Authority over IANA & IP #s was Re:

David R Conrad davidc at
Sat Sep 23 05:04:50 UTC 1995


>The deal today is that the FNC (as the representative US
>organization) continues to own the space, but chooses to limit its control
>over the space to issues (e.g. paying for numbers) that it considers

I find this an interesting statement.  Hypothetically speaking, just
how would the FNC assert its "ownership" over the address space?  If
(for example) a service provider started charging for address space,
how exactly would the FNC assert control?  It would seem that unless
the FNC has some mechanism to control the space, any assertion of
ownership is meaningless.  Today, as service providers and end users
control those aspects of Internet address space which make the space
valuable (namely routability and information resources), I would argue
service providers and end users "own" the address space if anyone does
(note: ownership of the address space is different than ownership of
Internet addresses).  In other words, the Internet address space is a
public good.  The FNC might assert ownership over unallocated space,
but it is not clear to me how the FNC could affect the operation of
registries outside the US, and further, there is very little I can
imagine the FNC would be able to do should ISPs decide the creation of
an Anti-NIC was in their best interest.

With respect to paying for number (or the lack thereof), I'll forebear
(OK, maybe I won't :-)) making analogies to King Canute and the


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