Practical Technology

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Want to buy an Internet IPv4 address? Cheap?

I predicted that IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) hungry companies would start shopping for IPv4 addresses and a market would be created. I was right. As part of Nortel’s bankruptcy settlement, Microsoft has offered to buy Nortel 666,624 IPv4 addresses for $7.5 million (PDF Link).

Making this call didn’t require me to be a Nostradamus. It’s basic free-market economics. Internet IPv4 addresses are now in short supply and with no more ever coming down the pike and the demand for Internet addresses increasing it was only a matter of time and dollars. Of course, everyone should be switching over to IPv6, but given a choice between buying their way–for a while anyway–out of a problem or investing in a major network infrastructure, Microsoft, at least, is going for the buy option. It won’t be the only one.

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