ARIN is A Good Thing

Jim Browning jfbb at
Sat Mar 29 08:08:41 UTC 1997

>From:  David Stoddard[SMTP:dgs at]
>Sent:  Friday, March 28, 1997 10:30 PM
>	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 ...

Certainly more appropriate  than the DNS thread, and I believe that ^D is 
easy to use, but if a consensus is shown that it is off-topic, I will 
certainly abide by that consensus
>	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,

Define 'small'. Compared to MCI, or compared to a local ISP?

>	b)  You are filty rich and you don't mind paying big chunks of
>	      money for something that your tax dollars already support,

I don't fit that one...

>	c)  You are a Canadian or Mexican citizen and you are tired of the
>	      US Government managing the resources you require to run your
>	      business,

Not us...

>	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,

I pay the bills.  I know...

>	e)  You are trying to suck up to the political structure because you
>	      are afraid to really voice your opposition,

Right.  That's why I posted flame bait...

>	f)  You are vying for a position in the ARIN organization, or

I will volunteer to help as I can, just as for IETF or NANOG...

>	g)  You really don't understand what this ARIN thing is anyhow.

I have been involved in the topic for a long time, have studied the 
proposal, and participated in the dialog.

I have also been an open critic of certain registry policies (esp. "slow 
start" that have hampered the growth of my business.

>	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
>	Foundation.

Which are going/have gone (depending on who you ask)  away.  The IP 
services are being supported by DNS revenues. And anyway, if NSF funds are 
available for the support if IP Address allocation, I'm sure that ARIN 
would accept them, and adjust its fee structure accordingly.  ARIN is based 
on a cost recovery model.

>	*  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).

Having to pay for this service is inevitable.  NSF support was temporary. 
 Using DNS revenues is unworkable in the long term, as DNS services will be 
spread over multiple entities and no longer able to support IP allocation, 
which isn't appropriate anyway...  Revenues should be associated with the 
cost drivers.  DNS revenues to support DNS services, IP Allocation fees to 
support IP registration.

>	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.

You, or your customers, or someone else's customers, are paying for it 
*now* with DNS fees...
>	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.

Your numbers are inflated. Profits are what is left after you deduct your 
costs of doing business from your revenues.  If you are going to quote 
numbers as fact, please ensure that they are accurate.  Yours are 
definitely *not* accurate.  And do you realize that InterNIC related 
activities represent a minority of NSI's business, and a *tiny* fraction of 
those of its parent company?
<summary of ARIN proposal deleted>

>	> "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.

Exactly.  IP Address allocation must be separated from DNS registration, 
and before it gets caught up in the DNS 'morass'.  Do you think a federal 
judge would understand the difference between DNS and IP?  What would 
happen if a DNS litigant obtained a restraining order forcing NSI to cease 
InterNIC activities? Are you ready to go without new addresses while the 
courts addressed the situation?  Are you prepared to have IP Addresses 
handled by people without the experience Kim and her crew have developed? 
 Do want to stall the evolution of registration policies indefinitely, so 
that slow start remains cast in stone?

>	> "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.

No, but dedicated funding is necessary to ensure that those services remain 

>	> "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.

The current situation is not stable, as the NSF support is gone...  ARIN 
maintains the current system as much as is possible given the change in 
funding status...

>	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.

As a membership funded organization, ARIN will be more responsive to 
suggestions for policy change.  There has been much discussion of slow 
start on the appropriate lists (where my concerns are well known).  ARIN 
will accept changes to policies which are agreed to using established 

>	> "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.

Because it *has* to change.  The funding situation has changed, and we must 
change with it.

>	> "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.

And those resources will transition over to ARIN!  So will people, 
including Kim!  ARIN is not a start from scratch organization...
>	> "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."
>	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.

So if those funds are in fact available, then let's give them to ARIN and 
reduce the registration fees!!  And it is IANA which controls the address 
space, because the folks on this list accept IANA's decisions in that 
regard.  I'm not at all certain what would happen if NSF said one thing and 
IANA said another, but I would put my money on people following IANA.

>	> "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.

So is the PSTN.  Does the U.S. government pay for the registration of phone 
numbers?  Order a new number and find out...

>	> "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.

No, it does not increase the cost, it just stops using DNS fees to cover 
the costs.  I suspect that the smaller entity will in fact represent a 
*reduction* in the cost of registration services, as ARIN will not bear 
NSI's and SAIC's corporate overhead and G&A, which is substantial.
>	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.

Your primary argument is that NSF should cover the costs of IP 
registrations.  I maintain that ARIN in fact makes this much more 'doable' 
than the current situation, where the costs of IP allocations are 
commingled with the costs of domain registrations, which NSF has already 
decided should be user funded.  ARIN males it possible for the NSF to fund 
IP allocation services without also funding DNS services *IF* they chose to 
do so.
>	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
>	cost.

I agree.  Let's reduce costs by putting IP Allocation services into a 
streamlined, low overhead, non-profit organization, staffed by people who 
have the experience to perform the required services as efficiently as 
possible, and tried and tested systems and procedures.  Let's convince NSF 
to at least partially fund that organization so that fees are minimal. 
 Let's provide Gb's of input into how that entity can do its job 
effectively, and define the policies it should follow.

Let's support that process now, and let's call that organization...

*** ARIN ***

Jim Browning

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