Cost per prefix [was: request for help w/ ATT and terminology]

But before we go too far down this road, everyone here should realize
that new PI space and PA deaggregation WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN.

Many corporations paying for Internet access will NOT be tied to a
single provider. Period. Trying to tell them "you are too small, you
should only let us big networks have our own space" is a silly
argument which won't fly.

The Internet is a business tool. Trying to make that tool less
flexible, trying to tie the fate of a customer to the fate of a single
provider, or trying force them to jump through more hoops than you
have to jump through for the same redundancy / reliability is simply
not realistic. And telling them it will cost some random network in
some random other place a dollar a year for their additional
flexibility / reliability / performance is not going to convince them
not to do it.

The number of these coAt least not while the Internet is still driven
by commercial realities. (Which I personally think is a Very Good
Thing - much better than the alternative.) Someone will take the
customer's check, so the prefix will be in the table. And since you
want to take your customers' checks to provide access to that ISP's
customer, you will have to carry the prefix.

Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be thrifty with table
space. We just have to stop thinking that only the largest providers
should be allowed to add a prefix to the table. At least if we are
going to continue making money on the Internet.

While I agree with this to some extent, it is clear that there are some
problems. The obvious problem is where the line is drawn; it is not
currently reasonable for each business class DSL line to be issued PI
space, but it is currently reasonable for the largest 100 companies in
the world to have PI space. (I've deliberately drawn the boundary lines
well outside what most would argue as a reasonable range; the boundaries
I've drawn are not open to debate, since they're for the purposes of
contemplating a problem.)

I don't think that simply writing a check to an ISP is going to be
sufficiently compelling to cause networks of the world to accept a
prefix in the table. If I happen to be close to running out of table
entries, then I may not see any particular value in accepting a prefix
that serves no good purpose. For example, PA deaggregated space and
prefixes from far away might be among the first victims, with the former
being filtered (hope you have a covering route!) and the latter being
filtered with a local covering route installed to default a bunch of
APNIC routes out a reasonable pipe.

For the overall good of the Internet, that's not particularly desirable,
but it will be a reality for providers who can't keep justifying
installing lots of routers with larger table sizes every few years.

There is, therefore, some commercial interest above and beyond "hey,
look, some guy paid me." We'd like the Internet to work _well_, and
that means that self-interest exclusive of all else is not going to be
a good way to contemplate commercial realities.

So, what can reasonably be done? Given what I've seen over the years,
I keep coming back to the idea that PI space allocations are not all
that far out of control, but the PA deaggregation situation is fairly
rough. There would also seem to be some things that smaller sites could
do to "fix" the PA deagg situation. Is this the way people see things
going, if we're going to be realistic?

... JG