John -

  Like many others here and in private email, you make
excellent points, and were influential in helping move
towards allowing /19s in 206/8 on the grounds that many
people honestly (mis-)understood comments about indecision
with respect to /19s vs /18s and noises about possibly
re-evaluating things in the future to be a guarantee of
routability of /19s in the 206/8 range.

  I also agree with your points that encouraging the
growth in the number of providers, particularly small
providers, is very important to the evolution of the
ubiquitous Internet, and that anything that holds
back the growth of the number of small and mid-size
providers should be avoided.

  Unfortunately, I don't think that we can adopt a policy of
"should be avoided at all costs", because one such cost is
having large segments of the Internet stop working.
Consequently, there are a number of people at work on
preventing further increases in the size of routing tables.

  While I do agree with Dave Crocker et al. that
strict nonportable address allocation does make it
difficult for small and mid-size providers to change
connectivity to some degree, I believe that for the
moment this is unavoidable, no matter that I wish
that it was, or that I could put some of my efforts
off any longer than I already have.

  However, with respect to the difficulties that inflexible
minimum sizes on portable allocations (i.e., those that are
likely to be routable throughout the entire Internet) and
limits on routability of long prefixes, most things would
be made much easier on small and mid-size providers if
sufficiently good renumbering technology existed for
small-i internets.

  Therefore I make the economic argument to workstation,
operating-system and router vendors that it is in their
interests to develop easy-to-use or (semi-) automatic
renumbering tools for all their products, and to participate
in the development of protocols that allow these tools to
cooperate in the process of renumbering even sizeable
small-i internets. I assert (wearing a price-theorist's
hat) that such a technology will lower the costs of
providing big-I Internet services significantly, and that
this cost-savings will allow for a reduction in pricing due
to competitive pressures, and, caeteris paribus, will lead
to further growth of the Internet and consequently more
sales of "Internet-ready" workstations, operating-systems,
and routers.

- --
Sean Doran <smd@sprint.net>