[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-165 Eliminate Needs-Based Justification on8.3 Specified Transfers

Astrodog astrodog at gmail.com
Mon Feb 20 01:47:45 EST 2012

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012 at 11:45 PM, George Bonser <gbonser at seven.com> wrote:
>> Unfortunately, regardless of the policies involved, IP addresses *are*
>> an asset for those who already hold them.
> Not if they are not being used, they aren't.  They are an asset just like the 50 extra staplers in the supply closet are an "asset".

Right. That's just like any other hard asset an organization might
have. Something they can sell to someone else (or, that they can sell
the use of to someone else). The fact that they don't utilize the
asset doesn't change the fact that if they decide they want the money,
they can sell the staplers, IP addresses, etc.

>> Even if, hypothetically, ARIN
>> provided no mechanism to transfer address space from one organization
>> to another, it is easy enough for one organization to route some
>> portion of it's IP space to another, and at some point, financial
>> incentives would exist to make this sort of arraingement.
> Not really.  Real soon now nobody is really going to give a rat's pair of hips about IPv4 addresses.  They will be a "hot" commodity for a year or two and then suddenly they will be nearly useless.  Once the majority of the major players are operating native v6 and once there are enough v6 only players, nobody is really going to want v4 addresses anymore.

This is a strong argument against anyone attempting to "corner" the
IPv4 market. Particularly while ARIN still has free blocks to
allocate. (A spike in prices can be squashed simply by releasing more

>> A malicious
>> actor can operate along these lines, regardless of ARIN's transfer
>> policy.
> Possibly, but it would  be orders of magnitude more difficult.

How so? The legal framework and overhead aren't that different, if an
organization is willing to give up some direct control. (Something a
legitimate purchaser is less likely to do, but that makes very little
difference to the seller)

>> In as far as driving up the price of address space goes,
>> through speculation or hording, this can only occur while the entity in
>> question is actively purchasing address space. Once they stop, the
>> prices return to whatever the organizations trading the space agree to.
> Not really.  Once all the easily available (cheap) address space is obtained it would take more money to get the rest to get up off of theirs.  But on second thought, it would simply speed the migration to v6 and actually accelerate the demise of that "market".  The collapse of a v4 address market would probably occur very quickly, possibly before anyone could react to it.  Market "prices" for v4 address space will plummet practically (maybe even literally) overnight once it dawns on people that nobody really wants them anymore.

That risk is why significant speculation is unlikely. Why would anyone
accept that risk?

>> Further, as IPv6 deployment moves forward, IPv4 address lose value,
>> meaning that such an actor would not be inclined to hold the space for
>> any length of time, as driving up prices pushes deployments to IPv6,
>> and further weakens demand for the asset they're holding.
> True.  But now is not the time to allow this.  Maybe in 5 years when the market is basically worthless anyway, we can remove need restrictions and people can purchase address space through brokers.  I'm not particularly interested in creating a windfall market for some people during the transition period.

I think the largest "winners" in this scenario are organizations that
lack internal legal resources familiar with ARIN. Brokers and the like
gain by having a more difficult market, as organizations are less
likely to attempt to go for it alone.

The current environment does not match up with direct need. At best,
it limits allocation hording to large organizations that are familiar
with ARIN's policies and exactly how things can be worded. I don't
believe the intention of needs testing is simply to slightly improve
the position of existing players at the expense of new entrants.

--- Harrison

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
--- Robert A. Heinlein

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