Light Reading

Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
3/24/2011
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Two years after its bankruptcy filing, Nortel Networks Ltd. still has things to sell.

Bankruptcy court documents say Nortel put 666,624 IPv4 addresses up for sale last year, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) emerged as the winner this week, with a $7.5 million bid.

As Domain Incite notes, that's $11.25 per address, making the IPv4 address space theoretically worth around $48.3 billion.

Why this matters
As the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) ran out of IPv4 numbers, everybody liked to joke that a black market for addresses might pop up. "Black market" is a bit of a misnomer, given that the sales are done on the up-and-up, but the deal shows that if you've got enough addresses, you can find a buyer.

For more
Here's more on the IPv4 apocalypse (and on Nortel's other pending selloffs).



— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:29 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


Thanks! Yeah, I wouldn't exactly take that valuation to the bank, but it's fun to ponder.


I was IM'ing with Jeff Baumgartner about this today... we're waiting for the Nortel garage sale stage, when they get down to selling the old credenzas and the record collection.

4mTx
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4mTx,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:29 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


Yes, the math works, (256^4)*$11.25 = $48.3B. Whether this is meaningful is another question...

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:29 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


You can't literally say the IPv4 address space is now worth $48.3 billion, I know. I just love that that Kevin Murphy of Data Incite did the math. (I didn't take a second to double-check it yet. Anybody?)


I'd also agree with his hunch that we won't see many of these kinds of sales -- Nortel's situation is unique. Still, it goes to show: There are willing buyers.


 

somedumbPM
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somedumbPM,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:28 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


I still have 2 of those IPs stuck in my head from more than 10 years ago. 


For some reason stuff like that never falls out of my memory and they continue to take up slots that could be used for other numbers like girlfriend's birthdays that never seem to find a home up there.


 

Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:27 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


GeekWire asked Microsoft and got an official statement: The addresses are for "online services, particularly enterprise cloud services"


http://www.geekwire.com/2011/microsoft-paying-75m-600000-ip-addresses


Microsoft is counting on having to support services to networks that are slow to move to IPv6.  In other words, they have to accommodate the laggards.


That's been my contention for some time: The burden of the IPv6 transition falls on the side of the IPv6 networks. They'll be doing all the work to make sure they can still contact IPv4 users.

Darkness
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Darkness,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:27 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


So what is the point of paying for those IPv4 addresses as there is a migration from IPv4 to IPv6?


Also, is the price for an IPv4 adress expected to be more/less/same as an iPv6 address?


Best,

optobozo
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optobozo,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:09:25 PM
re: Nortel Sells IPv4 Addresses


I have fond memories of the 132.245.0.0 address space before it was acquired and re-acquired.  I wonder if that block is part of the deal?  WHOIS doesn't indicate a change (at least yet).

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