[arin-ppml] 4-Byte ASN's in the ARIN region...

Jo Rhett jrhett at netconsonance.com
Tue Mar 20 16:48:21 EDT 2012

On Mar 15, 2012, at 12:11 PM, Jeff Wheeler wrote:
> I still find it common for transit providers to react with a "we don't
> support..." and similar.  I suppose they will stop doing this when
> their customers are no longer able to get a 2 byte ASN because they
> have been exhausted, or when two or three more years go by and
> substantially all non-supporting routers/software has finally reached
> the end of its useful life.
> If there was a way to modify current ARIN policy or practice so that
> networks could not exchange a 4 byte ASN for a 2 byte ASN unless they
> were connecting to an IXP, I think that would encourage the remaining
> networks who have not supported 4 byte ASN to do so, while also not
> penalizing folks who participate in peering at public exchanges where
> there remain some legitimate technical problems.

Jeff, I would like to point out that due to operator stupidity, this would have a direct cost to customers.  If only two providers can provide transit for a location, and neither one is willing to accept 4-byte ASNs then my only way to control my announcements would be to purchase another company that owns a two-byte ASN.  Stupid, absolutely.  Unfortunately true, and I have recently been in this exact scenario which forced us to return a 4-byte ASN.

In short, I don't think you can put pressure on the end customer. You have to put pressure on the providers, and I'm not sure what mechanism ARIN has to do that.  The only place it can be applied would be to require anyone getting new IP allocations for reassignment to assert that they support 4-byte ASN customers, which I would absolutely support. I'm just not certain that it would affect enough of the market to make a difference.

Jo Rhett
Net Consonance : consonant endings by net philanthropy, open source and other randomness

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