IPv4 address exchange

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Tue Apr 19 10:46:49 UTC 2011

On Apr 18, 2011, at 10:35 PM, David Conrad wrote:

> To try to bring this back to NANOG (instead of PPML-light), the issue is that since at least two alternative registries have apparently been established, how are network operators going to deal with the fact that the currently execrable "whois database" is almost certainly going to get worse?

David - 
Does it have to get worse simply because there is change?  I see no particular 
reason that the Internet number registry system can't evolve into something
with multiple registries including overlapping service regions and competition 
if that's what folks actually want.  We've seen this in the DNS space and I can't 
say that it necessarily worse or better than what resulted from the prior single 
registry model.

However, it's definitely true that what occurred in the DNS space is clearly 
documented, has a complete fabric of contractual agreements, and was part of 
a multi-year discussion regarding goals of the overall system and various 
proposals on how it should best change.

Now, Internet number resources are different in many ways, including the 
fact that network operators must have reliable access to the information in
order to keep things running.  Registrants may have exclusive use of their 
numbers, but the network operators also have a right to know the registration
of any given piece of address space.  As you know, multiple IP registries 
would definitely pose some coordination challenges in being able to reliably
account for all of the address space at any given moment.

What we lack is any meaningful proposals on how to restructure the Internet
number registry system, including what are the goals of doing such, how are 
those goals and the existing requirements are met, and what protections are 
needed for integrity of the system. It's possible if this were discussed by 
the global community, it might be obvious how to best proceed or not. 

Personally, I do not see it as inevitable that "alternative registries" must 
have a detrimental impact to the WHOIS database, unless they are introduced 
in an uncoordinated manner and without global discussion of the actual goals.


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