(i) there is every reason to expect a run on remaining
addresses at some point, whether induced by "public
coverage", "larcenous providers", ISP or RIR anxieties,
or something else.
In other words HIGH PUBLIC PROFILE. Interestingly, this roughly
coincides with increased public concern over network abuse, reevaluation
of homeland security activities, and the timeframe in which IPv6
services could reasonably be introduced. The time is ripe for the work,
even if it does ultimately fail as some suggest. Nevertheless, an IETF
WG discussion of what should be in the SOHO gateway is likely to lead to
products on the market.
(ii) it is reasonable to expect that by the time such a
stampede gets serious (or somewhat before that), the
RIRs and possibly ICANN will try to change policies to
This has just begun with someone making a proposal in APNIC
As I have also suggested earlier, a different way of figuring
out when we have run out of IPv4 space is not to look at when
the last address block is allocated but at when the perception
or claim of scarcity begins to justify bad behavior (in pricing,
protocol design, etc.). By that criterion, we ran out several
years ago and can stop having that particular part of the
I am of the opinion that there will be no hysteria, no market pricing,
just a move towards IPv6 because over the past few years, all Service
Providers have been upgrading to v6 capable devices, and enterprises
have also, at a somewhat slower pace, been shifting towards v6 capable
OSes. They haven't been USING IPv6, but a lot of the capital costs
necessary have already been invested.
When it does come -- when a lot of
people reach that conclusion -- it is reasonable to predict a
catastrophic change in allocation requests and presumably in
allocations. Once that occurs, the projections based on models
of past behavior are trash and IPv4 space will be in very bad
trouble... probably in a matter of months and not years.
That day will never come because IPv4 addresses can never be in such
short supply. There is fat in the system, outside the RIRs' view and
control. The hoarding behavior happened years ago, before the telecom
collapse. One can always use NAT tricks (double NAT) in some areas,
"borrow" DOD and other address space such as a nice /8 that was recently
allocated exclusively for use in a Japanese cable network. The net is
diverse enough that many people won't care if DoD machines or Japanese
consumers can't reach them. This is an unmeasured and unstudied area.
I still believe that the time is right for an IETF WG to define SOHO
gateway requirements for IPv6 networks because IPv4 wind-down will cause
more people to take a serious look at how and why to deploy IPv6. One
single good idea in a SOHO gateway document could be enough to tip the
scales and make a business case for IPv6 services.
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