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Someone correct me please if I am wrong, I could have sworn I read somewhere that class A Ip address owners basically owned that space and IANA had no way to get them back and it was possibly that they would be able to auction their own IP space? Is this correct and if so does anyone have a link to that source.

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closed as off topic by theotherreceive, mrdenny Jan 24 '11 at 23:32

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Class-based routing is dead. Please see the following question for more details: serverfault.com/questions/12854/cidr-for-dummies - they are now called a /8 (the rest of your question is quite valid though) –  Mark Henderson Jan 24 '11 at 22:38

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Once a /8 (Class A is a term that hasn't been technically useful in over a decade) has been allocated, it can't be repossessed. Companies who own /8 blocks can give them back, or resell them as they see fit.

The reasons for this are technical. Once an allocation has been given, it must be assumed that there are devices consuming addresses in that allocation. If an allocation is revoked there is nothing preventing already-consuming devices from keeping IP addresses on that allocation.

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