[arin-ppml] "Leasing" of space via non-connectivity providers (was: Re: And so it ends... )

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Mon Feb 7 17:59:36 EST 2011

On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 4:07 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:
>> ARIN has always enforced a philosophical position:
>> IP addresses go to those with justified technical need.
>> IP addresses are not property.
>> Address leasing without ARIN in the loop holds the prospect of
>> demolishing those principles
> So what? You correctly identify those principles as
> "philosophical". When facts change, philosophies
> change, or at least, they'd better. We have words
> - religious dogma -  that apply when they don't.

So what? So unless you want to revisit all of the problems with
markets encountered since the feudal era, you don't blunder into a
market carelessly. If we're to have a market, we want an open, free
market. Historically, that's not a market's natural state.

> With "leasing," we see an even simpler process for
> achieving the same result as address transfers.
> Existing holders take on all the transactions
> costs of effecting the transfer that ARIN would
> otherwise have to assume. Also seems to have
> good aggregation properties, which a straight
> transfer does not. What's not to like?

Leaseholds are a healthy part of a market that includes Freeholds. And
they're a soul crushing part of closed market that does not.

For anyone not familiar with the terms, a freehold is where you buy
the house and the land, while a leasehold is where you buy the house
and the right to use the land for 99 years or some such. Freeholds are
The Way It Is for residential real estate in most of the US and
Canada, but they're very hard to come by in parts of Europe and Asia.
Historically, much of the 19th century immigration to the new world
was driven by the promise of escaping the European landlords.

With ownership spread thin enough, you get a free market in which
Freeholds and Leaseholds compete for best value. But even in the US it
takes tax incentives (mortgage interest write off) and other
government interference to prevent that ownership from coalescing with
a few barons, after which the market is closed.

IP address "ownership" is not starting with a thin spread. It's very
concentrated with fewer than a hundred ISPs holding most of it while
the rest is scattered here and there. The leasehold-only market which
could develop naturally from that is not a healthy market at all. You
don't have to look far to understand what that would look like -- land
ownership in Hawaii still suffers the legacy of Dole and his
contemporaries where vast tracks of underutilized land simply aren't
available at any price.

But then you know all this and could surely explain it better than I
can if you care to.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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