CIDR,Sprint and the Big Guys.

Jim Fleming JimFleming at
Fri Apr 5 16:33:14 UTC 1996

On Friday, April 05, 1996 2:25 AM, Tim Salo[SMTP:salo at] wrote:
@> From: Jim Fleming <JimFleming at>
@> To: "'Christian Nielsen'" <cnielsen at>, "nanog at"
@> Subject: RE: CIDR,Sprint and the Big Guys.
@> Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 01:29:10 -0600
@> 	[...]
@> Yes CIDR is a good thing...unfortunately, it does not guarantee that the
@> net will grow and aggregate in a rational way. When coupled with the
@> "slow start" ISP policy, CIDR helps to rapidly fragment the IP address
@> space and in some cases causes poor IP address utilization all in the
@> name of "protecting the future of the Internet" or maybe "protecting the
@> Internet from ISPs".
@> 	[...]
@It would appear that there may also be a strong argument that the
@tremendous proliferation of [small] ISPs is a significant contributor
@to the growth of the size of the Internet routing tables.

Yes...and assuming some will die for whatever reason...the policies result
in small fragments being created with no active way to recover the fragments...
by forcing (err coaxing) ISPs to work with "upstream providers" there is a
garbage collection mechanism put in place...the upstream provider can
watch over part(s) of the address space which is clearly too large for a few
people to handle...

@Perhaps, the [anticipated] consolidation of ISPs will be a significant
@event in the efforts to control routing table size.

This is very true...this is the way cities have grown...the way railroads evolved...
the way many industries have the big get bigger, small ISPs will
realize that they have to partner to survive...these partnerships may help to improve
aggregation, routing, etc...unfortunately, some ISPs will never partner with anyone
because they "think" they are going to be the next RBOC...(as we now see, even
the RBOCs are partnering to survive and AT&T is de-partnering...)

The combined efforts of IANA, the InterNIC and the large "upstream providers"
work to perform social (err network) engineering. This works as long as the current
philosophy of "creating" and "controlling" scarce resources exists. People focused
on getting rich have to "play ball" or die. This same sort of situation exists in the
diamond business.

All of these "network engineering" efforts take us right back to the centralized
telecommunications authoriity that the Internet was designed to dismantle. It is
humorous to see the bleeding heart liberal Internauts becoming the new conservative
protectors of the net as maturity sets in...this is similar to the hippies and gang
members that now are elected officials...people are people, even on the Internet

I predict that the Internet will fall into the trap of having the same problems of the
system it is displacing...there is a  growing centralized "elite" that call the shots
in a decentralized way...the shots that are called now are not much different than the
shots called by the previous elite and not much different than the shots called by
the pre-divestiture elite (called the Bell System).

The only way to break this cycle is to apply the same philosophies that built
the Internet to dismantling (err bounding ) the order to do that, a ruling
elite has to be installed, everyone has to sing praises of the great successes,
the current system has to be bounded by its own limitations, and a few people
have to "think outside of the box"...

Jim Fleming
UNETY Systems, Inc.
Naperville, IL 60563

e-mail: JimFleming at

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