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Re: CIX doing registries?? Just say no!
From: Paul A Vixie <paul () vix com>
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 19:04:31 -0700

mentioned that I would like such registries to be non-for-profit, and
that I would rather CIX stay the hell away from registries.

The only plan I'm aware of is for CIX to sponsor some new tools to make
registries easier to run.  Jerry and I came to NANOG to solicit input from
the various NIC people, and as far as I'm concerned we were successful at
that limited goal.  I'll try to answer your objections, even though you're
objecting to something we didn't propose.

Why am I against CIX? Registries delegate authority over two different
kinds of things: domain names and IP addresses [and AS numbers too].

And NIC handles.

The former have almost no value prior to registration, the latter have
value wether or not they are being used. Either way NICs perform the
service of the delegating authority over domain names and IP addresses;
what they don't do is evaluate the market value of the domain names and
IP addresses they hand out, and _that_ is what I worry an outfit like
CIX might be tempted to do.

The CIX is a 501c6 nonprofit trade association.  They cannot charge more for
a service than they need to recover their costs, other than membership dues
which can be set as high as the member-elected board chooses to set them, and
whose proceeds can be spent on any projects the member-elected board believes
are in the best interests of the organization _and_the_industry_.  (In order
to maintain a 501c6 status, an organization has to act for the good of the
industry of which it is a part -- or at least, do that industry no harm.)

                               It wouldn't be too bad if we had to pay
market prices for IP addresses and domain names, but CIX might not have
to pay market prices for the right to delegate authority either; I don't
want to see a huge scam here...

If CIX ever runs a registry it will be because the IANA (which has authority
over all assigned numbers, as delegated to it by the IESG/IAB/ISOC/whatever),
or a NIC (which all currently get their delegations from eachother or from
IANA) chooses to delegate something to it.  Since I know Mr. IANA personally
and I know many of the IESG/IAB/ISOC people pretty well, I feel utterly certain
that the CIX will never (ever!) be delegated anything unless it is in the best
interests of the Internet that this be done.  I cannot imagine very many
circumstances in which this would be true, although the spectre of reduced
NSF funding (remember who's in control of congress?) some time in the future
seems like one likely way.  Another possibility is that the NSF-funded NICs
might decide that the commercial sector is _causing_ the registries to overload
and may actually urge the commercial sector to _solve_ the problem it causes.
Whether CIX would be an appropriate organization to solve either problem is
a question I _will_not_address_.  Talk to Bob Collet <rcollet () cix org> if you
have opinions or knowledge about that issue -- I have neither.

How would CIX determine the fees that we're to pay them for their
registration services?? In response to their members' questions as to
what they (the members) would get [for their fees being spent on this
project] that non-CIX-members woudln't, Paul and Jerry mumbled something
about a two-tiered service pricing scheme where CIX members would get
lower fees. Am I the only one bothered by this?

I remember VAF and SMD11 both suggesting that CIX members might be given
"early access to tools" in exchange for funding the development of those
tools.  I replied that this may be reasonable but that it was out of my
area.  

If CIX ever ran a registry, and if the CIX board chose to set fee levels such
that the fees charged for registry services did not recover all of the costs
of providing the registry, then membership dues would have to be used to make
up the difference.  (I personally doubt that they would decide to do it that
way, but I'm not on the CIX board and am not likely to be.)  But I can see
that if noone will be paying cost-recovery level fees, then CIX members might
pay even less than non-CIX members since it would be their membership dues
that were making up the difference between income and outgo.  But this is all
just hypothetical -- so if pigs had wings, they could fly, but so what?  Right
now my presentation at NANOG was about CIX helping fix some registry problems
and I was gratified that none of the NIC people thought this was a terribly
bad idea, and we now have some idea of how to proceed in doing something that
will be helpful.

As a personal note, if CIX were suggesting that they run a registry _right_now_
then I would not have been the one to make the presentation.  The best thing
I can say about a CIX registry is that its time has not yet come.

And _what_ is CIX going to give _who_ in exchange for the
right/responsibility of delegating authority over the Class C space
lying at 207.*.*.* and beyond?? And what would they then charge for the
service of assigning these to ISP's [and whoever else]??

The IANA, who owns 207/7, is not bribable (I've tried :-)).  Whoever wants to
have 207/7 delegated to them had better be prepared to show why this would be
in the best interests of the Internet as a whole.  And if CIX were (as in your
example and in my improbable imagination) able to do that, their 501c6 status
would make it impossible for them to charge more than what would be required
to recover their (demonstrable) costs.  Why are you worrying about this?

Mind you, I don't want to see IP address space auctions like the
electromagnetic spectrum auctions the FCC has been carrying out... I
think that careful delegation, will give us enough time to get to the
point where the older IP assignments can be redone (i.e. when people
renumber) or to when IPv6 can be deployed (which opens up a whole new
wonderful can of worms.

I am sure that the IANA would agree with you on this point.  As do I.

                         My proposal is that a non-for-profit
organization free of conflicting interests (like the members vs.
non-members problem CIX has) take over the InterNIC's registry
responsibilities.

That's entirely separate from what Jerry and I presented, and I think it's a
reasonable idea.  I have no idea who would volunteer to run it.  Ideally one
of the NICs will figure out a reasonable fee scale, convince the IANA that
charging end users for this stuff is not evil, and that all of the existing
NICs (who have shown that they understand the problems and know how to do the
work) will move away from public funding and into a cost recovery mode.

None of which will prevent Jerry and I from developing tools to make registries
easier to run, provided that the CIX board decides that our proposal is a
reasonable one.

Which would be the best forum to discuss these matters?

I wish I knew.  Please, though, do not mention my name or CIX's name in the
downstream discussions of this issue.  If you have a problem with what Jerry
and I presented at NANOG, I want to hear about it.  We not only did not say
we thought CIX should run a registry, we explicitly distanced ourselves from
that proposal.

Nick

Paul


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