Kevin Murphy reports on a bankruptcy filing from Borders seeking to sell a /16 block of to healthcare software vendor Cerner for a total of $786,432. At $12 per IPv4 address, this sets a new public record given that the previous high was Microsoft's acquisition of a block of Nortel IPv4 addresses back in April 2011 for $11.25/address.With IPv4 address exhaustion upon us, it appears that the going market rate for IPv4 addresses is now $12/address. Over at the Register,
Over on his own Domain Incite blog, Murphy also provides a PDF of the court document relating to the actual sale. The document includes this note about the actual addresses which I found interesting in the justification for the sale:
The Internet Addresses consist of one /16 legacy block of 65,536 IPv4 Internet Protocol Numbers (the "Internet Addresses"). Computers and their devices, to connect to the internet, require unique internet addresses. The current Internet Address pool is IPv4 (which stands for version 4) which addresses consist of 32 bits — limiting the number of available Internet Addresses to 4.3 Billion. IPv4 addresses have been depleted and availability is scarce. A new version IPv6 has emerged which will make availability almost infinite. However until IPv6 is fully transitioned, there is still a need for IPv4 addresses.
The court document also includes this indication that the sale is contingent upon approval from ARIN:
Since late 1997, internet addresses in North America are distributed and administered through the American Registry of Internet Numbers ("ARIN"). The address blocks being sold were acquired by the Debtors before ARIN's appointment, which results in the classification of the block as a "legacy block." ARIN offers various services to holders of IP Addresses including publication in their WHOIS directory and many holders of legacy IP Addresses have agreed to sign agreements with ARIN to insure compliance with ARIN policies in exchange for the services. ARIN has indicated to the Debtors that they believe that the legacy Internet Addresses fall within ARIN's jurisdiction. While the Debtors believe that this Court has the authority to authorize the sale of the Internet Addresses over any such objection by ARIN, the IA Sale contains a condition of ARIN's consent and the proposed order incorporates various protections of ARIN's rights, which moots any need to consider any of these issues.
There will be a hearing on December 20th by the bankruptcy court to approve the sale, presumably based on ARIN's consent. (Should ARIN choose NOT to give consent, it will be interesting to see what the court would then do.)
What do you think? Should ARIN give its consent and allow the sale to go forward? And given this sale at $12/address, how high do you expect the next sale to go?
By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.
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