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I recently learned that the IANA assigns blocks of IP addresses to certain entities, usually commercial and government organizations.

Here is a link to the assignments: http://www.iana.org/assignments/ipv4-address-space/ipv4-address-space.xml

I was surprised to see how short the list was; only a few organizations are assigned huge blocks each. For example, IBM has 9.X.X.X

Does this mean that IBM owns everything in-between 9.0.0.0 and 9.255.255.255? That's 3 octets a.k.a. 24 bits of freedom which means they own 2^24=16,777,216 addresses!

That seems like a lot for one company. There's no way they need that many, right?

Also, why are ISPs like Comcast and Cox Cable not on the list? Is it because they are under the control of a larger entity on the list or that they bought some from a larger entity?

  • Cox and Comcast came late to the party. – user9517 Jul 11 '14 at 20:06
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Does this mean that IBM owns everything in-between 9.0.0.0 and 9.255.255.255?

Yes

That's 3 octets a.k.a. 24 bits of freedom which means they own 2^24=16,777,216 addresses!

Yep

That seems like a lot for one company. There's no way they need that many, right?

Correct

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Speaking for myself, we acquired a /26 block because 'we needed it' last year.

Then we came to our senses and re-architected our SaaS product. Still have the block though - no reason to get rid of it - and frankly it's easier to have many. My last employer - not a small company had a handful and it was a constant PITA for the network guys having to juggle incoming and outgoing b2b traffic.

I imagine IBM acquired their 9.x.x.x block early on, in a similar fashion.

"Should we acquire that many - what will we do with them?"
'Dunno - but it's cheap so why not?'

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  • Not cheap, free even AFAIK – HBruijn Jul 11 '14 at 20:36
  • Still costs a little, if only for the man-hours to administer things. – Brian Dunbar Jul 11 '14 at 20:46
  • But you're not paying a subscription fee per IP, with regards to IANA a /8 is just as expensive as smaller classless range. – HBruijn Jul 11 '14 at 22:52

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