Sale of amateur radio AMPRnet TCP/IP addresses raised $108 million

Sale of amateur radio AMPRnet TCP/IP addresses raised $108 million

The President of Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) has announced they received $108 million from Amazon for 4 million amateur radio TCP/IP addresses

Since its allocation to Amateur Radio in the mid-1980s, Internet network 44 (44.0.0.0/8), known as the AMPRNet™, has been used by amateur radio operators to conduct scientific research and to experiment with digital communications over the radio with a goal of advancing the state of the art of Amateur Radio networking, and to educate amateur radio operators in these techniques.

Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) is a non-profit California corporation formed to further these goals.

In mid-2019 a block (44.192.0.0/10) of approximately four million AMPRNet™ IP addresses, out of the 16 million available, was sold to Amazon by ARDC but it is only now that the sale price has been released. Amazon paid $27 for each IPv4 address.

In a post to the AMSAT Bulletin Board (AMSAT-BB) ARDC President Phil Karn KA9Q said:

“The NDA with Amazon that covered the sale of our surplus IP addresses required us to keep the exact dollar amounts private until we were legally required to disclose them in our annual tax filings, audit, and financial reports. These have just been made public and are available online through the California Attorney General’s website (since ARDC is incorporated in California). You can also get some background information through our (independently written) Wikipedia article.

The bottom line is that the sale netted us about US $108M, and we expect to grant at least US $5 million *per year* on an ongoing basis, depending on how our investments perform, to a wide variety of Internet and amateur radio digital communication projects. To date we have made about $2.5 million in grants, so we’re only getting started.”

Phil’s AMSAT-BB post can be seen at
https://www.amsat.org/pipermail/amsat-bb/2020-October/080028.html

Read the 2019 sale announcement on the AMPR site at
https://www.ampr.org/amprnet/

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