[arin-ppml] Use of "reserved" address space.

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Wed Jun 30 13:58:00 EDT 2010

I am having some trouble figuring out what perspective Roger is trying to articulate here.

I don't think the presence or absence of "a smooth transition to IPv6" says a whole lot about ARIN's "decision making process."
Yes, ARIN can make bad policy decisions which can exacerbate problems associated with the depletion of IPv4 and adoption of ipv6 (e.g., the benighted resistance to transfer markets in some quarters) -- but the closer we get to depletion the more rational people seem to become about this. 

By the same token, it would be a mistake to assume that ARIN and its decision making processes are fully responsible for any and all problems occurring in the Internet economy as a result of this transition. ARIN has a limited mandate, which by and large does _not_ include issuing orders to the world's ASNs about which equipment and protocols to use. There are many complex economic interactions at work and to assume that ARIN is at the center of them all and can ensure that no one feels any pain is unrealistic.

I don't think the address shortage is "artificial;" I think it is real. 

I think it is inevitable, and not necessarily bad, for some groups to treat the scarcity as an economic opportunity and make money from it. The trick is to adopt policies that channel these economic incentives into avenues that are efficient and constructive. 

As for "DoC, judiciaries and legislatures," well, the courts are and always should be in the background (even techies have to follow laws); the DoC NTIA tends to be a big supporter of the RIR system, already has the ICANN millstone around its neck and is not out looking for new responsibilities; legislatures will huff and puff when egged on by lobbyists for specific interests having problems (again, a normal part of life in the real world) but when it comes down to producing workable rules there are many rather large obstacles affecting legislatures' capacity to act on this topic. Don't hold your breath for that one. 

So. Can you be more specific about who "those with a financial interest" are and what you expect (or fear) to happen? 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net [mailto:arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net] On
> Behalf Of Roger Marquis
> Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:15 AM
> To: Kevin Oberman
> Cc: John Curran; arin-ppml at arin.net
> Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] Use of "reserved" address space.
> Kevin Oberman wrote:
> > You appear to not understand how ARIN operates. If you read the policy
> > process, you might notice that "voting" as not a part of the
> > process. Like the IETF, ARIN operates largely by "rough consensus".
> The
> > Board of Trustees and the AC look to the public (not membership) for
> > input and direction. It is up to those bodies (and, in the end, the
> BoT)
> > make the decision based on legal, technical and practical analysis of
> > the proposal.
> Thanks for the clarifications Kevin.  Most of us have read the details
> on
> this list before.  Whether you call it a vote or a rough consensus the
> real issue is whether the process is capable of enabling a smooth
> transition to IPv6.  Experience indicates that it is not.
> My concern, looking ahead, is what will occur when ARIN's decision
> making
> process fails this test and financial interests begin exploiting the
> artificial address shortage.  It seems likely that the DOC, judiciaries,
> and/or legislatures will pick-up the ball.  When that happens it is
> likely that ARIN's structure will change as well.
> Whether you see this as inevitable or not, as a good thing or not, it
> would be prudent to start planning for it now.  You can bet those with a
> financial interest in the process are.
> Roger Marquis
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