ARIN is *NOT* A Good Thing
dgs at us.net
Sat Mar 29 06:29:57 UTC 1997
This message is in response to Jim Browning's support for ARIN.
It doesn't belong on NANOG, but because it originated there I
feel I have to address it. Feel free to hit the "D" key now ...
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, ARIN is no magic
bullet and is the wrong answer for our industry. The supporters
of ARIN seem to fall into several categories:
a) You have a very small network and have NOTHING to lose if
ARIN goes forward,
b) You are filty rich and you don't mind paying big chunks of
money for something that your tax dollars already support,
c) You are a Canadian or Mexican citizen and you are tired of the
US Government managing the resources you require to run your
d) You work for an ISP, but as a technical person you have no idea
what all this stuff costs and you really don't care,
e) You are trying to suck up to the political structure because you
are afraid to really voice your opposition,
f) You are vying for a position in the ARIN organization, or
g) You really don't understand what this ARIN thing is anyhow.
While the ARIN proposal has gotten much better in the past three
months, I still assert that there is *nothing* ARIN will give me
for my $10,000 per year allocation fee that I don't get right now from
the tax dollars I currently pay to support the National Science
* It will take money that could have gone to support my network, my
employees, and my customers, and instead divert that money to
a yet another bureaucracy.
* It will increase my costs, which will have to be passed along to
my customers, which will effect my business.
* It will not allow me to increase the size of my current address
allocations any faster than the current InterNIC slow start
policy allows (slow start has impacted us substantially in some
of the school districts we have brought online -- at least Cisco
has a product to address this dilemna [the PIX]).
* It will not decrease the amount of time it takes to get a new
allocation (although this has improved tremendously under
Kim Hubbard's leadership).
Worse, if ARIN goes forward, my company will be forced to join and
support this organization because our very survival will depend upon
it. This is equivalent to holding a gun to our head and extorting
us to pay the $10,000 (or more) annual fee.
Frankly, this whole "pay for" address policy is crazy -- the InterNIC
made 60 million dollars PROFIT last year issuing domain names (while
funding the assignment of IP address space AT THE SAME TIME). This
has to be the biggest money grab in history -- 60 million dollars
isn't enough for one monopoly to make? Unbelievable.
For the sake of discussion, this is the following fee structure
that has been proposed by ARIN (see the ARIN proposal page at
Small $2500/year /24 - /19
Medium $5000/year >/19 - /16
Large $10K/year >/16 - /14
X-Large $20K/year >/14
Fees are based on your total allocation for the previous year,
plus another $1,000 per year to maintain membership in ARIN.
It is safe to say that any ISP able to receive address blocks
falls somewhere between Medium and X-Large on this chart.
I want to address each of the elements Jim Browning sets forth
in his message of support for ARIN:
> "It is of the utmost importance that the allocation of
> Internet Protocol (IP) addresses not be jeopardized by the
> turmoil currently surround the Domain Name System (DNS)"
The inference here is that by creating a costly new bureaucracy,
all our problems will go away. I see absolutely NO evidence of
any legal or procedural mechanism that will prevent turmoil. There
is only one IPv4 address space, so the concept of "alternate
registries" (aka, like the alternate TLD proposals) has no relevence
to address space allocation. Comparing address space to domain
name allocation is comparing apples to oranges.
> "IP Addresses, on the other hand, are of operational concern, and
> timely and appropriate access to this resource is absolutely
> required for the continued growth of the Internet."
I put an allocation request in last Monday and received my new
allocation Thursday. Even if allocation requests could be turned
around in one-hour, paying an annual $10K fee is not worth it
to speed the process up three days. Think about it.
> "Obtaining consensus on any important Internet related topic is
> excruciatingly difficult in today's environment. Nowhere is
> this more obvious than in the debates over DNS and IP Addresses."
There is nothing about ARIN that says we will all be in concensus.
If anything, there will be tremendous dischord because we will have
hundreds of ISPs voicing their opinions at the semi-annual ARIN
meetings. The current NSF sponsored system does not foster this
level of turmoil. If anything, ARIN will turn the currently stable
IP address policy mechanism into a semi-annual slug fest.
Slow start was an important policy to conserve address space and
(dispite is short comings) was a necessary at the time. ARIN will
not eliminate slow start or any other policy. Having a vote on the
ARIN board will not eliminate debate over IP address policy.
> "While ARIN has been a subject of hot debate, there is nonetheless
> a rough consensus within the Internet community that establishing
> a non-profit entity to handle the administration of this vital
> function is both necessary and appropriate."
There is one -- the same one that has been funded by the NSF since
the mid 1980's. Why change something that has worked so well in
the past? There are no substantive advantages to ARIN, and it will
cost all of us a lot more money.
> "There are also issues which still need to be resolved, and a
> lot of work which needs to be done."
