[arin-ppml] Global policy development process [was: Re: NRPM 2010.1 ­ New Policies Implemented]

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Fri Jan 15 15:57:36 EST 2010

Lee Howard wrote:
>> Lee's statement was
>> "...status of global policy PROPOSALS within the ARIN region..."
>> The strong implication there is that these proposals are still proposals
>> at this time.
>> But I suspect Lee's hedging a bit himself, right now.  I would!!! :-)
> Me, hedge?  Never!
>   Well, hardly ever.  ;-)
> I don't know if the process is wrong, but since people are debating about
> what it actually IS, I think it's unclear.  
> What do you think the process for global policy development SHOULD be?

I think that ICANN/IANA should effectively duplicate what we have for
global policies - a mailing list with all interested parties, etc.

My $0.02 here is that IANA has managed to "get away" without having
to face anything the least bit controversial simply because there's
been a plentiful supply of IPv4 addresses.

IANA was born in an era where there were always more IPv4 addresses
so all they had to do was limit themselves to only overseeing IP
addressing policy - and since the only thing people would really
ever complain about was "not having" an IPv4 address - they could
always avoid controversy and "shut the complainers up" by handing
them a block of numbers.

The entire IPv6 thrust was an echo of this mentality.  In other words,
create so effing many globally unique IPv6 addresses that NOBODY could 
EVER complain again - and even the flimsiest, most ridiculously 
justified excuses for untold gobs of IPv6 addresses could be ignored 
with a pat on the head and "here, you want 26 bazillion IPv6 addresses, 
have them, we won't even notice"

Pushing the global policy development responsibility on to the RIR's
is yet another echo of this - it's the idea that we (IANA) don't want
to get our hands dirty in the rough-and-tumble political world of
hammering out policy, so we will make the RIR's do our dirty work
while we remain in the ivory tower.

The problem here is what we are running up against is the 
(understandably) strong desire of the public (represented by
all of our customers) to not shift away from IPv4.  People (and it's
not just limited to customers, it includes a great many networks
who have not got any IPv6 running on them at all) have a "chicken"
mentality on this issue - they won't ABANDON IPv4 until "the other
guy" does - and "the other guy" won't abandon IPv4 until the first
guy does.  Both players of this game could be FULLY DEPLOYED with
IPv6 and they would STILL be playing it!!!

Naturally, this silliness isn't doing anything to abate the hunger
for more IPv4 and so the IPv4 train is still going 150Mph straight into
the wall, here.  So, we are starting to see more and more of a
demand for the RIR's to ferret out unused IPv4, or retrieve it from
networks who aren't using it, or whatever.  The RIRs are stuck in
the middle here, with multiple parties all pulling at them.

I predict that we are only really seeing the beginnings of this
problem right now.  Imagine 5 years after IANA-runout-of-IPv4 if
RIPE is being heavily pressed for more IPv4 by deep-pocket
corporations in their area of responsibility - and those corps.
want to know why ARIN has 70% of assigned IPv4 and RIPE only has
20%, and this is unfair, and who do we bribe to fix it?

IANA is going to be forced to be drawn in to mediate between
the RIR's because the RIR's are going to be forced by the ISP's
to fight for IPv4 scraps, and the ISP's will be doing this because
their customers with the dollars will be paying them to do it.
And - not just corporations, governments will be involved in
this as well.

What if France Telecom goes to the French government and insists
that IPv4 hoarding in a post-IPv4 world is putting France at
a competitive disadvantage on the global market?  Do you think the
French government will do nothing?  No, they will go to RIPE and
bitch to them, and RIPE will pass the buck and say it's not
our fault, IANA is out of addresses.  Then IANA will say hey,
it's not our fault, the IPv4 address hog is ARIN, since they have
the bulk of IPv4 assignments.  Then the French government will say
to IANA well you are ARIN's boss so take some of those allocations back
from them.

It does not bode well for a "hands off" mentality at IANA, is my


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