North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

RE: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

  • From: John Lee
  • Date: Mon Feb 18 20:18:01 2008

Title: Re: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit
I used the term "clueless" in that message because of the number of times this concept has been discussed before primarily by business types who do not understand how the "Internet" works. In the large and small businesses that I have been in and with the ISPs and service providers (SP) I have worked for, addresses have usually been allocated sub-optimally. The free space is usually scattered across the allocation and the prefix for it is to small to announce. If this is a medium to large size company the ISP or interconnect provider would aggregate all of the routes for their own annoucements to tier 1 and 2 providers. IMHO ISPs and SPs could share space among their customers since they can then aggregate to an acceptable level to announce to the Internet but I do not see this as a "market".
I not only embrace market mechanism, but with some of my colleagues on this list, was developing a bandwidth trading market while at EBS.
IMHO the amount of technical effort to extract these final v4 addresses is more work and cost then transitioning to v6. All major router and switch vendors have been v6 capable / ready for two years and most tier 1 carriers support v6 traffic today.

From: Roderick Beck [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Mon 2/18/2008 8:32 AM
To: John Lee; [email protected]; Rod Beck; Raymond Macharia; NANOG list
Subject: Re: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

Hi John,

It is not a good idea to insult people on email as you did in your original email.

It's a clear fallacy to try to impugn an idea by calling its supporters 'idiots'

You need to have a very strong set of reasons for rejecting a market mechanism.

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

-----Original Message-----
From: "John Lee" <[email protected]>

Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 11:48:32
To:"Rod Beck" <[email protected]>,       "Raymond Macharia" <[email protected]>,       "NANOG list" <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

Thanks Rod,

The traders at Enron are/where PhDs with MBAs from Wharton, Harvard and Oxford, UKso well educated and smart was not the point of the comment. ARIN (and other RIRs) and the rules of use of IP address were specifically setup to allow global communications around the world with a large number of entities on an equal basis. IPv4would be afixedsize pool of acommodity and from my training at Enron in trading (they were the largest in the world by number and volume of trades) it only works under several rules. You have a group of suppliers and consumers, you have a measurable commodity and a standard way of measuring it, you have a standard set of commodities, you can assign a value to the commodity etc.

If I grow corn or drill for "Texas Light Crude" there standards in place so that if you drill in the Middle east, China or Russia you produce the same "Texas Light Crude" to trade.

Trading of IP address does violate ARIN rules as ARIN has explained to me since to "Trade" something is to have title or ownership of that item and that ownership belongs to the cognizant RIR not to a company or person.



PS: The RIRs are community driven and so if the community wants to become a market place, they can petition ARIN have a vote and change if the majority of the community wants to.

 From: Rod Beck [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Mon 2/18/2008 12:05 PM
To: John Lee; Raymond Macharia; NANOG list
Subject: RE: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

Hi John,

I think that comment is way out of line. In fact, I met at LINX one of authors of a trading proposal. They are smart, well educated individuals.

Markets have proven to be excellent mechanisms for allocating resources fairness is a distinct issue) and might be the medication required given the apparent hoarding of IP addresses.

Nor is the trading of IP addresses inconsistent with ARIN ownership.


Roderick S. Beck
Director of European Sales
Hibernia Atlantic
1, Passage du Chantier, 75012 Paris <>
Wireless: 1-212-444-8829.
Landline: 33-1-4346-3209.
French Wireless: 33-6-14-33-48-97.
AOL Messenger: GlobalBandwidth
[email protected]
[email protected]
``Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.'' Albert Einstein.

-----Original Message-----
From: [email protected] on behalf of John Lee
Sent: Mon 2/18/2008 4:45 PM
To: Raymond Macharia; NANOG list
Subject: RE: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit


This "idea" comes from clueless individuals who want to know "who owns the Internet"? When I worked at Enron Broadband Services "the crooked E", management wanted to buy PSInet so that "we" could developed a trading desk for IP address blocks.

We informed management that neither EBS or PSInet owned their IP addresses but rented them from ARIN. And when the organization indicates that IP addresses are no longer needed, they can be returned to ARIN or ARIN can come and get them from the organization per ARIN AUP and other policies that users signed when making a request to ARIN. (Review a court case several years ago, about a company going into bankruptcy, I believe, claiming that "their" IP addresses were part of the assets of the company...)

Now for those who could not follow the last paragraph, the analogy is when you were young and renting your apartment or house and you wanted to make money selling one of the rooms of your rented apartment or house.

So anyone with spare /16 or larger send the blocks back to ARIN so they can be good stewards of the diminishing resource.

John (ISDN) Lee
I Still Don't kNow
It Suites Dennis's Needs


From: [email protected] on behalf of Raymond Macharia
Sent: Mon 2/18/2008 8:39 AM
To: 'NANOG list'
Subject: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

the article here <>  is an
interesting read given the current state of IPv4 depletion/IPv6 conversion
operational climate.
As it is indicated, it's a proposal and there are considerations as to
whether it makes things better or worse.


Raymond Macharia