Preface:1-2 Internet Resource Management and Marketing Activities Japanese Page
Tsukasa Ogino, JPNIC Trustee
Triggered by the Internet user population explosion of recent years, demand for IP addresses has been soaring and accelerating. As playius roll of the Registry, JPNIC now faces the need to give serious thought to this sudden surge in demand. I would like to address this issue here.
Addressing IP Address Issues
IPv4, which formulates IP addresses in 32 bits, is proving to be insufficient. This has prompted the initiation of allocation of IPv6 128bit IP addresses. Internet technicians, keeping an eye on social trends, are using their knowledge to the fullest to ensure expansion of the Internet.
To give some examples: In previous years, Class C addresses were actively distributed for the purpose of spreading Internet use; Class B acquisition was promoted as part of an effort to prevent routing information gluts; and the further implementation of CIDR block acquisition was promoted in the interest of conserving IP addresses. In each case, the best solution was proactively provided at the time, unhampered by deep-seated bad practices and fixed ideas. As someone who is very involved in the Internet industry, I have always been impressed by this dynamism, and I must take off my hat to those who have tirelessly worked to promote the Internet since its very dawn.
Limited Resources, but still Man-made Resources
What has been gained by the campaign that was mounted several years ago to raise awareness of IP address depletion? Has any IPv4 address space been given an extended lease of life? Has it had the effect of delaying a transition to IPv6? Or obstructed the growth and development of the Internet? In all likelihood, any of these could be true. One thing that can be said is that the activities promoting CIDR block acquisition was the best solution at the time.
That having been said, what is the current situation? The IPv6 protocol stack more than stands up to the demands of practical use, and it is already being implemented in products. The Internet is achieving rapid penetration as part of the social infrastructure, in part due to increased ability to access the Internet via cellular phones, especially for business purposes, and the widespread availability of IP connection services such as cable television and ADSL-based Internet services.
At the risk of being misunderstood, I would venture to state that IP addresses as a resource may be limited, but ultimately, they are just man-made resources. If a shortage occurs, it can be redressed with compensating technology. The matter should thus be discussed and studied in a context essentially different from, say, the handling of fossil fuel resource issues.
IP Address Management and Marketing Activities
A registry is of vital importance, to ensure that IP addresses are (1) adequately, (2) impartially, and (3) efficiently distributed (4) among users. Regional Internet Registry (RIR) often mention "consistency" and "justifiability," which correspond to Items (1) and (2) above. But recently, distribution cost has become a relevant factor, reflecting an increase in costs associated with the strict implementation of Items (1) and (2) toward promotion of IP address conservation endeavors in response to the IP address depletion problem which surfaced several years ago. Because of this, Item (3), "efficiently," is now being taken up for study among registries.
On the one hand, registries play a large part in Internet propagation activities. The organ that manages IP addresses is indisputably relevant in that it serves to prevent any confusion surrounding the Internet infrastructure, which is itself now in the process of being interwined with the social infrastructure, and also helps maintain order in the Internet infrastructure on a worldwide scale.
Expectations for JPNIC
JPNIC supports the Internet infrastructure in Japan from its position as manager of IP addresses. At this point in time, it is important for JPNIC to adhere to its stance as a registry as referred to above and diligently attend to its task of IP address distribution and management. But, as stated earlier, it is necessary to implement measures that respond to the dynamism of the Internet independent of fixed ideas, operating with the understanding that the current distribution and management rules represent the best solutions available today.
The Internet is a man-made protocol and system. As such, I believe that it is important that we understand and aggressively challenge those contributions that can be made to our society.