept the existence of a v4 runout market, good 
> stewardship of the resource should therefore prevent application and 
> innovation in developing markets from becoming too expensive due to 
> scarcity value of the resource. 
> Arin already provides support for developing countries in its region so 
> it is not so difficult to develop policy to use those portions of its 
> region seeking internet development and capacity building to promote v6 
> adoption in a myriad of practical ways, since it not only address the 
> digital divide but also brings them up to speed in the face of market 
> challenges. Did someone propose IPv6 in a box at a public meeting?

Are you advocating that ARIN offer developing countries in it's region
IPv4 resources in exchange for deploying IPv6?

> The runout market makers are also going to be challenged by new fledging 
> v6 networks which in themselves are going to act as a test bed for a 
> host of network technical issues which currently confront easy adoption 
> of v6. It also provides an opportunity to close the digital divide by 
> providing subsidies at the bottom where the rate of return is far 
> greater in the medium to long term than fighting a protracted war with 
> deeply entrenched IP racketeers.

Is this advocating ARIN make payments to orgs who don't have any
IP deployed because then they will build out IPv6, instead of trying
to build out IPv4?

> There is also another perspective here, The ARINCaribbean is not unlike 
> Africa, in that it has a very high penetration of Mobile; and so quick 
> adoption of v6 is probably beneficial to economic growth in the region 
> especially since the global economic downturn. But v6 adoption requires 
> good planning, investment and collaboration: All of these are in short 
> supply where the digital divide is a wide one. 

Are you saying good IPv6 planning, investment and collaboration is in
short supply in the ARIN region?

> Even without a v4 runout headache, there are still big challenges 
> confronting broadband access in rural areas and low income populations 
> and it is interesting to note (from an opinion expressed to me) that 
> these challenges are probably greater than those for the voice telephony 
> of old.

I think there's a lot of implications here your making.  I happen to
agree with some of them, but I think that the problem isn't solvable
in the way I think your implying.  Here is my $0.02 on why;

With the old POTS telephoney the biggest challenge
was running a pair of copper wires for miles.  Out in the sticks you had
the freedom of running a 10 mile copper pair subscriber line stuck to 
barbed wire cow pasture fences, with the appropriate load coils in it. 
You could cover very large distances with a very DUMB network, where all
the expensive intelligence is located in a single CO.

This gives huge savings when you can do this.

With any kind of higher speed broadband, you have to run DSL, or cable 
TV cable, or fiber - all of which require repeaters, which require
power, and maintainence, and so on and so on.  These push the 
intelligence out into the field, out into the network.

The model of a single large central office with concentrated 
intelligence and a dumb network doesn't hold.  Instead, a new model
of distributed intelligence is used.

And, such a model is much more expensive, much more labor intensive,
than the old concentrated intelligence model.

Thus, with the old model you could afford to subsidize the rural and low 
income populations.  You could strategically place the CO's on the edge 
of the low income regions, so that the CO served a mix of low income and 
high income areas, and thus, you would essentially subsidize the low 
income areas.  Because serving the low income areas was so cheap (since
the network cost practically nothing) and you had to have the CO there
serving the high-income areas anyway, there was little objection.

In the new model, since every region that the network is in has to be 
funded, it is very easy for the high-income but unschooled-in-networking 
types to understand that when you were sending expensive intelligence 
into low-income regions, that they were funding these areas.  And, the 
costs are far far higher than the old model.  So naturally, they 
objected to this.

This is why the digital divide exists at all.  To put it simply, it
costs a lot more money to hand out free Internet access than to hand out 
free voice access, and Internet access is not a health-and-safety issue, 
the way that 911-emergency access is on voice.  So, you cannot use moral 
persuasion to convince the high-income types that they must fund 
Internet Access for the have-nots, and since doing this funding is so 
expensive, there is no way to slip in these subsidies under the table
without the high-income types figuring it out.

And more importantly, since Internet Access is so new (it's only
been around for 15 years for the masses, after all) the societal 
structures to prevent undesirable behavior on it (such as piracy,
child exploitation, etc.) do not yet exist and are still being figured 
out - as a result we have a LOT of objectionable behavior on the
Internet, behavior PARTICULARLY objectionable to someone subsidizing
Internet access for one of the not-haves.  To put it succinctly, why
should the rich subsidize a have-not's porno surfing Playboy and 
watching episodes of Lost off hulu?

This is why, IMHO, the digital divide isn't currently a solvable
problem.  In voice service today, we can provide a voice line that
will ONLY take 911 calls, to someone who is so dirt poor that
they cannot even afford an extra $10 a month for a POTS line.
The societal structures exist to do this and get the have's to
pay for it, and the haves mostly agree that there's a moral
imperative for them to do this.

But, in Internet service today it's an all-or-nothing proposition.
We cannot provide an Internet connection that will ONLY
allow the have-nots to access educational stuff, or job-hunting
stuff, or other pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps stuff that
the haves would all agree that there's a moral imperative to supply
to the have-nots.  Instead, if we supply it, they get everything,
including the stuff that they shouldn't be wasting their time on.

One of the biggest objections I hear about the food stamp program
in the United States comes from when "the poor" who are on food
stamps walk though the grocery store checkout line, carrying
food and beer - and pay cash for the beer and cigarettes, and
food stamps for the food.  This gives the impression that taxpayer
dollars are funding alcohol and smoking, and turns every taxpayer
who sees this happening in the grocery store against the food stamp
program.  So much so, in fact, that many states have gone to a
credit card system, that is unobtrusive, so that "the poor" who
are using this can get through the checkout line without anyone
realizing they are using public assistance.  Ostensibly this is
to protect the privacy of the poor, but it also helps to reduce
public outrage at the perceived abuse of the program, which is
almost certainly the main reason the politicians went for it.

I suspect that if there would ever be a serious movement (at least
in the United States) to make the same claim that Internet Access
was on par with voiceline access as a moral imperative for the
have-nots, that the outrage over public subsidies to the have-nots
for using publically-paid Internet service to access playboy.com
would make the complaints about the food stamp program look like
a match next to a forest fire.

The digital divide isn't going to be solvable until the Internet
is cleaned up, and the worthless content (ie: all the sex stuff)
is behind lock and key, and the next-to-worthless stuff (ie: the
episodes of Lost on hulu.com) is behind a door that can be closed
if needed.

The day you can allow your 10-year-old kid onto the Internet,
unsupervised, is the day the digital divide CAN be closed.  Until
then, Internet Service is electronic beer and cigarettes, and
the poor are gonna have to pay cash.

Just my $0.02


>  Rudi Daniel
> On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 4:07 AM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net 
> <mailto:jcurran at arin.net>> wrote:
>     On Nov 12, 2009, at 2:55 AM, RudOlph Daniel wrote:
>      > ...
>      > What I am suggesting here is that the network and its policies is
>     not yet mature/homogeneous enough to provide a safety net for
>     developing economies like the Caribbean in the face of the majority
>     of this RIR with its far superior knowledge and experience, but yet
>     not able to foresee the future black market shenanigans of a
>     creative first world business professional class leveraging the
>     scarcity value of a resource for considerable profit.
>     Rudi -
>       How should ARIN provide a safety net for developing economies in
>     this region?  To the extent that you have a suggestion, this is
>     definitely the right place to discuss it.
>     /John
>     John Curran
>     President and CEO
>     ARIN
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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