I have asked the question many time. "What is a provider?". Once
> the CIDR allocation started the "Providers" came out of the
> woodworks. No one so far has given an answer to the question that
> the majority can agree with. I will not be at the regional tech
> meeting in CA but Mark will. I don't know a group better suited
> to answer the question that established providers. Do us a favor
> and come up with a proposed answer to "What is a provider". I
> will work with NSF and Postel to make it policy. This would make
> our life easier.
The "regional-techs" group is not a suitable group to make policy
about who can and can't be a network service provider. For quite a
while in its life, it was a group that had no intention of letting
non-NSF sponsored networks have any access to their meetings.
As a result there is very close to no participation by any of the
emerging public access Internet providers, the very group that is
most likely to want to get address blocks of their own to hand out to
I think we have to be very careful here. When we make policy that
adversely affects someone's business interests we're just begging for
a suit. Especially with the *perceived* "shortage" or IPv4
addresses. It seems to me that it would be very difficult to exclude
anybody from the category of "provider" (for the purpose of giving
him or her addresses) who has even the flimsiest claim to being one.
I think it's high time to start imposing (nominal) fees for the
privelege of having network address assignments maintained. If this
is done in any reasonable way, with full enough cooperation of
everyone involved and prices that are not out of line with what people
expect, it will work very well.
Prices could be set to balance the expected aggregate routing load and
the shortage of IPv4 addresses, and in ways that would promote
sensible number allocation.
Edward Vielmetti, vice president for research, Msen Inc. emv@Msen.com
Msen Inc., 320 Miller, Ann Arbor MI 48103 +1 313 998 4562 (fax: 998 4563)