What happens when you are a broker or something and you run out of product to sell? If you are a realestate agent you can do letter box drops or cold calls and just ask people, “hey, thought of selling your house?” Sounds time consuming but you might get there – clearly I’m not a real estate agent.
I am an IPv4 broker, and have been doing that for a few years now. I have always had address ranges to sell people. I am getting even more requests for ranges… that’s great! But I’m tapped… I’m all out of people who need to sell space.
I’m an IPv4 broker that needs IPv4 to sell to people who really need it. Some companies in India, China, Cambodia, Pakistan… the list goes on. More people are getting online, which means more people need IPv4 address space. This means I get more queries everyday from people who need address space.
Side step for non-techies, because IPv4 exhaustion is possibly one of the most boring topics I know about. The current IP addresses you use, that is IP version 4. As a world we all need to move to IP version 6. Most internet providers can already do this but there are a lot of costs of upgrading that us consumers don’t want to pay for. Because, why should we have to, the internet is their business, we just want to watch YouTube and Netflix without interruption… oh and do work and stuff of course… *cough*
IPv4 addresses get sold in pretty big blocks… so instead of just buying and selling one address at a time, I broker deals of blocks which are from 2048 to 65536 addresses at a time. So it really is like selling and buying an asset for your company, the only thing with this asset is, it’s one of those non-renuable ones. This means that the price will eventually get so high that it may be cheaper for people to implement the new way of doing things.
In summary, moving to the new way of doing things is expensive, so to buy some time, internet providers are purchasing more IPv4 addresses, and doing some other stuff that only boring geeks like me think are interesting like… ahahaha I would never bore you with that stuff.
This really means two things:
- Companies need to initiate all new network builds as dual stack networks from CPE to core.
AKA – new systems need to be built with the new systems and hardware. Which for customers for the most part just means that your home router will need upgrade. Also, all the engineers who currently only know IPv4 need to skill up, though this is happening a lot already.
- Any old systems or equipment that aren’t dual stacked need to be replaced with compatible systems and hardware
AKA – this is potentially going to be the most expensive step. It would be like upgrading all the road systems for a country all at once, yeah that is expensive and would hold up traffic for a long time. Some networks have some old points of failure that people don’t even want to touch. Half the time the people who actually know all the functions these devices control are no longer working for the organisation and no self respecting techy wants to admit they don’t know everything about the network they are managing.
I’m not a full time IPv4 broker so I’m not sitting around bored. However, I do have companies, people who want to purchase IPv4 address blocks. There are companies in India, China, Cambodia, Pakistan and more, that really need to expand their networks and get more people online. But I’m tapped out… I’m not the only IPv4 broker in the world, but I’m the only one based in the Asia-Pacific region. This region also has some of the highest demand, but can’t pay as much as some of the US companies. Of course I’m not surprised that the countries that need resources are the least likely to be able to afford them. Except for China, obviously, I have seen some companies in China paying a lot of money per IP.
At the end of the day the decline of IPv4 was and is a known problem, there are plenty of companies doing a lot about awareness and trying to make sure the resources go where they are needed in the world. My biggest issue is that I need more blocks of IP’s to sell to my clients who need them.
The problems with this are:
- Its not like physical realestate, I can’t physically go and ask random people if they want to sell IPv4. I need to tell everyone in the Asia-Pacific region who has unused IPv4, that they can sell these blocks and that I have people who want to purchase the IPv4 blocks.
- There are quite a few rules around IPv4 broker advertising, even if they mean well. Which means, even though there are forums for buying and selling IPv4, brokers aren’t really allowed to post.
- I basically have to wait for the people who need to sell IPv4 to contact me – which is very slow and inefficient.
In summary… I need more people who have IPv4 they want to sell, and overall we need to move to IPv6 because IPv4 will just eventually be too expensive.
However, for right now I really need a way to talk to more people who have excess IPv4, it’s just not as simple as it sounds.