[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-176 Increase Needs-Based Justification to 60 months on 8.3 Specified Transfers

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sun Jul 1 19:17:35 EDT 2012

> -----Original Message-----
> I understand your desire to sit tight and assess statistical evidence
> before suggesting a longer justification period is required. My concern
> with such a strategy is the decided lack of comprehensive transfer
> market data.  We have only the ARIN Specified Transfer Listing Service

[Milton L Mueller] As a social scientist, it seems obvious to me that asking for statistical support for a longer time frame, without allowing an actual, real-world experiment with the longer time frame, is asking for the impossible. 

The only way to gather "statistical evidence" on the impact of changing the time frame for needs justifications is to allow a different needs assessment time and see how the change affects the quantity and type of transfers authorized. No empirical conclusions can be drawn about the relative merit of a 24-month and 60-month period by looking ONLY at the statistics generated by a 24-month period. 

That is why I view the request for statistical evidence as a tactic designed to delay or defeat Jeff's proposal.

If one really wants to do an experiment, it would probably make more sense to conduct a limited experiment with no needs assessment at all, and see what happens. If one discovered a significant increase in the number of approved transactions, and/or a massive increase in what appeared to be speculative acquisitions, and if either result could not be explained by other variables, it would support the conclusion that the current time horizon constricts the number of transactions in a specific way.

In the absence of such an experiment, the only empirical data that might support or refute the change would be a survey of all prospective buyers in which a statistically significant sample of them stated unambiguously that they would participate in the transfer market if the needs period were extended to 60 months; or that their planning horizon for acquiring IP addresses was closer to 5 years than to 2 years. Such a survey would be very difficult to conduct, and you would still be dealing with stated preference rather than revealed preference. But it would be potentially informative.

The bottom line is that those calling for statistical evidence have one of two choices: either they must agree to conduct an experiment, or they can abandon the claim that they oppose the proposal for lack of statistical evidence and admit that they just don't want it to happen, regardless of evidence. 


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