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    While the Internet is running out of addresses overall, MIT actually has a large surplus. We hold a block of 16 million IPv4 addresses. Fourteen million of these IPv4 addresses have not been used, and we have concluded that at least eight million are excess and can be sold without impacting our current or future needs.

    MIT was pretty much the only institution involved in the early Internet to hold onto their entire /8 block even in the face of IPv4 exhaustion. Stanford gave theirs back 18 years ago. UC Berkeley never even held one.

    Would it not be acceptable for them to gift back their block to ARIN in exchange for another (smaller) set of allocations, like what other organizations did when exhaustion started to hit? Right now it seems to me like they were just being greedy knowing they could exploit their outsized allocation for profit later.

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      But selling it will, in a way, help with the move to IPv6. As long as IPv4 addresses can be had for no additional cost people are likely to delay switching. Once the price starts to rise, (more) people will start to switch. Gifting their allocation back to ARIN would have just temporarily held down the price. Selling it (particularly if they drive a hard bargain) actually helps to raise the price and push people off of IPv4.

      At the same time, there’s no reason it can’t be a dick move AND weirdly helpful… :-)

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        They could have held onto them, removing the addresses from the pool so that we get to IPv4 exhaustion quicker.

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          Yeah, that might have been even better.

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        I believe they’ve sold a large portion of them (if not all of them) to Amazon. I guess it took Amazon so long to support IPv6 on AWS that they had to do something to get more addresses…

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        I can’t see anywhere what the mechanism is that they use for selling the network. It used to be you weren’t allowed to trade in IPv4 networks, and people worked around it by acquiring and selling companies that held allocations. Have the rules changed?

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          The registrars all have policies on this, but there are brokers who make it easier. For example, Prefix Broker.