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Re: Internic address allocation policy

  • From: Karl Denninger
  • Date: Sun Mar 19 14:08:08 1995

> >But the new ISP has no basis to request these.  However, the CURRENT NIC is
> >declining requests for *256* Class "C" addresses!
> >
> >That is, I was turned down for a Class "B" equivalent in a CIDR block.  That
> >is ludicrous.  Any reasonable regional ISP, large or small, is going to go
> >through that in a year.  And if you enforce a 75% usage requirement to get
> >more, then you've got something workable.
> 
> this begs a question (which karl will proceed to try to answer), which is:
> how does the NIC know whether a new ISP is worthy of even 256 class c's?
> in karl's terminology, how do they know whether an ISP is "reasonable"?

Does it matter for the first block?

I believe not.  Or, if it does, then go ahead and say "ok, the first block
for *those who don't have a link up and running at the time of request* is
32 Class "C"s", and the rest leave alone.

Now, if the ISP wannabe goes nowhere, 32 Class "C"s isn't much.  If you want
to require an applicant to have a DBA/Corporate name, and prove it, that's
fine too.  But beyond that you're getting into restraint of trade.  Its not
any of the NIC's business what my business plan looks like!

> but the potential for liability on the NIC's part if they don't have -- and
> follow! -- objective allocation standards is too high to ask them to bear.

But they aren't doing that NOW!  Tell me that Sprint has a business plan on
file with the NIC.  Or Alternet, or PSI.  Yeah, right.

But others have reported to me that they have been asked for them, and I 
was a personal witness to one of those requests.  If Sprint, PSI, and
Alternet have them on file with the NIC I want to FOIA those documents!  
If not, then I allege that as of *right now* the NIC isn't playing on a
level field, isn't being honest with its constituents, and is abusing its
power.  Power that badly needs to be removed and decentralized.

> the 75% usage problem is rather hard to verify, as well.  to get a negative
> answer you'd have to know during the host count that the network being
> examined was at that moment routable.  or you'd have to depend on the ISP
> to do its own host counts, which opens up horrendous fraud potential.

Yep.  It certainly does.  But what other choice do you really have?  The NIC
is an arrogant organization now which thinks it is "God of the Addresses".
Truth be known, its not, and never will be.  It runs no route servers which
could refuse to announce you.  It doesn't even have real authority to
delegate anything, other than the consent of those who are accepting
addresses from it.

A number of folks, myself included, are leaning towards revoking that
consent or modifying it in drastic ways.

> >Note that this does have an honesty component, as, for example, we have
> >part-time networks connected via dial-up which are only routed when active.
> >But trust me, we have issued what we asked for -- and that space IS being
> >actively used by real, live, paying customers.
> 
> i know that.  and if anybody asked me whether Net99 or MCSnet needed 16 bits
> per allocation, i would say "hell yes!" since i know you guys (a) know the
> meaning of what you're asking for, and (b) will use it wisely and honestly.
> i cannot depend on either (a) or (b) for the average new ISP-wannabe who
> has sold their video rental store and wants to reinvest the proceeds in the
> Internet 'cuz they saw Al Gore on Tee Vee and though they don't know what the
> Internet is, they know they gotta have some, and isn't that book by Canter
> and Seigel just the greatest thing you ever saw?

Well, perhaps.  But again, the newbie ISP problem can easily be solved by
requiring anyone wanting that big allocation to have an *active* and
*pingable* network core running at a reasonable bandwidth (SLIP need not
apply :-).  That solves the zero-eth order problem, which is the newbie
coming in and requesting huge chunks of space they won't use. 

The other part of this would be to require a copy of the corporate annual
report to be filed annually, and if you don't, any non-delegated space gets
released.

My *personal* issue with this is that when a firm I used to work for folded,
the 32 Class "B"s they had allocated (with good reason I might add), were 
released back to the NIC -- by me personally.  Less than two months later 
I asked for 256 Class "C"s and a "B" for internal network backbone use 
(two of the "B"s total) and was told to go to hell.  The next time I get 
responsibility for 32 Class "B"s someone doesn't really need I'm going 
to SWIP the damn things to MCSNet and allocate my "C"s out of those -- 
that way I won't run out for a while, or deal with people telling me that
my use isn't legitimate.

The NIC can consider themself on notice for going out of their way to piss 
off someone who has, in the past, tried to HELP THEM.

> hell no, i won't go.  along that path lies chaos.  what we need is some kind
> of "ISP Council", with core membership determined by some combination of
> customer votes and hard dollars (which keeps out ignorant newcomers and large
>providers whose customers don't like them but don't hate them enough to switch)

That might be ok; I don't know.  The problem is that the council needs to be
absolutely, 100% above reproach; it WILL get sued if anything that smells
ugly comes out of it -- and eventually it will.  This is why I like the
non-profit, funded-by-users Internic idea; if you delegate in sufficiently
large chunks, and charge a fee, then the fee is reasonably small (ie: $1k/year)
which avoids restraint of trade problems AND if the Internic-to-be doesn't
suit the members who are paying it, they stop paying (and set up something
else).

> nothing i've seen on com-priv or cix-members or nanog or rfc1466bis has yet
> addressed the fundamental problem of using government money (or allowing any
> government to affect the policy) for internet resource allocation.  we, the
> users (and the greater "we", the providers) have to take this over.  we've
> got the dollars at risk and we've got the customers to satisfy -- and those
> two things are the primary components of networking.

See above.  A distributed allocation system with a reasonable fee structure
at the top level going to a non-profit just might work.  But *reasonable*
means covering *only* the costs involved, and the key is to make the
granularity sufficiently coarse that the fees are modest.

This, by the way, is where the CIX failed.  By refusing to tie costs to
services rendered to real people it became a place where only "real" ISPs
could play.  This in and of itself wasn't a problem.....  but then the 
*really big* ISPs then shut out the larger constituency and refused to 
listen to their voices -- even when expressed in the form of a membership 
vote at the annual meeting.

How many of those disenfranchised ISPs renewed this Jan 1st?  And of those
who did, how many felt and continue to feel like hostages and victims of 
extortion?

The Internic issues are TOO important to let anything like the CIX happen 
to them.  If they do the end result *will* be government involvement, and
not in a fashion that you, or I, would approve of.

--
--
Karl Denninger (karl@MCS.Net)| MCSNet - The Finest Internet Connectivity
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