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[AfriNIC-rpd] Updated Version of the "IPv4 Soft Landing Policy"now Available Online

Owen DeLong owen at
Fri Feb 25 08:37:17 UTC 2011

On Feb 25, 2011, at 12:16 AM, Jackson Muthili wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 5:20 AM, David Conrad <drc at> wrote:
>> I'll admit to not being convinced of your assumptions regarding the use of the Internet in the AfriNIC region (I actually suspect most traffic in the AfriNIC region is/will be produced and consumed in the AfriNIC region), however ignoring that, according to sometime before 2013, folks in the APNIC, RIPE, and ARIN regions will have exhausted their remaining IPv4 free pools. Pragmatically speaking, this will mean folks everywhere will (we hope) need to be dealing with IPv6-only. Of what benefit would deploying new infrastructure based on IPv4 have in this situation?
> This again presumption that when other regions exhaust of their IPv4,
> ISPs will start deploying IPv6 and eventually migrate to IPv6 only
> network. Much as we all dream so, the reality could in fact be
> different. IPv4 trading and its associated black market could stay
> with us for a long, long time. New infrastructure will continue to be
> deployed *on IPv4* even long after it's exhausted from RIR. It's sad
> reality.
> Cheers
> Jack.

The way I see it, there are three possibilities:

1.	There is a lot of initial trading activity and then the supply side of the
	market dries up. Lack of IPv4 addresses leads to IPv6.

2.	There is a lot of trading for a while and the supply side somehow does
	not dry up, but, the size of prefix being traded gets increasingly smaller.
	As a result, the routing table growth outstrips all available hardware and
	IPv4 collapses under its own weight in a manner that makes Mr. Metcalfe's
	earlier predictions look tame.

3.	There's a lot of trading which rapidly deaggreates space and the IPv4
	internet collapses under its own weight at just about the same time as
	the supply side dries up. The router vendors scramble to deliver new
	hardware and ISPs stop routing new traded sub-blocks. The IPv4
	internet may continue, but, the cost of maintaining it will be very high
	and nobody will want to play round 2.

Now, if you see a different address trading scenario that doesn't involve
a continuously escalating cost curve that rapidly leads to IPv6 as the only
obvious way to make the internet cost-effective ever again, let's hear it.
Otherwise, let's call this "address trading will keep IPv4 going for decades"
argument the myth that it is and move on.


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