[discuss] IPv6 Deployment and IG

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Thu Dec 26 03:19:19 UTC 2013

Hi Steve,

On 26/12/2013 15:23, Steve Crocker wrote:
> I think there's at least a bit of difference between "technical coordination" and "governance."  Let me take three specific aspects of IPv6 allocation.
> 1. I think there is quite broad agreement that allocations and use of IPv6 address should be unique, i.e. the same address should not be allocated to two or more parties.
> Building and operating the service to do this seems to me squarely an example of technical coordination.  There's no real "policy" involved and there's no contention or value judgments involved.
> 2. Determining the size of allocations and the criteria for qualification to get an allocation is another important part of the operation.  This was developed within the IETF after much discussion and research.
> This seems to me to fall into the "governance" area with strong inputs from the technical community.

Well, to me this is the crux of my complaint about misuse of the word 'governance'.

IMHO that is not governance in the sense of being a topic that requires
attention from politicians or government officials. It isn't a precious
resource like radio spectrum, the ozone layer, the Maui dolphin, or the Antarctic
ice. It's a tedious matter of allocating squares on a very, very large sheet
of squared paper.

We geeks are confused if we think this is a governance matter that people need
to make a special trip to Brazil to discuss. In fact, the regional registries
have consensus on the criteria and no more discussion is needed for now.
Maybe in ten years it might need another look?

I rather regret that we used the word 'policy' in RFC 2860 clause 4.3,
for the same reason.

> 3. Determining what happens when allocations become scarce is a potentially third part of the operation.  This was obviously a big deal for IPv4 addresses -- and still is -- but doesn't have much relevance for IPv6.

Indeed not, so why even think about it?

> Dealing with shortages unquestionably involves value judgment and strong inputs from business interests.
> In the early days of the network, the focus was primarily on (1) and (2), and it felt mostly like "technical coordination" and not much like "governance."  The shortage of IPv34 address brought a whole new set of players into the equation and moved us all squarely into "governance."

Yes, solving yesterday's problems...

> Even though there's no shortage of IPv6 addresses, the removal of the shortage doesn't seem to have caused a return to status quo ante.

A late colleague of mine used to speak of "reality breaking in" when
people were collectively ignoring facts. It will happen eventually,
I hope.


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