The Internic is the sole and ultimate assigning entity of IP space,

Ummm, no. RIPE-NCC and APNIC also assign address space as regional
registries, CANET, JPNIC, KRNIC, and AUNIC/Telstra assign space as
national registries. One might claim the IANA has the ultimate
responsibility regarding address space, but this is somewhat
irrelevant to this discussion.

I have not followed most of this addressing thread, most of it seems
quite weird anyway. I sure agree that alot of it is irrelevant to the
discussion, and the right thing to do is rather to focus on how to
evolve things right and gracefully and scalable in the future.

This may have been said before, my apologies if I am repeating things,
but this ownership and IANA and InterNIC takeover stuff and so is
totally distorted it seems. Prior to the mid-80's (when TCP-IP was on
its way out and to be succeeded by GOSSIP, and could never top DECNET
and SNA and Novell anyway) the IP address space was in the playpen of
the United States Department of Defense, simply for the reasons that
they designed this IP protocol toy for their purposes, and had all the
rights in the world to do with its bit space whatever they felt like.
Jon Postel and Joyce Reynolds were the two ending up under ARPA
contract to assign addresses and other numbers (IP protocol, TCP port,
whatever). ARPA also created the IAB and the GADS, to help them with
expertise advise relative to their project, the GADS was then split
into the IETF and the IRTF (I think they were initially called
something like INENG and INARC (engineering and architecture),
though). With this, and some responsibilities getting fuzzier (like
NSF jumping in and ejecting TCP/IP into the real world) at some point
of time Jon/Joyce's roles got more formally called the IANA. I don't
know when the term exactly came up, and what the rationale was, but I
am pretty sure that things were still in ARPA's sandbox then, and I am
pretty sure IANA was created as an IAB function for ARPA. But ARPA was
not in a position to do all these assignments and work (ain't exactly
10 year out high risk research any more), so especially NSF helped out
funding the (ARPA) NIC (then at SRI). NSF was the logical choice, as it
brought the IP networking to the masses, so it seemed logical that NSF
become responsible for assignment for the masses, and publicly had a
competition for the InterNIC, which was then won by three different
parties for three different function. Of course, nobody wanted to piss
ARPA or especially Jon and Joyce off (they both are excellent people),
so why rock the boat about IANA terminology, besides, they were still
involved, assigned lots of (other) numbers, and were a good resource to
help the InterNIC. ARPA and other agencies were quite well aware and I
think in line with the InterNIC creation.

About every several months this argument flared up about who owns the
address space in variety of camps for the last many years. Always
winded down after a while, as people figure they have better things to
do, and things were kinda working anyway. Guess that was prior to the
Internet explosion in the last two years or so, though.

In the meantime, yeah, formally I guess one would claim that the
Internet address space is the personal property of the IANA instrument
of the United States Department of Defense, if that is what you like.
I would prefer to think that the Internet evolved so much over the last
ten years or so into the public realm, that the address and naming
spaces have become public property. Instead of bitching about the
InterNIC, NSF, ARPA, IANA, whoever, you guys should thank them for how
far they got things driven, and whet they fostered and allowed to
transition to the international private sector. Don't get me wrong, I
had my own misgiving at times with the responsiveness of the InterNIC
at times, but life just is hard on an exponential curve, especially if
the incoming resources/revenue stream does not follow the curve.

The self-sustaining nature of the InterNIC was already built into it
when NSF solicited proposals for it, just read the damn thing. $50 is
not a problem for a commercial company that has all the other
miscellaneous costs of having equipment and connecting it to the
Internet and wanting to get marketing leverage out of their
www.company.com advertisement material, unless you make a problem out
of it, though it is an annoyance big enough to hopefully keep alot of
trash out, and it gives the United States Federal Government an
opportunity to even let go more of its children. Then again, the
children seem in puberty and like to bitch.