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

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Thu Feb 10 15:41:55 EST 2011

for some reason your response ended up in my spam box and languished there for several days. Possibly my School's spam filter is more intelligent than I thought ;-)

> -----Original Message-----
> So what? So unless you want to revisit all of the problems with markets
> encountered since the feudal era,

I don't think it's productive for either of us to get involved in a historical argument about political economy, especially when that topic does not fall within the scope of this group and the expertise of at least one of us, and the rest of the list will simply turn this into an opinion-venting opportunity to tell us whether they are for or against some abstraction called "markets"

Let's keep the discussion grounded. The basic, unalterable fact is that we are going to have address transfers. These are - regardless of what ARIN or this list or the community choose to call them - a transfer of a (limited, conditional) property rights when transfers take place. So the only issue we should be debating here is whether the transfers must go through ARIN or can holders lease them out directly without invoking the transfer process. 

Note Well: either case would be "leaseholds" under your definition!! If we go through ARIN, ARIN is the freeholder and it leases to others. 
And both cases would be mediated by market prices when there is competition for the resource. 

The only difference is that the more liberal, direct form of leasing allows buyers of address capacity to bid without going through ARIN's bureaucracy. I think this benefit both the transacting parties and ARIN. I don't think "demonstrated need" is an issue because I don't think many buyers are going to pay some ISP substantial monthly sums for a service that they don't "need". I simply think we can let the market do this for us. 

> 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.

Can't help adding, the European landlord system was more akin to the internet community's classical address allocation policies than to a market. Land ownership was based on status, family ties, and privilege, not markets. 

> 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.

Huh? No economist that I know of sees the mortgage interest write off as anything but a government subsidy to middle class home ownership. It has absolutely nothing to do with preserving and open and free market. Indeed, in case you hadn't noticed these kinds of govt interventions in the housing market played a big role in creating the housing bubble that led to the financial crisis. 

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