Alan Hannan asked:
What are the correlations and contrasts between our current
backbone routing problems (wrt space and # of routes) and the FCC
decision several years ago to make 1-800 numbers portable.
There is a major difference between ownership of IP network numbers and
telephone number portability: the economic benefits of ownership of
addresses are not comparable to those of ownership of telephone numbers.
As far as I know, the economic benefits of network number ownership are
confined to cost avoidance related to re-numbering.
A major argument for ownership of telephone numbers (and especially
freephone - e.g., 800 - numbers) is that the subscriber makes an investment
(by advertising, letterhead, etc) getting knowledge of a subscriber's phone
number to customers, friends, and other correspondents.
Since the knowledge (as used by humans) of how to reach a "subscriber" on
the Internet is encoded in a DNS name and not in an address, no comparable
argument can be made for ownership of addresses.