From: Dennis Glatting <dennis(_dot_)glatting(_at_)software-munitions(_dot_)com>
Subject: Addresses and ports and taxes -- oh my!
Date: Thu, 3 Aug 2000 05:32:04 -0700 (PDT)
I've been thinking about the issue of ARIN fees from last night's plenary
and arrived at two philosophical questions.
I run my business out of my home and my DSL link is an important part of
my business. About six months ago my ISP started charging me a $20/mo. fee
for my /27 because "ARIN is now charging us." I am unhappy about this fee
but I understand its motivation -- conversation of IP space, though I
believe fees do not really effect the true wasters of this space and the
fee, or as it is called in some circles, a tax, is probably misguided.
Nonetheless, with IPv6, I naively hoped, until last night, the
conservation of space issues would go away, and thus the fees. Big duh!
If we look at today's marketing hype and think forward a bit there is a
thrust to "Internet enable" appliances, such as dryers, ovens, and
stereos. Assuming ARIN fees persist, my first philosophical question is
whether any consumer of these appliances MUST periodically (e.g., monthly)
drop coins in the ARIN fountain?
Thinking laterally, the reserved port space (<1024) is tight. Using the
same IP space conversation logic, should fees be charged to conserve port
space? If so, my second philosophiocal question is what is our role, as
protocol designers and IETF volunteers, in creating, what is slowly
becoming, an Internet consumption taxation model?
Imagine for a moment the effect of a fee against the allocation or use of
port 80 or 443, maybe even port 25 or 53.
Well, who would pay for allocating a new service?
It does not matter if it is 10 or 100000 servers offering something on an
allocated port. It is allocated. There is also no good way to get ports back,
since how can you assure that there is no longer traffic on some port.
Neither the servers or the clients can be in a sufficient way charged for the
usage of a well-known port in order to acheive the same pressure as you can do
with (real) IP numbers. ISPs can naturally charge you for open up traffic to
and/or from a certain port, but that does not give the knowledge that you would
require. If someone is running some acient protocol in his/her network using
some well known port and would not be communicating it to the outside world, it
would still make this port occupied without any money changing hands.
Sadly enought I don't think money is the way to solve conservation of port
space, we have to rely on good engineering decissions, and boy, does we know
that these are not reliable ;)
Port numbers are as they are and to some degree we have run into a couple of
scaling issues with them. As allways, set a limit and we will (eventually)
Now, back to the elevators and their prime numbers!
(Interesting Elevator Task Force)