[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-151 Limiting Needs Requirements for IPv4 Transfers

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue May 24 16:12:04 EDT 2011

On May 24, 2011, at 11:02 AM, John Springer wrote:

> Hi Mike,
> On Tue, 24 May 2011, Mike Burns wrote:
> <snip>
>> Please understand that although I do think addresses will be more efficiently used in the future when they have monetary value than currently, or in the past, when they didn't, I am not making this the crux of my proposal.
> OK, how about the idea of making this a one crux proposal?


>> What I am saying is that needs testing was a requirement for free pool allocations, and that is why we imposed needs tests on applicants for address space. Actually some kind of constraint was required, as it always is, for the distribution of unpriced but valuable resources.
> One thing that I have seen a lot of lately is asserting that something happened _for_a_particular_reason_, and then using that _reason_ as a launching pad. WRT the above, I agree that needs testing was imposed, but saying that it was a requirement, which is why we imposed it seems circular.
>> Now, however, whether with or without my policy, the stewards at ARIN chose to allow individuals to buy and sell addresses, and thus for addresses to have a price.
> Don't think so. I know you keep saying so, but IIRC the STLS allows the right to transfer the right to use, presumably, but not necessarily for a consideration. Seems to me there is a lot of care exercised to be sure that the phrasing does not give even the appearance of sell and buy.

Indeed we were very careful not to include buying or selling and not to involve ARIN in any financial side-deal that may or may not accompany the transfer.

>> The price is the constraint on wasteful use that the needs test used to be.
> Would be. Maybe. Among other things. Happy to talk about it.

I believe that this is not the case. I believe that price, to the extent that it enters into directed transfers serves as a motivator
to make addresses available for (more) efficient use, but, does not actually drive efficient use. There are enough obvious
cases where inefficient use would be of financial benefit to the (potential) resource holder that price alone cannot possibly
drive efficient usage and thus, the stewards, wisely (IMHO) proposed and the community accepted a policy that preserved
needs-basis and still allowed directed transfers with the possibility that price may or may not be involved as determined
by the individual parties to the transfer.

>> So maintaining the needs test is not a requirement for stewardship, as other forces outside of our control will work towards the same ends of efficient usage that the needs test was designed to incentivize.
> Maybe not, if we were absolutely determined that at all costs the needs test had to go. But we have not so determined. You propose that this is desireable and are experiencing some discussion. Not everyone agrees.

Indeed, I believe that Mike's assertion here is far from proven and rather inaccurate. I agree that with market forces,
forces out of our control will work towards SOME ends. I do not believe that there is anything to show that the
ends will necessarily be any form of efficient usage, let alone the SAME ends of efficient usage that the needs
test was designed to incentivize.

The question here is whether there is any advantage to the community at large from a free-for-all in the transfer
process vs. a transfer process where the recipient is still governed by needs-basis.

Absent some clear benefit, I fail to see a reason to make such a radical change to policy. So far, no clear
benefit has been shown, but, many negatives have been presented. (Admittedly, there is some disagreement
about whether certain negatives are actually benefits).

>> I think some stewards have gotten it into their heads that their role is to decide the best, or at least better, use of addresses, but I argue that was never a goal of stewardship.
> Here again: some stewards _MAY_ be considering that it might be better if existing uses of addresses be prefered to proposed and possibly undesirable uses. I would think YOU have to justify convincingly the advantages of previously prohibited practices, not just assert repeatedly those advantages.

I don't think that is the case at all. Certainly I don't believe that my role on the AC is to make any such
determination. However, I do think that restricting the consumption of addresses to those with justified
need instead of opening it up entirely to those with capital and no other basis will lead to a  net reduction
in the efficient utilization (which you have claimed is a valid goal) of the address space while simultaneously
increasing costs and reducing availability.

Given such an outcome being the likely result of your policy, I cannot see how the goal of efficient
utilization can possibly be served.

Given the other likely results (increased and accelerated disaggregation, anti-competitive tactics,
etc.), I believe that the proposal, if enacted, could be quite damaging to the community as a whole.
As such, given little or no demonstrable benefit and significant probable downsides and costs,
how could I responsibly consider this good policy?


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