Doug Barton dougb at dougbarton.us
Sat Jul 27 04:59:45 UTC 2019

Responding to no one in particular, and not representing views of any 
current or former employer ...

I find all of this hullabaloo to be ... fascinating. A little background 
to frame my comments below. I was GM of the IANA in the early 2000's, I 
held a tech license from 1994 through 2004 (I gave it up because life 
changed, and I no longer had time; but I still have all my toys, err, I 
mean, gear); and I have known two of the ARDC board members and one of 
the advisors listed at https://www.ampr.org/amprnet/ for over fifteen 
years. I consider them all friends, and trust their judgement 
explicitly. One of them I've known for over 20 years, and consider a 
close and very dear friend.

There have been a number of points over the past 30 years where anyone 
who genuinely cared about this space could have used any number of 
mechanisms to raise concerns over how it's been managed, and by whom. I 
cannot help but think that some of this current sound and fury is an 
excuse to express righteous indignation for its own sake. The folks 
involved with ARDC have been caring for the space for a long time. From 
my perspective, seeing the writing on the wall regarding the upcoming 
friction around IPv4 space as an asset with monetary value increasing 
exponentially, they took quite reasonable steps to create a legal 
framework to ensure that their ability to continue managing the space 
would be protected. Some of you may remember that other groups, like the 
IETF, were taking similar steps before during and after that same time 
frame. Sure, you can complain about what was done, how it was done, 
etc.; but where were you then? Are you sure that at least part of your 
anger isn't due to the fact that all of these things have happened over 
the last 20 years, and you had no idea they were happening?

So let's talk a little about what "stewardship" means. Many folks have 
complained about how ARDC has not done a good job of $X function that 
stewards of the space should perform. Do you think having some money in 
the bank will help contribute to their ability to do that? Has anyone 
looked at how much of the space is actually being used now, and what 
percentage reduction in available space carving out a /10 actually 
represents? And nowadays when IPv6 is readily available essentially "for 
free," how much is the amateur community actually being affected by this?

And with all due respect to Jon (and I mean that sincerely), what did 
it/does it really mean that "Jon gave $PERSON the space for $REASON" 30 
years later? Jon was a brilliant guy, but from what I've been told would 
also be one of the first to admit when he made a mistake. One of which, 
and one that he actively campaigned to fix, was the idea of classful 
address space to start with, and particularly the idea that it was OK to 
hand out massive chunks of it to anyone who asked. As a former ham I 
definitely appreciate the concept of them having space to play ... errr, 
experiment with. But did they ever, /really, /need a /8? Historically, 
what percentage of that space has ever actually been used? And as Dave 
Conrad pointed out, given all of the "historical" allocations that have 
been revisited and/or repurposed already, is taking another look at 44/8 
really that far out of line?

Now all that said, if any of my friends had asked me how I thought news 
of this sale should have been handled, I would have told them that this 
reaction that we're seeing now is 100% predictable, and while it could 
never be eliminated entirely it could be limited in scope and ferocity 
by getting ahead of the message. At minimum when the transfer occurred. 
But that doesn't change anything about my opinion that the sale itself 
was totally reasonable, done by reasonable people, and in keeping with 
the concept of being good stewards of the space.

hope this helps,


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