[arin-ppml] Needs assessment

Chris Grundemann cgrundemann at gmail.com
Wed Jun 5 12:33:32 EDT 2013

On Wed, Jun 5, 2013 at 10:57 AM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:
> While we are at it, we might want to clarify a few things about the general "needs assessment" debate:

Saying the same thing over and over again in hopes that people will
eventually believe it is not "clarification," IMHO.

> * critiques of needs assessment in IPv4 are not directed at IPv6. The point, as RIPE's "No need" proposal and others have said, is that once the free pool is gone the rationale for conserving via administrative needs assessments is largely gone. The market price system can take over the task of conservation, as it does for most resources.

The rationale for conservation via needs assessment is not tied to
IANA or RIR free pool levels, it is tied the the scarcity of IPv4
addresses (~4.2B total, regardless of free pool sizes).

> * I myself have written a paper demonstrating the impossibility of having a market for the initial allocation of IPv6 space. Some form of technical criterion for initial IPv6 allocations is unavoidable because we would have no idea how to market price the IPv6 space until and unless we occupy most of it.

You are correct.

> * people who attack the elimination of needs assessments on the grounds that "there are bad people out there who want to make money on addresses" seem to be missing the point. Nearly all of the organizations applying for IP addresses are trying to make money on them in one way or the other. Or did you think Google, Amazon and Verizon were charities? [1] Do you not understand that IP addresses are part of the service bundle offered by ISPs, cloud providers, hosting providers, etc., and that they are being "sold"? What is it, exactly, that makes selling a number block as an alienable commodity intrinsically evil but selling it bundled with internet service worthy and wonderful?

People making money is not the problem. People causing harm to the
Internet is the problem, the fact that money motivates them to harm
the Internet is a detail that can be used to combat the harm.

> In short, the removal of needs assessments from transfers after a free pool is depleted is a minor but important adjustment that we make in the dying days of IPv4. Time to relax about it. Dispense with the religion, and  focus laser-like on what makes for the most efficient methods of moving IPv4 numbers to their most highly valued use, quickly and with minimal friction.

Minor, no - Important, yes. Your second sentence is very accurate. We
do need to dispense with religion (including the religion of free
markets) and focus on how to make the system work as efficiently as
possible (with the possibility that it already is).

> [1] Indeed, it seems incongruous to give these incredibly well-resourced companies scarce resources for free via the ARIN free pool, but that is another debate.

That incongruity you feel is likely a symptom of not understanding the
fundamental aspects of community and cooperation which underlie the
operation of a global network of networks.


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