Market-based address allocation

David Conrad david.conrad at
Thu May 1 20:25:45 UTC 2003


So, lets say we go ahead a float IP address space and anyone can buy 
whatever prefix they think need and have the cash for.

What happens to the routing tables?

The reason the BOF back in '96 was entitled "Pricing of Internet 
Addresses and Routing Announcements' was that the folks who seriously 
considered the idea realized that in the IPv4 CIDR world we live in, 
selling address space without somehow tying those sales into some sort 
of market for routing prefixes was a recipe for "fun", or at least lots 
of prefix length filters and subsequently more unhappiness.

If someone can figure out how to get the ISPs of the world to 
participate in a routing prefix market, then it might be worth 
revisiting this idea.  Note that there is nothing stopping establishing 
a routing prefix market now, so it could be done prior to changing 
address allocation policies.


On Thursday, May 1, 2003, at 10:27  AM, Daniel Golding wrote:

> Treating IP space as a commodity is no more strange than trading 
> financial
> options or other derivatives, or, for that matter, intellectual 
> property.
> Bits, numbers, and agreements all hold value outside of the context of
> purely physical property.
> Sadly, this sort of idea tends to stomp on the socialistic sort of
> idealism that is particularly prevalent amongst some in the IETF and 
> communities, who feel it would leave out the "little guys". I suspect 
> that
> any real world float of IP address space would result in a pretty low
> price per ip address, if the market was sufficiently liquid. It might 
> be
> cheaper for a little guy to get a few $K together for IPs, then to 
> build a
> network capable of "justifying" a /20 from an RIR.
> Maybe ARIN should reinvent itself as a mercantile exchange?
> - Dan
> On Wed, 30 Apr 2003 bmanning at wrote:
>>> On Wednesday, April 30, 2003, at 07:44  AM, Bill Nickless wrote:
>>>> As a thought experiment, think of how the IPv4 addressing situation
>>>> (bogon advertisements, allocations, explosion of routing table 
>>>> sizes,
>>>> etc) would be different if the IP community treated IP addresses as 
>>>> a
>>>> commodity.
>>> PIARA, The Sequel.  Take N+1.  Action!  Anybody got any rubber balls
>>> Peter Lothberg can monopolize this time? :-)
>> 	I still have mine, plus the five or six I took away from
>> 	the others in the room.  ...  psst, buddy, want to buy an
>> 	"8"
>>> Sorry to be flip.  In case you haven't already, see:
>> 	Oh... sorry, are folks really seriously wanting
>> 	to treat integers as a marketable commodity?
>>> Rgds,
>>> -drc

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