Internic address allocation policy

Karl Denninger karl at
Sun Mar 19 15:59:26 UTC 1995

> >Perhaps its time to set up the Anti-NIC and start allocating addresses 
> >from 223.255.255.x on down.
> If it weren't so sad, I would find this whole exchange very
> entertaining.
> I doubt that creating an anarchy will solve the problem. In the end,
> the InterNIC is a contractor, and does what they are being told. It is
> a service provided by the Feds for the better of the community. I am
> not trying to defend the InterNIC, just saying that they are more or
> less a robot operating on some guidelines. If you have a robot with
> better guidelines, more power to you. I suspect the problem is not the
> robot, but the guidelines (the program it executes). May be the
> guidelines should be worked on, and I encourage the people who complain
> on this list to develop better guidelines, then get community
> consensus, then go to the funding agenci(es) that are responsible for
> the NICs and present your case to them. 

The problem here is that the NIC doesn't have any "authority" per-se.  They
may have TAKEN that authority, but it didn't evolve from anything coherent.

The US Government, which funded this enterprise, doesn't have "control" over
the address and namespace.  They might think they do, but the fact is that
nowhere did the International community grant them that, and this is NOT a
US resource to delegate as it sees fit.

The Internic's registrations are only honored because the ISPs and consumers
of Internet service, in the main, believe the information that the Internic
gives out and contains.  If that EVER ceases to be, then the Internic can do
whatever the hell it wants, and the net effect will be zero.

> If you get that far, I suspect
> your likelihood of success to achieving a change is above the 95th
> percentile. I know that both the InterNIC as well as Jon Postel have
> explicitly asked for guidance from constituents over the years. Seems
> to me like they have been left alone and now people are complaining,
> given the reaction on both sites of the addressing space being a scarce
> resource.
> Hans-Werner

Nonsense.  We have not left any of them alone; I have frequently posited
positive changes and suggestions.

The entire top-level domain structure is a botch, and geographic
registration is increasingly useless with mobile people and multi-state (or
multinational) corporations.  Why not have the Internic do two things only:

1)	Issue top level domains to registries, anyone may apply.  (Ie:
	countries which wish to have an official "top level" may apply, etc)
2)	Issue LARGE blocks of addresses to those same registries, subject
	only to the requirement that you issue 75% of the addresses you get
	before you get more.  Delegating an address to the final consumer
	or intermediary should be a 15-second process.
3)	Charge a modest fee, say, US $1,000/year, for the privilege of 
	getting (1) and (2) from the Internic, with said funds to be used
	to pay the ACTUAL costs of maintaining registries for (1) and (2).

This resolves a number of problems at once:

1)	Address allocation -- if a registry wants to charge, fine.  This is
	now a free market solution with free market prices.  I suspect you'd
	see a modest annual charge show up immediately from most registries
	-- which would stem the issuance and retention of addresses which
	are not actually in use.

2)	Domain "fights".  No longer is there one true registry.  Thus, the
	entire "my company has a trademark on the name frobozz" disappears;
	there can now be a "frobozz.psi", "frobozz.mcs", "", and
	"".  All distinct, and yet all under the same name.
	Whois needs to be able to deal with this, which means a distributed
	system.  This is difficult?  At the ABSOLUTE worst case we have
	bounded the damages for a "sorry, can't register" response -- its
	now $1,000/year, and not worth litigating over (you can set up your
	OWN registry for that cost).

3)	The responsiveness issue.  Domains take 3-6 weeks to get back now.
	That's rediculous.  Registries could compete based on cost and
	performance; now, if you want to register something right NOW, you
	need to beg, and even then, the Internic's idea of "now" is a couple
	of days.  But with the "you pay to play" multiple-registry system, 
	I could offer 10 day turnaround for $5, and "right now damnit" 
	turnaround for $500.  As things stand at present I can't offer 
	anything, as I can't get a top-level domain to have administrative 
	authority over.

4)	The Internic is no longer a government thing.  Rather, it is a
	non-profit funded BY THE USERS and accountable TO THE USERS -- that
	is, the operators of the ACTUAL end-user registries.  What a concept
	we have here -- accountability to the people paying the bill!

Its about time the Internic was privatized.  The function is VERY important,
but we've got a system which is too centralized right now and not accountable
to anyone.  This has to stop.  At the same time a for-profit motive is not
acceptable; this is a community resource, and as such a non-profit structure
accountable to the membership -- with a SMALL charge, paid by all who use it
directly, appears appropriate for the top level registration authority.

If the harassment, and yes, that is what I consider being asked to submit
BUSINESS PLANS to a government agency in order to get address space, continues
then the solution to this is going to be found either (1) in the court system,
or (2) by a group of people setting up their own "Internic" and saying 
"bite me" to the existing one.

The first is nasty -- the second, which appearing to be an anarchist's
solution, may actually be the best and only path out of this mess
considering the parochial attitudes I have run into at the Internic

Karl Denninger (karl at MCS.Net)| MCSNet - The Finest Internet Connectivity
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