[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-165 Eliminate Needs-Based Justificationon 8.3 Specified Transfers

Astrodog astrodog at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 13:16:22 EST 2012

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 5:41 AM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
> On Feb 17, 2012, at 11:07 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> Anyway, a tip of the hat to the proponents of ARIN-prop-165 for their effort; you showed a touching faith in the RIR policy making process. This has been tried several times before, the result is always the same: the sheep start bleating "needs assessment good, markets bad"
> Milton -
> The community response to these proposals for an unconstrained
> market is more reasoned that your summary would suggest. There
> already is a limited market mechanism through the existing policy
> for specified transfers; this alone is recognition that markets
> are not inherently "bad" but do serve as a viable mechanism for
> getting limited resources to the folks who have need for them.
> Markets have an added benefit that the pricing incentive works
> on resources that are already distributed, whereas the historic
> approach to distribution from a centrally managed available pool
> provides no meaningful incentive for getting resources that are
> underutilized back into productive use.
> If the community were solely concerned with the requirement of
> improving the utilization of the fixed size pool of numbers in
> order to maximize availability, then it is fairly clear that a
> unconstrained market would suffice for this task.  There are
> some interesting questions that arise from the market approach
> (see John Sweetings questions to you of 17 Feb 17 12:55:52 PM)
> which remain unanswered about how such an unconstrained market
> would remain fair, but I'm told those are type of questions that
> economists deal with all of time and presumably can be addressed.
> However, the inherent questions of how and when markets work is
> _not_ the only concern that is being expressed in the discussion,
> and that is likely because there specific requirements being met
> by the present system which have not been answered by the various
> market advocates, specifically how markets would protect the "fair
> distribution of globally unique Internet address space according to
> the operational needs of the end-users and ISPs operating networks
> using this address space" and the "distribution of globally unique
> Internet addresses in a hierarchical manner" so as to encourage
> address aggregation to the extent possible (refer to the first
> page of IETF BCP12, aka RFC 2050, for this statement of goals.)
> As the present specified transfer policy requires need assessment
> in the same manner as allocation/assignment from the available pool,
> transfers automatically inherent certain mechanisms that serve to
> protect these underlying goals of the Internet number registry system:
> - Address transfers are indirectly limited in size by "need", which
>  protects fair access by all to number resources in the presence
>  of extremely large players (i.e. Mr. Sweeting's earlier query)
> - Address transfers must be of a minimum size, which serves to
>  prevent deaggregation which could otherwise occur in markets
>  as resources are packaged into sizes to maximize $$$ return.
> Presuming that a policy proposal emerges for a less constrained market
> mechanism, it would be useful to hear how it addresses the above goals.
> This is the discussion that many are trying to have on the list; it
> would helpful if you would help raise it above reporting on bleating
> and waiving of invisible hands.  It is incumbent upon those who advocate
> change to argue the merits of their case, but we have yet to hear how
> elimination of the needs-based assessment for an unconstrained market
> will still satisfy the goals of the Internet number registry system.

Given the concerns of the community and after watching this discussion
play out, I think it may be more useful for those of us who support
the removal of needs-based assessments to provide a more comprehensive
document explaining why we believe that it serves those goals better
than the existing system.

Something I've been curious about, as this conversation has gone on,
are there cases you are aware of at ARIN where, in retrospect, you
believe a needs based asseessment provided an allocation in error?
(the requesting organization didn't use the resources, etc.) For
obvious reasons, I don't expect to hear about specific cases, but I am
curious as to how often this comes up.

--- Harrison

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