The emerging market for IPv4 addresses is about to cross a new threshold. A letter with the following words has been circulating among businesses for the past month: “Our client is offering for sale 16,777,216 IPv4 numbers in a single, contiguous, number block commonly referred to as either a “Class A” number block or a “/8”. This “legacy” IPv4 block is not subject to any Regional Internet Registry (RIR) agreement.”
Just today the Number Resource Organization released a review report of the Address Supporting Organization (ASO). Few people noticed or cared. But this report, which is objective and thorough if a bit dull, starts to raise issues that are of great significance to the future of ICANN and Internet governance. More specifically, it raises some unfinished business from 1998: the status of IP address governance in the ICANN regime.