Updated ARIN allocation information

Matt Palmer mpalmer at hezmatt.org
Sat Feb 1 03:30:00 UTC 2014

On Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 03:10:56PM -0800, Owen DeLong wrote:
> On Jan 31, 2014, at 1:29 PM, Matt Palmer <mpalmer at hezmatt.org> wrote:
> > Imagine one of the big players saying, "we're going to charge you $X per
> > route you send to us" (just like transit agreements that state, "we will
> > charge you $X/GB of traffic"), or "your contract allows you to send us N
> > routes" (just like, "your contract allows you to send us N Gb of traffic"). 
> > About 15 minutes later everyone else would start doing it, to recoup the
> > costs of sending routes to that provider.  Peering would be considered not
> > only if the volume of traffic was mutually advantageous, but also if the
> > routes exchanged were mutually advantageous.
> That’s the optimistic outcome. The pessimistic outcome is that they get
> rapidly depeered by everyone unwilling to pay $X/GB and then start losing
> customers because their customers can no longer reach anyone else’s
> customers through them.

That doesn't mean someone somewhere wouldn't try it.  But I doubt it would
be done in such a heavy-handed manner as to incur that sort of reaction. 
There are a bunch of ways it could be done quietly and without too much
fuss.  Vague language about "reasonable route volume" would be the easiest
to slip under the radar, and if the cost of additional routes is below what
your costs of changing providers would be, you'll almost certainly just wear
it.  Similar language could also be a big stick against excessive deagg, so
there's a potential upside there, too.

The blow could very easily be softened, too, by offering to pay all your
customer for the routes they accept *from* you -- even setting it up so it
was revenue neutral (in the beginning, at least...) so people get used to
the idea.

Hell, I could see it pitched as an up-sell: pay us $$$ and we'll accept your
/28, and pass some of that moolah along to others so they'll do it too. 
Once it's in place for that, just keep shortening the masklen over time for
what you can announce for free (presumably as fragmentation due to sale of
blocks increases route volume).

If Mark Andrews' assertion comes to pass, that legal action is taken against
those unwilling to accept longer prefixes, I'd expect this sort of scheme to
come to pass *very* quickly.  If you're willing to accept routes from all
comers, just in exchange for payment to cover costs incurred, then nobody
can claim restraint of trade or cartel-like behaviour.  If things got really
hairy, providers could use their netflow data and some BigData(TM) analytics
to work out the "value" vs the "cost" of every route they were carrying, and
drop those who didn't make the grade (where you could increase the "value"
of your route by paying for it).

If there's one thing the commercial Internet has demonstrated, is that there
isn't a business model so weird that *someone* won't try it.

> The reality probably lies somewhere in between. I suspect whoever chooses
> to conduct this little experiment first should be prepared for substantial pain.

There's no possible upside unless there's some risk.  I'm surprised nobody's
tried this already, the more I think about it.  Time to raise some VC,

- Matt

Of course, I made the mistake of showing [a demo application] off to my boss,
who showed it off to his boss, and suddenly I couldn't reboot my desktop box
without getting a change control approved.
		-- Derick Siddoway, in a place that doesn't exist

More information about the NANOG mailing list