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Changes to PI Policy?

  • To: PI Task Force < >
  • From: leo vegoda < >
  • Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 20:17:25 +0200
  • Organization: RIPE Network Coordination Centre

Hi all,

Kurtis has stated that he is worried that the policy requires the
RIPE NCC to assign address space that can be "useless". Gert has
stated that the concept of PI space is broken.

Currently, we are required to assign PI address space when requested
to do so, as long as the assignment would be efficiently used (as
with PA). This means that whether a /29 or a /14 is requested we
must assign it if the requester wants it. i.e. we can't force anyone
to accept PA address space. We just ensure that the End Users have
been warned of possible disadvantages and alternatives.

Should the current system continue?

I have to say that I agree that assigning "useless" addresses is
bad. I have a special concern in this (other than the purely
operational concerns of those running the networks). If the policy 
requires us to assign address space that will not be widely routed 
it might well encourage registrants to lie to get 'useful' space. 
If people believe that they need to lie to get the addresses they 
need then something is quite wrong.

If the concept of PI is not broken then the most obvious question
is, should there be a minimum assignment size for PI?

If those requiring PI received a minimum prefix length (and then
whatever they need) then we could be sure the addresses were useful.
However, this would probably mean that many people that could
genuinely use a /28 would be be eligible for more addresses,
probably a /24.

We'd then need to consider whether there would be a "Land Rush" for
the limited supply of space from 193/9 and 194/7 (as defined in

If the "Land Rush" is considered to be a dangerous possibility then
it might be possible to introduce qualifying criteria. At this point
it gets tricky as it's necessary to start chosing who is 'special'
and who is unlucky. For instance, a root DNS server might well be
special, a ccTLD DNS server? an IXP (yes, I know there are good
technical reasons for not using PA). I assume that my home network
is not very special, but some people might thing that their SOHO 
networks are critical infrastructure.

Should the requirement to use a /22 of addresses before receiving an
initial IPv4 allocation be changed?

Currently, a new LIR needs either to be using a /22 of PA from other
LIRs, or have plans for immediate use of a /22 (or a combination)
before receiving an initial allocation. Many small operators find
that /22 barrier difficult to cross (I expect this was the
intention). However, if PI address space is not available should the
initial allocation criteria be changed? Leaving them as they are
while removing the possibility of PI space might put start-up
operators in an awkward position.

Finally, it is necessary to consider that the space in 193/8 and
194/7 is a finite resource. In the two years between October 2000
and October 2002 we assigned just under a /13 and a /15 of PI (in
total[1]). The total size of the space we have left in 193/8 and
/194/7 is just over a /13. We do not make PA allocations from these
/8s any more, to make sure that we have PI space available for the
forseeable future.

I'm very interested in the group's opinions on these issues.

Best regards,

leo vegoda
Registration Services

[1] for /24 - /21 prefixes

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