Ethernet Switches & Routers

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Registered: ‎03-07-2011

Weekly Link Sharing - What To Do About IP Addresses?

There have been several articles this week about the present and future of IP addresses. With IPv4 addressing space officially run out, people are starting to wonder what the near future will hold. Everyone agrees that IPv6 is the solution and the ultimate future, but with uncertainty over just how far away that future really is, there are debates over what to do in the meantime.

One option is to monetize remaining IPv4 addresses. There have been a few cases of defunct businesses selling their IP addresses already, such as Microsoft's purchase of Nortel's IP addresses back in March for about $10 an address. Currently, Borders and Circuit City are also selling their IP addresses.

Some see this as a good idea, believing that bringing the free market into IPv4 addressing will help maximize the use of IPv4 addresses and alleviate the amount of unused and underused IPv4 addresses that are wasting away in the hands of private organizations.

Others believe monetizing IPv4 addresses would be a bad idea, and would lead to many more problems than it would solve. They point to the unfairness in current IPv4 address distribution amongst different countries, the fragmentation and tracking risks that would be brought about by organizations selling off pieces of their allocated addresses, and the headaches that trying to sort through huge numbers of small contracts would bring.

Another option is to focus on and speed up the migration to IPv6. The CEA has recently formed a working group to do just that. They are inviting any company that will be affected by the IPv6 migration to get involved.

What do you think? Is the monetization of IPv4 addresses a boon, a threat, or an overblown issue? How urgent do you see IPv6 migration to be?

Feel free to share any stories or links you may have! This is the place for it.

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