Anyone remember what it was like to register a domain name in 1994?
And we want to do that to our IP address allocation mechanism?
Start ARIN and then wait for the systems to fall in place? I think
that is a recipe for total disaster. It took YEARS for the current
InterNIC to get its act together.
> "There is "running code" in the form of the people and systems
> currently performing the function, and the two similar entities
> (APNIC and RIPE) which are already in operation under similar
APNIC and RIPE are not run by governmental entities and must charge
for address space in order to exist. They get that address space
from the current system that is under control of the NSF. As a US
taxpayer, I pay taxes to support the NSF. Because the NSF has
alternate sources for its funding, ISPs and their customers do not
have to make direct payments for address space. This keeps prices
for Internet access low. Starting ARIN will not reduce your US
taxes, it will simply add to the cost of doing business. For no
additional benefit. Comparing APNIC and RIPE to the current US
model is not fair or accurate.
> "It is time for ARIN to move forward unfettered by Federal
> intervention or oversight."
I believe (as a US citizen) that the Internet is strategic to the
United States, and control over the address space should remain with
the US Government. The US funded the development of the Internet,
and there is a substantial portion of the US economy that is riding
on top of it. Giving control over this strategic asset to a non-profit
organization that is beholden to nobody is foolishness.
> "ARIN deserves all our support simply because it is the right
> thing to do for the health of a growing and vibrant industry."
Charging for IP addresses will raise the cost of an Internet
connection. Raising costs will not improve the health of a growing
and vibrant industry -- it is anathma to our industry.
ARIN is the wrong answer for our industry. As an example, in the
radio and television industry, members have fought for years
to prevent charges from being assessed against the limited radio
spectrum they use. Compare this to ARIN, where we are trying to levy
substantial fees against members of our own industry. ARIN is a bad
idea. It will continue to be a bad idea because it will always cost
more that what we currently have with the NSF, and it will provide
no substantive benefit. Slow start is not going away, and ARIN will
not quell address policy debates. ARIN will hurt our industry, it
will make the Internet more expensive for customers, and it will
form yet another elite club. Like I said in January, ARIN is
equivalent to throwing your money away.
Unfortunately, like it or not, ARIN will probably go forward anyhow.
And we will be writing big expensive checks to ARIN to keep our
businesses running. I urge people to speak up now if you think
ARIN is a bad idea. Lets work together to reduce cost, not increase
Dave Stoddard, CEO
US Net Incorporated
dgs at us.net
Jim Browning writes:
> My apologies to those who do not consider this to be an operational issue,
> however I feel that service providers who believe ARIN represents a
> positive step should express their support for the proposal, to ensure that
> it is not slowed by institutional intervention. Should the allocation of
> IP addresses become mired in the problems we have seen happen with domain
> names, it will certainly become a major operational consideration...
> I am writing this to express ATMnet's support for ARIN (the American
> Registry for Internet Numbers) in the strongest possible terms. It is of
> the utmost importance that the allocation of Internet Protocol (IP)
> addresses not be jeopardized by the turmoil currently surround the Domain
> Name System (DNS), and that immediate steps be taken to move in the
> direction defined in the ARIN proposal. DNS issues are primarily related
> to factors such as market leverage, and obtaining any particular domain
> name can be viewed as something of a luxury. IP Addresses, on the other
> hand, are of operational concern, and timely and appropriate access to this
> resource is absolutely required for the continued growth of the Internet.
> Obtaining consensus on any important Internet related topic is
> excruciatingly difficult in today's environment. Nowhere is this more
> obvious than in the debates over DNS and IP Addresses. Fortunately, there
> are stark contrasts between the two issues.
> The DNS debates are filled with rancor and punctuated by alternative
> efforts and litigation.
> While ARIN has been a subject of hot debate, there is nonetheless a rough
> consensus within the Internet community that establishing a non-profit
> entity to handle the administration of this vital function is both
> necessary and appropriate. Old-timers and newcomers have found some common
> ground. There are of course those who would like to see things taken in a
> different direction, as there always will be when something of this nature
> is discussed. There are also issues which still need to be resolved, and a
> lot of work which needs to be done. ATMnet is confident that the people
> trying to accomplish these tasks have the necessary skills, ethics and
> standing in the community to get the job done right.
> There is "rough consensus". There is "running code" in the form of the
> people and systems currently performing the function, and the two similar
> entities (APNIC and RIPE) which are already in operation under similar
> charters. It is time for ARIN to move forward unfettered by Federal
> intervention or oversight.
> When confronted with change and new alternatives, the appropriate direction
> to take is not always evident. In this case however, it is clear to ATMnet
> that ARIN deserves all our support simply because it is the right thing to
> do for the health of a growing and vibrant industry.
> Jim Browning <jfbb at ATMnet.net>
> CEO, ATMnet <www.ATMnet.net>
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