Nortel sells off its block of IPv4 addresses to Microsoft

Having already divested its optical, wireless and IP businesses, you would think that Nortel would have nothing left to sell off. Well, think again. The once-giant vendor is now selling off a block of 666,624 IPv4 addresses to Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) for $7.5 million, or about $11.25 apiece.

While it might seem like a lot to pay for what is essentially a dwindling resource, the addresses are still a commodity that vendors like Microsoft and service providers and their customers need because they are still are getting their IPv6 transition plans in order.

Of course, Nortel had to get bankruptcy court's permission to sell the addresses. The court will make a decision on the sale by April 26.

Nortel's sale of its IPv4 addresses is timely for the overall telecom and computing industries because the very last IPv4 block has been allocated to a regional Internet registry. Now, the Regional Internet Registries are trying to collect and reallocate any existing IPv4 addresses.

Even though the ongoing proliferation of new IP-enabled devices (smart phones, smart thermostats, home gateways, etc.) will all require addresses that can be fulfilled with IPv6, IPv4 isn't going away overnight. During this period, service providers and their business consumer customers will run an IPv4/IPv6 dual stack implementation that won't leave users stranded if they haven't made a full IPv6 transition.

For more:
- Connected Planet has this article

Related articles:
IPv4 addresses to run out next week, says Hurricane Electric
Crossing the great divide: Migrating to IPv6
IPv6 migration: Are we there yet?
Hurricane Electric backbone now connects 1,000 IPv6 networks

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