[arin-ppml] quantitative study of IPv4 address market

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Fri Aug 31 18:18:05 EDT 2012

On Aug 31, 2012, at 4:50 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

> This report is probably of interest to this list: 
> http://www.internetgovernance.org/2012/08/31/the-first-study-of-the-emerging-market-for-ipv4-numbers/ 

Milton's blog is having a bit of problems with comments
(apparently only my comments, for reasons unknown...!)

Hence, here's a copy of my reply to the study blog entry
for the PPML readers.



Milton - 
Thank you for conducting this study into the emergent IPv4 transfer market...  Such academic efforts are important in helping everyone better understand this important topic.   The principle conclusion of the paper (that being "there is a thriving and growing market for IPv4 number blocks") is definitely true and needs repeating for those who might not have heard by now.
I will note that popularity of buyers in the ARIN region is actually very simply explained by the fact that service providers, like all businesses, want certainty in their operations, and continuing to predicate growth on receiving 3-month-at-a-time allocations from the IPv4 free pool in the face of imminent depletion doesn't provide that business certainty.  While there has been enormous progress getting content to IPv6 (and now the migration of the mobile providers based on that content being available), each service provider must develop their own transition plans, and the ability to receive 2 years worth of IPv4 space via transfer provides reassurance to providers while they work on this transition.
It is interesting that after all of your study of the transfers that have occurred, you provide conclusory statements that providers are performing transfers to "avoid the needs assessment process" and/or  "strengthen recipients’ property rights'.   As is very clear from the court documents of the transfers subsequent to MSFT/Nortel, the recipients are all bound by Internet number resource policy in the ARIN region, and the transfers were predicated upon having the need verified by ARIN before the transfer could be completed.  For example, from the Borders/Cerner bankruptcy document referenced in your paper, we find the following language:
"14. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, including, without limitation, paragraphs J, 3-8, 11 and 16, hereof, (i) the IA Sale, as stated in the Agreements, is conditioned upon ARIN’s consent including any terms and/or conditions established by ARIN’s transfer policies or any other policies, guidelines, or regulations developed by ARIN and published on its website, as may be amended and supplemented from time to time (collectively, “ARIN’s Policies”), (ii) the transfer of the Debtors’ interests in the Internet Addresses to the Purchaser is subject to ARIN’s Policies, (iii) the Debtors and the Purchaser are required to comply with ARIN’s Policies before any transfer of the Debtors’ rights in the Internet Addresses may be effectuated.; (iv) ARIN is not required to take any action in violation of ARIN’s Policies in connection with or as a consequence of this Order, the IA Sale, or the Agreements, nor shall ARIN be required to apply a different standard to the transfer of the Internet Addresses than it does to the transfer of non-legacy Internet Protocol numbers. Nothing in this Order is intended, nor shall be construed, as exempting the Debtors and Purchaser from complying with the ARIN Policies. Subject to the conditions set forth in this paragraph, ARIN has approved of the transfer as contemplated herein and shall take reasonable steps to provide assistance for the transfer as contemplated in this Order."
It is a shame that you did not actually assess the bankruptcy transfers that occurred post-Nortel, as you would have found very similar language to this effect in each of them.  I imagine that would have made for a less stirring set of conclusions, but such is the burden of an academic study.
John Curran
President and CEO

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