This is what the Internet has come to. Microsoft has reportedly purchased more than 650,000 IPv4 addresses from the bankrupt Nortel at a cost amounting to $11.25 per IP address. As The Register describes it as, “more than you’d expect to pay for a .com domain name.”
We’re out of IPv4 addresses, so it has come to this. Stephen Lawson, an IDG News journalist, explained, “The end of the central supply of IPv4 addresses signaled the urgency of enterprises and service providers to migrate to IPv6, the latest version of the protocol, which has been available for more than a decade and allows for an almost unlimited number of addresses.”
The addresses might not be available from IANA, but that has created an opportunity for companies that own large blocks of unused IP addresses to barter them to the highest bidder. IPv6 has been around for some time, and many devices and network components are compatible with IPv6, but the transition from IPv4 to truly embracing IPv6 has been arduous.
I don’t have any qualms with companies trading and selling blocks of IPv4 addresses as a band-aid, but it shouldn’t be a crutch to avoid the transition to IPv6. On June 8 of this year, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and other major Internet properties will offer all content over IPv6 for World IPv6 Day–a 24-hour pilot to demonstrate that the world is ready for IPv6.
When IP addresses cost more than Web domains, I think its time to embrace the next-generation solution.