No, not raspberry, or 3.1415..., but Provider Independent address space.

PI space is a block of IP addresses assigned to me rather than to an Internet Service Provider. It means that I can move the IP addresses in future, and connect via more than one ISP. In fact, unless I get a lot more IP connected devices at home, I have to connect to more than one ISP.

To qualify, I am multi-homing my house. I should have the second link sorted shortly. But right now I am renumbering the LAN and updating reverse DNS. I should have IPv6 PI shortly too. All good fun - a whole /24 (that's 256 IP addresses) just for me!

I was pondering how this would work with the draft Communications Bill. I am connected to two ISPs. I can send packets via either, and can direct them on a per packet basis if I want, starting an SSL TCP session via one and continuing it via the other. If ever either ISP gets "black boxes", I'll do that just to see how they cope :-) Given that one of them is A&A, that is a tad unlikely for some time.

Even if they were just passively monitoring, they would not see enough packets to construct the TCP session and extract anything from it. If they were intercepting SSL traffic, they would simply break the connection, something that means I can complain to the ISPs in question, who should be able to complain that the government black boxes are therefore not fit for purpose.

I really hope an ISP can refuse a black box that actually breaks the service they sell, but who knows.

Then I was pondering the Digital Economy Act, and how that would work. I am the contact on the IP addresses with no encompassing block belonging to an ISP. Which ISP would Copyright Infringement Reports go to if one of my IPs was involved in something? For now both ISPs are too small to get CIRs, but if ever that happens, it could be fun to poison trackers with one of my IPs just to see how much havoc I can cause.

Oh! what fun.

P.S. Speedtest.net says I am 3550 miles from Maidestone, my ISP is "***", and that I am slower than 99% of the - I think it is a tad confused somehow.

P.P.S. National Lottery think I am outside the UK and that I should contact my ISP as only they can update my location details - ahem (a) which ISP, and (b) I control my inetnum records, thanks. Email sent to them to confuse the hell out of them. FYI, no, I don't actually play.

More: Getting cross wil National Lottery now as they are refusing to recognise my IP addresses are in the UK. I've started threatending them with the Data Protection Act now :-)


  1. I would have thought that anyone operating an ASN should be deemed a Communications provider & Internet service provider. You are your own ISP.

    If I am wrong...well, why?

  2. Not easy getting PI space for NON-ISP's and it ain't cheap either

  3. Just really irksome that ripe wont let me have a /24 for my wisp operation. But they want 3 grand and give me a /22 which I really don't need. Such a perverse process and not good economy of IP space...

  4. IMHO, an ASN doesn't imply any particular status... it is merely a means to an end of achieving true multi-homing and independence of IP resources.

    There is nothing to stop you from obtaining a /24 PI from RIPE (while stocks last), an ASN and connectivity via two different ISPs - A&A would let you announce your space via BGP and we would too.

    The address space is still yours and only if you choose to provide connectivity to others would you be considered a Communications Provider.

    Just because 99% of ASN holders are ISPs doesn't mean that an ASN holder is an ISP.


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