Nortel, in bankruptcy, sells IPv4 address blocks to Microsoft for $7.5 million. From the court documents it appears the 666,624 IP addresses that were sold consist of a bunch of separate blocks that came to Nortel through various acquisitions. So this is not the legacy 047/8 address block owned by Bell Northern Research. Instead this might be, at best, one block each of /13, /15, /19, /21 and /22.
This is interesting. I understand a service provider wanting IP addresses. I don’t know why Microsoft needs that many IP addresses or whether the sale was even legitimate. Legacy /8 address blocks predate the existence of the regional Internet registries, but addresses issued by the Internet registries typically revert to the registry when a firm goes under. While such addresses might be sold with other business assets, it doesn’t sound right that they could be sold stand alone. ??
In any event, the transition to IPv6, if it ever happens, will require dual slack operation for years (decades?) which means IPv4 addresses will be required for years (decades?). Therefore, it’s very likely a market will emerge. But today, addresses are still available for free to those who can show an immediate need and the likelihood they’ll put the new addresses in service within a few months. So the only advantage to Microsoft, if they get to keep these addresses, is they can sit on them without putting them into service. Let IPv4 address speculation begin!
For the short term, netBlazr just got another /25, i.e. 126 usable addresses (for free) from our upstream provider, Cogent, under the existing rules, i.e. we demonstrated an immediate need.