Ed Vaizey wants help re VOA fibre rates – please comment here

Last week the Valuation Office Agency put out revised guidelines for assessing rateable values for fibre connections.

There is no change at the high end so the likes of Virgin and BT will remain unaffected. However at the smaller network end of the scale there has been a massive price hike.

In 2005 if you were running a pair of fibres over 1km you would be stung with a rateable value of £280. In 2010 this has now shot up to £2000. This will not of course affect BT because they have a negotiated total rateable value for their network.

The upshot of this is that at a time when industry has been crying out for a level “rates” playing field the VOA has made it an even more unequal commercial battle in favour of the large incumbent operators.

I realise that running a country is a complex job but this complexity means that we need to have people doing it that understand the issues. You can’t on the one hand say that you are trying to promote Digital Inclusion with “Big Society” projects and flag waving and on the other hand make it harder for the people who you are trying to help to help themselves.

The VOA has no interest in the Big Society. The government does. The government should be providing the VOA with better direction here.

Minister for Communications, Culture and the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey has made a statement to accompany the VOA announcement:

I welcome the work that VOA has been doing with industry. These new guidelines will offer much greater clarity for businesses that invest in broadband networks and give them the opportunity to feed their views to the VOA.

VOA has made it clear that they welcome evidence from the industry to enable the Agency to maintain a fair and accurate rating for this important market, which is a priority for the coalition Government.

I hope that industry will take the opportunity to study this new guidance and to engage constructively with VOA for the benefit of consumers and businesses throughout the country.”

What Ed Vaizey is saying is this is his stake in the ground. I hereby  invite readers to comment here to build up a body of material that shows this rating system is not going to work. Vtesse Networks and others have already been trying to hammer home the message.  Lets see if we can make it a bigger hammer.

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10 thoughts on “Is black market for IPv4 blocks imminent?

  1. Gary Hill says:


    I think you mean February 2011 not 2010.


  2. Trefor Davies tref says:

    Certainly do Gazzer thanks – changed it thanks but will leave the comment train as a historical record, an indication of real life change management and as a mark of my gratitude for pointing it out:)

  3. Trefor Davies tref says:

    Interesting to note from Nigel Titley’s presentation at LINX70 that 4 our of 5 RIRs have agreed on the policies on how to manage the end of the IPv4 address space. ARIN, the North American registry did not agree and the proposed process has been withdrawn. At this time there is nothing on the table. The issue is how to handle smaller block allocation and aggregation as part of the run down. This is is important to maintain efficiency in the global routing table.

  4. The rate of depletion comes and goes this site:

    Says April 2011

  5. Trefor Davies tref says:

    date keeps changing – Feb 24th 2011 – you read it first on :)

  6. Ted King says:

    Some questions :
    1) Has anybody done a census of the IPv4 sleepers – those addresses allocated to a user but not in use ?
    2) How many of the addresses allocated years ago to companies now gone (e.g. DEC) have been returned to the pool ?
    3) What would the impact be if jumbo block holders like IBM or the U.S. government (DOD Intel., DISA, etc.) started returning addresses to the pool ?

    The following is the easiest to find allocation chart – a link to one that’s more up to date would be welcome.

  7. Trefor Davies tref says:

    Thanks Ted
    I guess people will be cleaning the database up more rigorously as they start to deplete their own pools. Generally people will be keeping the pools of the companies they acquire (did DEC go bust?).

    Other specific reponses welcome here as I don’t have all the answers. That link you have provided is a good one though as you say it is now dated – I have one in the blogroll on

    Perhaps someone will read this and update it.

  8. Ted King says:

    The short answer is that HP got them in the Compaq merger (look at the top left in the xkcd chart). That kind of proximity is why I prefer that chart to IANA’s register (see bottom link).

    Long answer –

  9. Regarding global policies (Tref mentioned the Global Policy accepted by 4 RIRs and rejected by ARIN), there were a new Global Policy presented in APNIC 30 (prop-086: Global policy for IPv4 allocations by the IANA post-exhaustion). The proposal was rejected. This same proposal (perhaps with some changes) will be presented in other RIR’s Forums (Now submitted in RIPE and possibly in LACNIC and ARIN soon).

  10. Trefor Davies tref says:

    Thanks Arturo
    I think the world is generally interested in the issue of IPv4 exhaustion and when IPv6 will really take over.

    I suspect that there will be quite a few toings and froings in the global internet techie community over the next 12 months which it would be good to keep abreast of.

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