IPV4 hoarders can strike it lucky

Opinion

IPV4 hoarders can strike it lucky

Psst, guv', want to buy an IPV4 address?

Nah, fell off the back of a lorry, didn't it...

If you've been sitting on a little nest egg of IPV4 addresses it could be time to cash in.

Late last week Nortel offloaded 666,624 precious addresses to Microsoft for the princely sum of $7.5m, which works out to about £4.7m or just over £7 per address.

Okay, in Nortel's case it's not going to keep the wolves from the door (they got in some time ago and have ransacked the place), but it's still a significant move.

Officially, the worldwide pot of IPV4 addresses ran out last month, forcing predictions of doom and gloom from pretty much everybody, and a mad scramble to raise awareness of its successor, IPV6.

But with various sources claiming up to 80 parties expressed an interest in Nortel's stock of addresses, there is clearly still pent-up demand for the dwindling numbers of IPV4 addresses, and the grey market is likely to command a premium price.

And be under no illusions that this is not an unofficial, grey market. There is a school of thought that the American Industry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) - the body that controls the allocation of IP addresses in the US - should have been given first refusal.

In short, Nortel's move may not be strictly legal, and it may yet be forced to justify the sale before a court.

Still, I wonder if anybody else has a little stash?

This was first published in March 2011

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