Radio Shack Selling Off IPv4 Address Space

Monday Jul 10th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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Radio Shack is gone, but its IP address space is not.

For generations of Americans, Radio Shack was a popular retailer of electronics and parts. The company in recent years has fallen on hard times, largely disappearing from the retail landscape, following restructuring and bankruptcy protection.

General Wireless IP Holdings LLC (GWIP) acquired RadioShack Corporation’s intellectual property, including trademarks, patents, customer databases, domains and IPv4 addresses in 2015. In March 2017, GWIP filed for bankruptcy, and as a result RadioShack Corporation's assets, including 32,000 IPv4 addresses, are up for sale.

"Bankruptcies reveal the full breadth a company’s assets, including IP addresses that enable our increasingly connected digital world," Gabe Fried, CEO of Hilco Streambank, said in a statement.

Hilco Streambank is an advisory firm specializing in intellectual property disposition and valuation. The company is using its IPv4Autctions.com platform to sell the former RadioShack Corporation IPv4 addresses.

"Recovering value for creditors while helping to alleviate the scarcity in the IP address market is a win for everyone involved," Fried added.

The free pool of IPv4 address space allocation in North Amercia was officially depleted in September 2015. IPv4 provides for up to 4.3 billion addresses with address block originally given for free by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) to Regional Internet Registries (RIR).

With the scarcity of IPv4 address space, multiple vendors have emerged in the the IPv4 transfer market, including IPv4 Market Group, which buys and sells IPv4 address space.

RadioShack isn't the first bankrupt entity to sell IPv4 addresses either. Back in March 2011, bankrupt technology vendor Nortel Networks sold666,624 IPv4 addresses to Microsoft for $7.5 million.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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