[arin-ppml] How bad is it really?

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Mon Jul 12 14:38:05 EDT 2010

Hi Dave,

   Well, I think there is a lot of small space like this.  To give you 
an example take subnet, this was a direct assignment to
Leatherman Tools, which was a customer of ours over a decade ago.  They 
stopped using that space around 1999 but it was still routed to us.  I
used it periodically up until 2004 until we got our /19, but of course I
could not trade it in since we didn't own it.  I did mention it to the
ARIN hostmaster at that time.  So it's been abandonded for 6 years as 
well.   The last change on it's POC was from our former
admin who applied his e-mail address for his new employer to it (for 
some odd reason) but his new employer went bankrupt - and a domain 
speculator now has the POC e-mail address.

   Presumably, when ARIN fully has Section 3.6.1 of the NRPM implemented
the domain speculator who has the domain on the POC will fail to respond 
to the annual POC notification e-mail, and eventually ARIN will
notice the POC record is invalid.  At that time they might paper-mail
Leatherman Tools which is still a going concern, and still at the
address in the POC to confirm the POC.  ARIN does have the option
under the NRPM of marking the POC "completely and permanently abandoned 
or otherwise illegitimate"
but I don't know if they have developed an internal process yet to
make such designations or whether such a process includes phone calls
or paper mails or other mechanisms (like querying a looking glass, etc.)
Almost certainly such an internal process will prioritize the
invalid POC's tied to the largest allocations first.

But you can imagine what would happen even if ARIN were to paper-mail
Leatherman Tools on this one.  Most likely the admin at
Leatherman will not know what the heck the paper-mail is about and
will wrongly assume they are still using that subnet - and tell
ARIN not to do anything about it.  So that subnet will remain tied up,
virtually forever, or at least until Leatherman Tools goes out of
business, which isn't likely.  It would take a 20-minute phone call from
the ARIN hostmaster to the head MIS admin at Leatherman Tools to
explain what is going on and get permission to take back this
legacy resource, and that's only if the guy at Leatherman is clueful.

   Now, the interesting thing here is that in
the 3-4 minutes that it took for you to read this and comprehend it, the 
global RIR's have probably assigned 10 times the amount of IPv4
space.  In other words, it's likely that it would NEVER be 
cost-effective for ARIN to recover this space and reallocate it.
So ARIN probably will never get around to deeming this particular
/24 "permanently abandoned"  Hopefully though at least it eventually
will be marked unresponsive.  The truth is that this particular subnet
is my "canary in the coal mine" since I know it's history and I know
it should be marked unresponsive, when I see that happen I'll know
ARIN is implementing 3.6.1 fully.

   Keep in mind that Section 3.6.1 requires ARIN to publish a list of
invalid POCS, so we should have in a year or two a list of subnets
that are "ripe for mining" as they say.  I think that most of the
community believes that there isn't a lot of this space out
there.  I would also predict that if ARIN comes back with the
equivalent of 5-10 /8's worth of "invalid POC" space that there
will quickly be support for further IPv4 reclamation activities.


On 7/12/2010 10:49 AM, Dave Feuer wrote:
> While cleaning up some old DNS records (again) I took a look at some of our
> old address space. 2  x /23s from 2 providers. I did a quick whois and both
> are still pointing to us. One we have not used since early 2001 the other
> since late 2004. I did some tests and one of them still routes to the last
> hop before it hit us.
> Then I took a look at the records for a client with a /22 that we managed
> the DNS for. I don't know how long he has not had the IP space but it's been
> at least 3 years and more likely closer to or over 4 years. Still pointing
> to him (and his company no longer even exists) and still routing to the last
> hop before him.
> How much space is out there and routed and going no place? Is there any way
> to find out? It's more of a question to satisfy my curiosity but I think it
> would be interesting to know.
> -Dave
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