Buying and Selling IPv4 Addresses – Part II: Today and Tomorrow

As previously discussed in part one of this series, IPv6 hasn’t quite made the giant splash throughout the enterprise landscape that many expected. Now, don’t get me wrong, IPv6 still plays a major role in the IT space. In the world of telecommunications, IPv6 is a key enabler of next generation technologies and communication strategies, as carrier networks, ISPs, and mobile networks roll out the new protocol across their networks. That said, enterprises, both global and domestic, haven’t been so quick to adopt this burgeoning technology; but that doesn’t mean things aren’t changing.

The Three Stages of Supply

Having been in this industry for many years, at IPv4.Global, we have identified three distinct stages of supply within the IPv4 procurement space. Like mining, the first phase was easily accessible from the surface. Large blocks of allocated IPs which, in many cases, had never been used, were easy for firms to sell as they had no other use value. The second phase, which defines the current market, involves more effort on the part of the seller to re-number and re-architect their networks to free up space. In this instance, the return is often worth the investment.

In the third phase, we’ll see companies being acquired for their IPv4 assets. Some small ISP and hosting companies will find themselves in this position at some point above current prices. This third phase occurs when sellers begin shutting off IPv4 completely, as opposed to learning how to use it more efficiently. We don’t believe we are there yet in a meaningful way, and given the long-term investment focus of our buyers, we believe phase three is many years away.

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