Clearly this subject has provoked some very considered discussion on the
subject of address portability.
For those interested RIPE-127 (http://www.ripe.net/docs/ripe-127.html
provides a useful and lucid dissertation on the subject and offers a number
of sensible recommendations. To selectively quote "All early Internet
address space assignments were provider independent. Many assignments made
by ISPs are also formally provider independent because they lack the clear
prior understanding between ISP and customer that the assignment will end
with the termination of the service."
On the historical side regarding NZGATE I personally believe this is the key
issue, i.e. unless you were told the space was not portable then it is.
This however begs the question of how best to organise for the future.
We are not an ISP in the accepted sense as we do not offer connectivity
except as part of an overall package. We are however a significant user of
IP addresses for web and mail servers. Joe's possible solution and the
discussion so far causes us some concern.
Having recently been through the process of re-numbering and implementing
NAT it proved a major undertaking and one I would hesitate to repeat. We
made a number of errors resulting in outages for our clients and irritation
to our suppliers and I am at a loss to see how these could have been
avoided. Hopefully with NAT now in place we would make it a little easier
however the number and scope of DNS changes, firewall changes,
authentication changes and the fact that these must occur in one 'hit' makes
it commercially pretty unacceptable.
With today's firewalls/proxy servers there should be no issue for even large
corporates to renumber over time, given incentive to do so. IPv6 should give
this if no other reason.
Smaller providers however are faced with significant problems in
re-numbering which although they may seem small time are in fact relatively
expensive and difficult for such an operator to overcome.
We now have an example where one of our clients has been enticed by the
offer of a /24 by another ISP with NZGATE addresses to burn, something we
are unable to provide. I have to say that I consider this sort of behaviour
For me, key elements of a solution are:
1. Access providers should not be able to hold downstream operators to
ransom by withholding IP addresses and forcing such users to renumber if
2. The solution should offer all existing ISP players long term access to
the provider independent IP addresses they need to do business. In other
words a level playing field.
3. New entrants should not be disadvantaged (as they would be if we have one
set of rules for NZGATE addresses) and should also be able to obtain
provider independent addresses on terms no less attractive than existing
4. Incentives to corporates in particular to relinquish unused addresses
One of the elements missing here in NZ is the idea of a Local Internet
Registry, see http://www.ripe.net/docs/ripe-159.html
(which is kind of what
I thought NZGATE was). To quote again "Local IRs are typically operated by
ISPs and serve the customers of those ISPs as well as the customers of
smaller ISPs who are connected to the rest of the Internet through the
Seems to me that a Local IR might be really useful.
If I can contribute a beer sounds like an excellent scheme.
Clearview Communications, Auckland New Zealand
Phone DDI +64 9 529 5704, Fax +64 9 529 5702, Mob +64 25 971 860
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