a radical proposal (Re: protocols that don't meet the need...)

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Thu Feb 16 10:46:23 UTC 2006

[[pushed the wrong button last time. This is the complete reply]]

>   - join a local IXP, which may be a physical switch or
>     virtualized by a set of bilateral agreements.

Why should they join an IXP if they already have
private peering arrangements?

>   - outside the region, they advertise the prefix of the
>     regional authority

Mixing government with operations? If you favor doing
that then why not just give IPv6 addresses to the various
national governments and let the UN sort it out?

Personally I disagree with any scheme which calls for 
national or municipal governments to assign IPv6 addresses
to end users. Dressing it up as a "regional authority"
does not make it any nicer.

Forcing people to join an unecessary IX is not the way
to solve the problem of regional aggregation of routes.
This is a purely technical problem which can be solved
by the RIR practices in allocating IPv6 addresses. If they
would allocate addresses in a geo-topological manner then
end users and ISPs would be free to aggregate routes 
outside of their region without any involvement of governments
or any requirement to join consortia or IXes. It does 
require the users of such geo-topological addresses to
ensure that in THEIR region, there is sufficient 
interconnectivity (physical and policy) between ISPs for
the addressing to work. But that does not need to be determined
or managed centrally.

Geo-topological addressing refers to RIRs reserving large
blocks of designated addresses for areas served my large
cities (over 100,000) population. When end users are located
in fringe areas roughly equidistant between two or more such
centers, the RIR simply asks the end user (or ISP) which is
the center to which they want to connect (communicate).
This addressing scheme operates in parallel with the existing
provider-oriented IPv6 addressing scheme but uses a different
block of IPv6 addresses out of the 7/8ths that are currently
reserved. No hardware or software changes are required for this
to work, merely some geographical/economical research to determine
the relative sizes of the address pool to be reserved for each
of the world's 5000 largest cities.

> Whenever I have talked about the model with an ISP, I have gotten 
> blasted. Basically, I have been told that
> (1) any idea on operations proposed in the IETF is a bad idea because 
> the IETF doesn't listen to operators

This is true. Top-down does not work in Internet operations.
We need bottom-up, i.e. customer demand. The IETF needs to
view their role as enablers of customer demand. If the IETF
can create something that will work for ISP customers, then
ISPs will be happy to go along, once the customers demand
the service.

> (2) the ISPs aren't going to be willing to make settlement payments 
> among themselves in accordance with the plan

Wait until this starts appearing as a requirement in
custome RFPs.

> I'm not sure how to proceed, given the level of invective I get in 
> any discussion with anyone on the topic.

Perhaps the IETF needs to seek input, not just from ISPs,
but also from ISP customers, the end users of the network.

> Note 2: Provider-provisioned addresses continue to make sense for 
> folks that don't plan to multihome.

Indeed they do. But the current IPv6 addressing model is completely
slanted towards provider-provisioned addresses for single-homed
entities. Calling a small block of these provider-provisioned
addresses PI (provider independent) does not really make the addresses
provider independent and does not help small enterprises to implement
meaningful multihoming. The IETF has imposed this provider-provisioned
model on IPv4 and is thus directly responsible for the ISP cartel
which now exists.

--Michael Dillon

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