[arin-ppml] Set aside round deux

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Sat Jul 31 17:15:40 EDT 2010

On 7/28/2010 1:32 AM, michael.dillon at bt.com wrote:
>> Let me offer a rude viewpoint to gauge reaction: the 4.10 addresses
>> shouldn't be available to the X-larges at all. Period. The X-larges
>> have vast tracts of IPv4 addresses from which they can find a few to
>> facilitate IPv4 function during the v6 transition. 4.10 addresses
>> should be for folks who didn't have a lot of v4 addresses to start
>> with and need just a few more to carry them through to v6 ubiiquity.
> What's rude about it? This is reality. All large ISPs have enough
> existing IPv4 space to keep their businesses humming even if they
> can't get more from ARIN.
> That doesn't mean that they currently have spare addresses stashed
> away, although I would expect that most do have sloppy decommissioning
> processes with the end result that they have addresses lost in the
> system. But the main source of IP addresses for these large ISPs is
> their existing customers. They will have high margin customers and
> low margin customers. It is not unusual for a large company to identify
> its low margin customers, and then contact them all to say that
> their service contracts will not be renewed and if the customer
> wants to cancel the contracts at any time, no penalty will be
> charged.
> Therefore, the large ISPs are able to mine their low margin customer
> base to recover IP addresses which can be used for continued growth
> of high margin customers. In some cases this kind of process will have
> other benefits. For instance, consider an ISP who installed lots of
> 75xx edge routers to sell T1 access. Over the years, the high margin
> customers have all upgraded. By shedding certain low margin customers
> they not only recover IP addresses, but they can get rid of those
> 75xx boxes freeing up rack space for 10Ks with a higher port density
> and greater flexibility.
> I believe that address recovery through internal churn is viable for
> all of the larger ISPs therefore I think that a policy which intends
> to limit the disruptive effect of IPv4 exhaustion would do better to
> focus exclusively on the smaller businesses who often have less
> flexible business models. I'm not saying that ARIN has a responsibility
> to protect these businesses from bankruptcy or buyout, but that a
> policy focused on lengthening the period of time during which these
> businesses can get IPv4 addresses, will generally ease the process
> of IPv6 transition. For one thing, it will make it more likely that
> these smaller businesses can buy IPv6 routers on the used market.

The cost of a BGP-capabable "name brand" router that speaks IPv6
is still up in the $5K range on the used market.

> And it will allow them to spread their investment in transition
> over a longer period which makes it more financially feasible.

I agree 100% with Michael, here.  The large ISPs despite public
protestations and proclamations, will have no trouble transitioning.
Most of their customer base is comprised of people who have NO OTHER
CHOICE.  Take Comcast, for example.  A majority of their subscribers
in the US have only ONE broadband provider choice - them.  Thus if
Comcast unilaterally decides to tell all customers that they must
use IPv6 and access the IPv4 Internet through Comcast-run IPv6-to-IPv4
"transparent" proxy servers, then most of their customer base will
scream - but they won't leave.  They are stuck with them.  The same
goes for verizon.net, qwest.net, frontier.com, etc. etc.  All of these
guys have a book of business built on a customer base that has nowhere
else to go.  And despite what you read about anti-trust law in the US,
there is no legal reason that all of those large ISP's cannot get 
together and agree on a single "screw the customer date" so that when
the "your going to use IPv6 or else" day comes along, their customers
have no competitor to go to that isn't already doing the same thing.

Thus, even without "mining the low-margin" customers,
the IPv4->IPv6 transition is not going to be much of a problem for
them.  They won't lose customers as a result, and the handful who
"protest quit" will slink back a few months later.

All of the "extend the usefulness of IPv4" projects that have been
proposed in the past are really only of applicability and concern to
the SMALL ISPs who do NOT have the capability of telling their
customers how it's gonna be.  They know that they have customers who
will have to have their IPv4 pried out of their cold, dead fingers.
And they are all sitting around wondering just how long the large
ISP's are going to fiddle-faddle around still offering IPv4.

God's honest truth is that it would benefit ALL isp's out there for
the large networks to have a "screw-the-customer" day where they
tell all customers that IPv6 is a requirement, much sooner rather than
much later.  If the large networks succeed in dragging out the 
IPv4->IPv6 transition for many years, it's going to kill the
smaller ISPs.  So, if your going to reserve IPv4, don't even ALLOW
the large ISPs to have access to it.

In the US we have standards for TV broadcast transmission, we have
standards for what a passenger car tire must be able to do.  Customers
do not have the choice to buy and run products that don't meet these
standards.  There is no reason on Earth that we cannot do the same thing 
with IP.  The customer should not be allowed to have any ability
to prolong IPv4 usage and the only reason they do is because the
large networks have figured out this is yet another way they can screw
over the smaller ISPs and take away their customers.


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