North American Network Operators Group

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Re: [Fwd: Kremen VS Arin Antitrust Lawsuit - Anyone have feedback?]

  • From: Stephen Sprunk
  • Date: Fri Sep 08 14:23:54 2006

Thus spake <[email protected]>
[ I said ]
The debate there will be around the preferential treatment that larger
ARIN members get (in terms of larger allocations, lower per address
fees, etc), which Kremen construes as being anticompetitive via
creating artificial barriers to entry. That may end up being changed.
Your statement about preferential treatment is factually
incorrect. Larger ARIN members do not get larger allocations.
It is the larger network infrastructures that get the larger
allocations which is not directly tied to the size of the
company. Yes, larger companies often have larger infrastructures.
And that's the point: A company that is established gets preferential treatment over one that is not; that is called a barrier to entry by the anti-trust crowd. You may feel that such a barrier is justified and fair, but those on the other side of it (or more importantly, their lawyers) are likely to disagree.

As for fees, there are no per-address fees and there
never have been. When we created ARIN, we paid special
attention to this point because we did not want to create
the erroneous impression that people were "buying" IP
addresses. The fees are related to the amount of effort
required to service an organization and that is not
directly connected to the number of addresses.
Of course it's directly connected; all you have to do is look at the current fee schedule and you'll see:

/24 = $4.88/IP
/23 = $2.44/IP
/22 = $1.22/IP
/21 = $0.61/IP
/20 = $0.55/IP
/19 = $0.27/IP
/18 = $0.27/IP
/17 = $0.137/IP
/16 = $0.069/IP
/15 = $0.069/IP
/14 = $0.034/IP

So, just between the two ends of the fee schedule, we have a difference of _two orders of magnitude_ in how much an registrant pays divided by how much address space they get. Smaller folks may use this to say that larger ISPs, some of whose employees sit on the ARIN BOT/AC, are using ARIN to make it difficult for competitors to enter the market.

Since that argument appears to be true _on the surface_, ARIN will need to show how servicing smaller ISPs incurs higher costs per address and thus the lower fees for "large" allocations are simply passing along the savings from economy of scale. Doable, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for coming up with that proof.

Besides the above, Kremen also points out that larger prefixes are more likely to be routed, therefore refusing to grant larger prefixes (which aren't justified, in ARIN's view) is another barrier to entry. Again, since the folks deciding these policies are, by and large, folks who are already major players in the market, it's easy to put an anticometitive slant on that.


Stephen Sprunk "God does not play dice." --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723 "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking