[AusNOG] IPv4

James Spenceley james at iroute.org
Sat Mar 2 17:55:28 EST 2013

Bev and all,

> [snip]

>  The people on the
> APNIC Board are supposed to be *our* representatives.

The board is your representative but you have to remember there are 56 economies of "you" in the region, there are various sizes and scale of "you" in the region. Not all decisions are going to be perfect for all members, in fact no decision I've been involved in is perfect for all the "yous", it is a balancing act and a complicated and time consuming one at that. 

Think about this, some countries have more IPv4 addresses than the number of people and other countries don't have nearly enough for even those that are currently online. Did you know in China many subscribers have to keep trying to connecting to their fixed broadband provider to attempt to get an IP address, it's just like the old days when your ISP oversold their dialup ports. 

Many countries have reached saturation for fixed broadband, other are just beginning their exponential rides to broadband saturation. 

Is it fair that the more developed countries that had access to de-reguatlion, technology and capital earlier managed to get almost all the address space ? Should we now price this scarce resource prohibitively high for those countries that are in the process of turning on vast numbers of new subscribers, or price it prohibitively high for all but the biggest ISPs/Telco in developing countries ? What  exactly will competition and thus broader access and lower pricing enabling more people equal access to the wonders, education and opportunities (sound like rhetoric but it is actually true) the Internet brings. 

The APNIC board has to deal with countries that are developed, where the APNIC fees are considered ridiculously small and balance that with a huge part of the region (and vastly more of the population) where the fee converted into local currency is considered a barrier. 

We have to deal with big incumbent providers who have almost limitless resources as well as competitive providers who battle against those larger providers. Bev as you know better than most it is the competitive providers that push the boundaries and innovate products, Do we really want to price such new and/or smaller providers out of their markets, or at the very least make the barrier to resources higher for them ?

As the person on the APNIC board mostly responsible for the Resource allocation fee reduction, I'd like to try and explain a little more about it. If your perspective is simply Australia and what Australian new members are doing,  sure it doesn't make a lot of sense but hopefully the above might make you think broader.

It might be useful to illustrate the per capital GDP and how it relates to the old resource allocation fees for some of the countries with the region.

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Asian_and_Pacific_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita)

Australia 6.2% of per capita GDP
Singapore  8% of per capita GDP 
Hong Kong 11% of per capita GDP
Thailand 77% of per capita GDP
China 80% of per capita GDP
Fiji 100% of per capita GDP
India 255% of per capita GDP
Solomon Islands 256% of per capita GDP 
Burma/Myanmar 500% of per capital GDP
Nepal 622% of per capital GDP
Afghanistan  674% of per capital GDP

equally important is the number of IPv4 addresses per capita 

Australia 2.55 
Singapore 1.72 
Hong Kong 1.73
Thailand 0.14
China 0.26
Fiji 0.17
India 0.03
Solomon Islands 0.03
Burma/Myanmar 0.00
Nepal 0.02
Afganistan 0.00

for reference 
USA has 42% of all IPv4 addresses and 5.24 addresses per capita.

> The current membership and administration of APNIC/other registries is
> inefficient and provides no incentive for those that have address space
> not in use move to IPv6.  It's a "IPv4 all gone the cupboards are bare"
> approach which is not responsible resource management, its one-time
> allocation.

Getting people to migrate to IPv6 is only one of the agenda's of APNIC.

But the cupboards are bare. I think the RIRs and the community have been pretty considered in their policies given what we inheirited (remeber InterNIC used to give out /8s to anyone that asked, heck GIH used to give out /16s if you emailed him) - Sorry to drag you in Geoff :). 

The fact we even have address space to allocate to new members is a result of a lot of work over a number of years to hold back the final /8 to allocate to new members (It wasn't always a popular proposal). If this hadn't been done, all the address space that these new members are getting in the 56 economies would simply have gone to a handful of the largest mobile carriers in the region. Bev, NextDC (and thousands of other new businesses and innovative kids in garages etc) wouldn't have their own address space today if the RIR community hadn't planned this far ahead and been responsible with the final crumbs in the cupboard. 

> So here's a crazy thought.  It's out there, but why doesn't APNIC make
> membership a flat fee of say $1,000 for your IPv6 address space and a
> variable component of say $1/year for each IPv4 address space?  All the
> money made on the IPv4 space is put towards promotion of IPv6.  If you
> have 500,000 IPv4 addresses you pay $501,000 per year and APNIC has
> $500,000 to put towards IPv6 migration promotion/management.  A /8 would
> provide $16m in funding to promote IPv6 each year and I bet people would
> not be applying for space they don't need - in fact they would be handing
> it back.  The more people use IPv4, the more you have for IPv6 promotion.
> The less people use IPv4 (migration) the less they have to spend on IPv6
> promotion.  Once you've migrated over your annual fee is $1,000 as you
> only use IPv6.

I'm all for promoting IPv6, I'm sure you know Vocus offered free 1mbps of IPv6 to any ISP or Telco in Australia for many years but you have to consider the effects of what you are proposing. Absolutely it will promote IPv6 adoption. However making IPv4 mildly or somewhat annoyingly more expensive for Australian members, you would quite likely stop many new members outside Australia getting IPv4 space, you could see many competitive telcos/ISPs in developing countries give their IPv4 space back. 

So the effect would be that those who are least able to afford it, but probably doing the most for their markets would either go out of business or become IPv6 only, the rest of the Internet (AT&T, Telstra, Verizon, Singtel, NTT etc) doesn't really care about them, so they continue on, focused as ever only on IPv4. At an economy level, countries that have the least IP space today and the most of amount of users yet to come online would be the least able to afford the new rates. Potentially you have relegated many people who could benefit the most from access (think life changing, rather than updating their facebook) to a less than useful IPv6 only Internet. 

Now you might thinking I'm overstating the case, and I concede might be, but you can see from the per capita pricing, the butterfly effect of changes in address pricing or accessibility could have serious effects on end user cost and quality/availability of Internet. 

> Different thinking and probably too brave.  Best to let the train crash
> into the wall and point fingers after the fact.

The train crashed a long time ago, we are now dealing with the crash in the best possible way while trying to keep things moving for those still at the stations behind the crash. (last analogy) :)

I'm not suggest we have it perfect, there are of course a lot of politics involved but there has at least been a lot of work and consideration gone into where we are today. Could it be better, yes, is better always achievable, no not always.

Can the APNIC board itself do better, absolutely and such debates and feedback from members helps. Are we in a position where a less than ethical person can exploit the system, sadly yes, does the positive out weigh the negative, I hope so. Do I get a monthly report on closed members, the reason for closure and if their address space comes from the final /8 ... absolutely I do. 


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