Feeds

Bankrupt Borders flogs 65,536 IP addresses at $12 a pop

Scarce network numbers offloaded to healthcare biz

Business security measures using SSL

The bankrupt bookseller Borders wants to sell its stash of 65,536 IP addresses to healthcare software vendor Cerner for $12 per address.

The bust high street chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, and has been selling off its assets to pay its creditors ever since. The address sale is one of its last assets to be disposed of.

Cerner has agreed to pay $786,432 for the rights to a /16 block of IPv4 addresses, or $12 per address, according to a New York bankruptcy court filing. It's believed to be only the second time ever a batch of IP addresses has been sold in this way, and sets a new high in terms of price.

The software biz was the highest bidder among thousands to be contacted by the asset broker StreamBank, including ISPs, domain registries and other potential buyers, according to the filing. The lowest bid was $1.50 per address, the filing states.

IPv4 addresses are a rapidly dwindling commodity and some believe the period while the internet transitions to IPv6, with all the cost and complexity that entails, is creating a secondary market for legacy address delegations.

ICANN distributed the last big chunks of available IPv4 addresses to the five continental Regional Internet Registries earlier this year. The RIRs in turn are running out of supplies to allocate to ISPs and other network operators.

The Borders deal is believed to be the second publicly announced IPv4 sale, following Nortel's sale of $7.5m worth of addresses to Microsoft in March this year.

Such transfers are controversial, due to the fact that IP addresses, unlike domain names, are not generally considered property that can be traded on the secondary market.

Following the Nortel-Microsoft deal, ARIN, the regional IP address registry for North America, entered into an after-the-fact contract with Microsoft, tacitly acknowledging the sale.

A website launched in April hopes to allow companies to trade IPv4 addresses on the open market.

Borders' bankruptcy filing states that the purchase agreement with Cerner is subject to "consent by ARIN", explaining: "This will likely entail ARIN’s approval of Cerner based on a reasonable demonstration of a need for the addresses."

"While the debtors believe that this court has the authority to authorize the sale of the internet addresses over any such objection by ARIN, the [internet address] sale contains a condition of ARIN’s consent and the proposed order incorporates various protections of ARIN’s rights, which moots any need to consider any of these issues," the filing states.

The bankruptcy court has set a hearing date of 20 December to approve the sale. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.