A tech expert claims the UK's Department for Work and Pensions is sitting on a massive stash of unallocated IPv4 internet addresses, which could be valued at around £1billion. We could sell them to Germany to help reduce the deficit.

The claim comes via IT expert John Graham-Cumming, who discovered the unused block of 16.8m IP addresses while rummaging about through RIPE's records. At a time when the world is rapidly running out of numbers to make our internets work (layman's description), this waste of IPv4 ranges by the government seems a little shameful.

However, a previous freedom of information request [PDF] about the IP address stash has been filed with the DWP, which claims the address block is "used internally" by government networks, and is therefore unlikely to be sold on.

But, given how we have no money any more to pay for roads, bins, pavements, trees or houses, an online petition has been set up to encourage the government to sell this potentially valuable block of numbers, so it might pay for something useful instead. [The Register]

Image credit: World IPv6 Day