Published on March 29th, 2019
IPv4 prices have continued to rise in 2018. As shown in Figure 1, the price increases have been almost linear in nature from 2015 to the present. As of the beginning of March 2019, prices are at a minimum of $20 USD for block sizes of a /16 to a /21.
To determine whether the price increase will continue, it is necessary to look at what is driving it. Supply vs demand is certainly the underlying principle. Supply is driven by the available pool that remains to be sold, especially legacy IPv4 addresses. It would seem that this supply has steadily shrunk over time. Demand is driven by business growth and business need, which continues to be relevant regarding IPv4 addresses. Simply put, less supply and more demand have driven the price increase.
Will there be a tipping point where price increases stop? Probably. There must be a maximum price at which point companies will switch to a cheaper alternative. Companies will use carrier grade NAT and other IPv4 extensions more and more. But also, a disruptive technology will emerge. Whether this is IPv6, which seems to be at 20% market penetration, remains to be seen.
In the meantime, prepare to pay more and more for IPv4 addresses.