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[im-support] Re: The ITU, the RIRs and IP address assignment

  • From: Geert Jan de Groot < >
  • Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 12:06:38 +0100

I must say that I'm more than a little bit worried about the 
ITU claims on address space issues.
Let's see: the organisation that brought us X.25 is now claiming
(not asking, claiming) to participate on IP protocol issues.
First off, compare the deployment of X.25 compared to IP
and it is easy to see which protocol stack is more successful.

The IP network that we currently know wasn't just built, it has
been developed by consensus by many talented folk worldwide for
the last 30 years or so. 
Scaling issues are of continuous concern, and they are dealt with
based on consensus from the engineering community. Without this
mechanism, there would be no Internet at all.
The network is community-built from the base up.
We place our trust on this community when we use the network every day.

Scaling and routability are of continuous concern, and are actively
worked on *on a daily basis*. The current RIR scheme is partially
built on these technical concerns. 
It is based on input from the community that made the network
in the first place.

To me, it therefore makes no sense to do what the ITU proposes
and ignore the technical issues that are the basis of the current
process. It is dangerous as it's technical consequences will cause
severe stability problems that the community has so carefully
been trying to avoid for at least two decades.

I also refute the ITU claim on problems in developing countries
in this matter. Specifically, the African ISP community is setting up
it's own RIR, AfriNIC. It is based on consensus, and driven
by the community it serves, the African ISP community.
I don't understand why the ITU can claim it does better, than the
ISP-community itself.

Finally, the Internet-community is based on respect to those
that built the infrastructure. One doesn't grab respect by
just claiming a role, one gains respect by showing competence
in development and engineering efforts. I highly respect the people
who built the network we currently know and love.
At the same time, despite the claims made in 3.2 on technical
developments made in the ITU, while the ITU has created several
successful standards, their track record is not in the 
area of IP-protocol engineering. 
Without a clear track record of technical results in this area,
I don't believe that the ITU is in a position to claim what
it currently tries to do.

If I have to make the choice to follow the community that built 
the current infrastructure, or follow the ITU, I would follow
the former based on results and track record. 
People who trust the ITU instead are free to connect to a network
based on ITU-protocols. Heck, I'm sure that address space issues there
are handled according to all concerns ITU might have.

Geert Jan

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