North American Network Operators Group

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RE: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

  • From: michael.dillon
  • Date: Fri Feb 22 10:05:06 2008

> > If one were to sum this up briefly, would it be correct to 
> answer the 
> > MIT myth by saying:
> >   MIT has only 17 million addresses but China has 140 million.
> >   Along with Japan at 142 million, these are the top two holders
> >   of IP addresses with the USA trailing at 48.5 million.
> Huh? Where do you get 48.5 million?

Well, your last posting was long and complicated and filled
with figures but the second line from the bottom seemed to be
saying that.

> So the US has AT LEAST 278 million non-legacy addresses 
> allocated/ assigned. 

Fine. The point is for someone, (maybe you?) to do the research,
sort out these figures, and provide us with a paragraph or
so that amounts to a nice comprehensive sound-bite of the
current state of affairs.

>Also, some of the legacy blocks, such as 
> 4/8 and 12/8 are de facto used by ISPs to address customers. 

They are often used in a wasteful fashion because when the network
architecture and subnetting was designed, there was no need to be
frugal. Therefore, the big numbers are misleading. I was hoping
to see something that is closer to what actual usage is.

> Whichever way you slice it, the US is the largest holder of 
> address space by a factor of more than 2, 

No argument about that. But lots of it is inefficiently used with
no way to recover the waste before we run out of IPv4. Water under
the bridge.

> and, until 2007, 
> the largest user of new address space.

I wonder if that includes all the addresses that we registered with
ARIN but use in Asia and Europe. This probably needs some serious
research effort to bottom out. Not to mention all those companies,
including two that I have worked for, who provided Internet access
to European employees over access links in the USA. I think this is
still rather common.

> > In addition, since we are likely
> >   to use up all possible IPv4 addresses by 2011,

> No, that's when the depletion of the IANA pool is predicted. 
> The RIRs also hold 400 million addresses for their day-to-day 
> operations, which will take at least another year, maybe two, 
> to deplete.

Assuming that there isn't a run on the bank. I expect that it will all
disappear much quicker than we think. You probably noted that the UK
had a real run on a real bank, last autumn. This is something that
happened since the 19th century and I believe that in most of the USA,
runs on the bank haven't been seen since the 1930's. This is primarily
because people, through the last half of the 20th century, have TRUSTED
their banks. But we all know that people, in general, have been growing
less trustfull of governments, institutions, companies, etc. The
makers at telecom companies are not likely to trust the RIRs or anyone 
else, and once the news of the IPv4 shortage filters into boardrooms,
rate of allocation will ramp up.

Linear projections go out the window. Any kind of curve-fitting based on
historical data goes out the window. The only way to truly forecast the
demand for IPv4 addresses is to look at how vulnerable telecoms
are in the are of IPv6. How easily can they make money with IPv6. How
can IPv6 services become their core business. I'm afraid that everything
we see shows that few telecoms companies are in a position to make IPv6
services their cash cow in 2011-2012. This means that IPv4 demand is
to go up, way up, as everybody scrambles to make sure that they have
to carry them through the next two-three years.

--Michael Dillon