The value of IPv4 addresses is set to rise as companies look to snap up remaining addresses ahead of the switch to IPv6, according to academics.
The prediction came from the Internet Governance Project following Microsoft’s decision to snap up 666,624 IP address for $7.5 million, or $11.25 per address.
Companies wanting IPv4 addresses have been forced to seek alternatives to the regular sources – the internet registrars – as addresses run dry.
With many companies not ready to switch to the next generation IPv6, administrators have been scrabbling for old addresses.
Microsoft found its latest batch in a fire sale from Nortel as the company went through bankruptcy proceedings in a Delaware court.
“Nortel... has succeeded in making its legacy IPv4 address block an asset that can be sold to generate money for its creditors,” said Milton Mueller on the IGP blog.
According to Mueller, even as companies switch over to IPv6 they will still need IPv4 addresses as part of the “dual stack” migration process, which could push prices higher.
“The interesting question becomes, does the price of IPv4s go up or down from here?” he said. “As the realities of dual stack sink in, I'm betting it’s up.”