On Jul 21, 2008, at 4:30 PM, Geoff Huston wrote:
prop-62 tries to give one suggestion as to what we should do with this "precious" last /8 that APNIC will receive if prop-55 is approved. I'm sure other folks will come up with other ideas, and I'm sure some folks will be quite happy with the first come first served that we have now.And the problem is that in attempting to introduce a new distribution system that performs some form of rationing we need to look at the effects of rationing. Rationing tends to be a highly ineffectual distribution system - the goods remain 'cheap' but they are scarce.
Hi Geoff,May I suggest an alternate interpretation? IPv4 addresses may be scarce, but IP addresses in general are not -- in fact if one considers (IPv4+IPv6) to be the actual pool, then they are fabulously abundant. That said, the *only* practical way to recognize or unlock this "true abundance" is if some small quantity of IPv4 remains available to every future IPv6 taker, at least ever one that emerges for the next few years -- or until such time that than a "pure IPv6" network faces no greater risk of experiencing reachability problems than an equivalent IPv4 network.
On this interpretation, there is no new distribution system, no new rationing arrangement, and no new efficiency concerns.
Rationing encourages hoarding as a natural reaction from the consumer.
In this scenario, who would be the consumer? If it is competitive private suppliers of IPv4 address space, who would be unwilling to sell IPv4 in new entrant-sized chunks on terms that would be competitive with the proxied/hybrid IPv4/IPv6 networks envisioned by prop-062-v001, then where is the harm? As a result of the proposal under discussion, more new entrants move more quickly to number the vast majority of their resources with IPv6 rather than with backward- looking IPv4. I suppose one could argue that other incumbent IPv4- based networks that are both unwilling to grow via IPv6, and also unwilling to pay the "hoarding-adjusted" prices demanded by their peers could be harmed... is that your implication?
Rationing tends to encourage secondary markets where the same goods are priced according to their scarcity value.
Absence of rationing also produces that result, does it not?
Because of the effects of hoarding, the secondary markets tend to operate at a levelof scarcity premium far in excess of the actual relative scarcity level.
Okay, so the analysis above is not far off. I look forward to further clarification!
Another approach is to perform discriminatory distribution, where the goods are available only on a selective basis to certain parties who qualify, and not to others. In this case the issue is that those with the greatest need, expressable as 'ability to pay' may not be the same as those who receive the goods. Two problems are overtly apparent with such a system. By selectively meeting the needs of some consumers and not others you are making social policies - or in this context you are making industry policies. I have my doubts that this group is the appropriate group to determine such policiesand implement them through address distribution practices - conventionally this is undertaken at a national level through legislatures and implementedthrough regulation. Secondly the practice tends to encourage secondary markets where the same goods are priced according to their scarcity value, and again the secondary markets operate at a distorted price level for much the same reasons as the rationing scheme. Perhaps the issue here is one of illustrating that no matter how we attempt to impose rationing or selective distribution of this "final /8" as proposed in prop-055 we encounter these issues. There is an argument drawn from economic theory that no form of rationing or discriminatory distribution is efficient in terms of the outcomes of such a distribution function. This leads to the corollary that while reserving this last /8 in prop-055 feels emotionally like a good thing to do in order to provide some form of "safeguard" against some unspecified future event, the problem is that we really are finding it difficult to augment this emotional thought with a rational and sensible means of actually using this resource effectively that avoids the outcomes referred to above.
I think the interpretation described above, of the proposed IPv6 reservation as a *technical* mechanism to "unlock" the true abundance of the total pool of public IPv4 + IPv6 addresses is, at least, equally valid and compelling -- and far more practical -- then the alternative view that it is covert social or industrial policy. It is perfectly consistent with the rationale that has been in place for over a decade, i.e., that public address resource allocation rules represent nothing more than the administrative superstructure required in order for the address resources to fulfill the purpose(s) for which they were designed. In other words, if it wasn't social engineering before, it's not not.
One might argue that it was, in fact, was social engineering all along -- but the precedent is there nonetheless.