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Reallocation of IPv4 space (was Re: IPv6 news)

  • From: Etaoin Shrdlu
  • Date: Thu Oct 13 10:56:13 2005

Brandon Ross wrote:
> On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 [email protected] wrote:
> >>[IPv4 commodity trading]
> That's exactly the change I've been advocating for years.  Instead of
> continuing with this socialistic concept that IP space is somehow owned by
> everyone, we should, instead, give title for IP space and allow those
> titles to be bought and sold freely.  Classic economics teaches of the
> tragedy of the commons.  I can't think of too many things that look more
> like a commons than the current IP space.

IRL, I work for a very large company that controls a significant fraction
of legacy Class B networks. Most of this control is due to multiple
acquisitions and mergers. I would posit that the whole place could be run
out of one /16, and the rest of it turned back in, or sold off, so that it
could be reused, and delay the exhaustion.

>  By my own best estimates, 50%
> of the allocated space today is wasted in one way or another, either it
> is used inefficiently by staticly addressing things that don't need to be
> static, hoarded to prevent organizations from having to make additional
> requests to an RIR, or legacy assignments where the orgs that have them
> have no incentive to give them up.

Well, I doubt very much that I'd ever agree that static addresses are
inefficient, but legacy assignments need to be readdressed. Until there is
economic advantage in surrendering space, or disadvantage in keeping it,
this will not change. I suspect that most of the organizations that have
large legacy spaces give no more than passing thought to such things. If
they thought that they were holding capital assets, on the other hand,
they'd be in the market for selling within weeks.

I've tried on my own to persuade folk into the surrender of IP space, and
the immediate response is "Why should we?" That was two acquisitions ago;
the answer (from them) hasn't changed. To my knowledge, it is the
equivalent space of 35 legacy Class B networks. You do the math.

There are two ways, my friend, that you can be rich in life.
One is to make a lot of money and the other is to have few needs.

William Sloane Coffin, "Letters to a Young Doubter"