Microsoft has spent $7.5 million on acquiring IP address based on IPv4 protocol, as the world is on the brink of running out of web address.
The IPv4 protocol, which was created in 1981, came with a pool of 4.5 billion web addresses. The rise in the number of internet enabled web devices and online computing, has caused the available IP addresses to run out.
The new protocol IPv6, which will offer significantly more addresses, is at present only in its infancy with regards to general worldwide deployment.
Support for IPv6 is being pushed by governments and other organisations. China has a plan to implement a nationwide deployment of IPv6 within 5 years, called China Next Generation Internet.
According to Thinq_, Microsoft has bought a total of 666,624 IPv4 addresses for $7.5 million at a cost of $11.25 per IP address. The company purchased the IP address from the bankrupt telecom hardware vendor Nortel Networks as a part of its ongoing asset sale.
The sale indicates that soon a grey market for IPv4 address will emerge. Nortel indicated in one of its court filings that this could happen.
“Because of the limited supply of IPv4 addresses, there is currently an opportunity to realize value from marketing the Internet Numbers, which opportunity will diminish over time as IPv6 addresses are more widely adopted,” the company had said.