Dear Chief Financial Officers of tech giants,
The internet is in crisis, and you can lead your organization to help solve the problem. You’ll be well compensated, and you’ll enjoy massive public relations benefits. I fear that if you don’t, global governments will force your hand. There is a shortage of available IPv4 addresses but we are years away (possibly a decade or more) from IPv6 viability and adoption in North America. It’s estimated that the top tech firms are sitting on over 150,000,000 dormant (unallocated) IPv4 addresses today. These unallocated IPv4 addresses are desperately needed to sustain the size, availability, and evolution of the internet’s network and internet-capable devices.
I am concerned that if you, as big tech CFOs, don’t willingly lease your dormant IPv4 addresses to other organizations, your hand will be forced, and you won’t be fairly compensated. I am appealing to CFOs because leasing your unused IPv4 addresses turns an expense into a profit center of recurring monthly revenue. There is a tremendous opportunity here to do the right thing and be well compensated for it.
However, failure to act now and provide your unallocated IPv4 addresses to the open market will likely result in little or no compensation for them. Recently the European internet registry RIPE NCC used a court order to seize IPv4 addresses from a bankrupt business. The goal is to reallocate them and help reduce the IPv4 shortage. This was previously unprecedented, but other governments will likely follow suit and become increasingly more aggressive with IPv4 seizures.
Furthermore, even the United States Department of Defense recognizes the current crisis and impending actions. In a recent bill proposal, the DOD was directed to sell off blocks of unallocated IPv4 addresses at fair market prices. The bill was ultimately not turned into law as the language was not included in the Senate version, but you must take note of what is happening. There is a finite number of IPv4 addresses (under 4.3 billion) and if they are not willingly introduced back into the open market by big tech CFOs, that action will be forced.
You have limited time to take advantage of this trifecta of opportunity: create a recurring revenue stream, avoid legislation and regulation, and enjoy the amazing public relations benefits of doing the right thing. Let’s face it, people love your services but there is negative sentiment toward your organizations. We are relying on you to help save the internet. This is your chance to break through the congressional testimonies, antitrust lawsuits, censorship accusations, and all the other negative press big tech is facing. Instead, you can lead your field and do the right thing by reintroducing your IPv4 addresses into the open market.
So, we appeal to you to reintroduce your dormant IPv4 addresses to the open market. Lease them to organizations who need them. Enjoy the additional revenue and the positive PR. We are trusting you to do the right thing quickly.