Finance Strategies for Universities with Surplus IPv4 Addresses

by IPv4.Global Staff

Any university looking to tackle strategic initiatives faces a key hurdle—sustainable funding. Whether it’s increased operational costs to maintain building facilities, declining student enrollment, or decreased government funding, higher education institutions nationwide grapple with various financial challenges.

An often-overlooked opportunity for university funding is the surplus of unused IPv4 addresses many of these institutions hold. These IP addresses are valuable and can provide the financing needed to fund strategic higher education initiatives.

Below, we’ll dive into the finance strategies institutions can leverage to monetize excess, unused IPv4 address blocks.

Understanding IPv4 Address Value and Why Universities Have Surpluses

Today, IPv4 addresses are valuable due to circumstances tracing back to the ‘90s. At that time, the internet was primarily a tool used by educational institutions to conduct research.

These institutions received large allocations of IPv4 addresses. For instance, it was common for some universities to receive 65,000 addresses. However, many universities that received these large blocks of IPv4 addresses currently only use a small portion of their addresses to manage their internet traffic. These unused addresses, valued anywhere from $10 a piece in 2015 to $55 a piece in 2022, present significant untapped value.

For this reason, it’s crucial for any institution with stockpiles of IPv4 addresses to conduct a thorough assessment of its IP address inventory to identify surplus address blocks that may be unused—and currently overlooked or forgotten.

It all starts with implementing effective IP address management across the organization, evaluating all networks to ensure every inventoried, accounted-for IPv4 address is active or is part of the institution’s network expansion plans.

Tools exist for such an evaluation. A free one is available for download here.

Selling Surplus IPv4 Addresses

So, what happens if an institution realizes it’s sitting on surplus IPv4 address blocks?

The best option is to sell these valuable addresses on the IPv4 market through the use of an IPv4 broker. An IPv4 broker can provide expert knowledge and guidance to help institutions navigate the fast-evolving IP address market.

A brokered sale of unused IPv4 assets can help a university gain significant value from selling these address blocks in a competitive market. And partnering with a trusted IPv4 broker can ensure that universities with large inventories of unused IPv4 blocks realize their monetary value.

Monetizing IPv4 Addresses–A Case Study

Let’s consider the case of Hartwick College, a private liberal arts college in Oneonta, New York, which received large blocks of IPv4 addresses in the internet’s early days.

In partnership with IPv4.Global’s research team, Hartwick College discovered it had significant numbers of unused IPv4 addresses. The university supplied users with IP addresses via a local internet service provider and didn’t need the large blocks of IPv4 addresses in its inventory.

Here’s how Hartwick monetized its surplus IPv4 address blocks:

  • Maintaining address block value – Although Hartwick preferred to retain several IPv4 addresses in its inventory and keep using the active ones, breaking up large IPv4 address blocks would lower the value per address, mainly because of the premium placed on these large (consecutively-numbered) address blocks by the marketplace. Instead, IPv4.Global included smaller blocks in its transactions with Hartwick to maintain the premium value of the large address blocks.
  • Advancing the purchase price – With a replacement block of IPv4 addresses on hand, Hartwick had to renumber its devices to match the new IP addresses. Doing so was time-consuming and unpredictably so. Since the renumbering would likely take months to complete, IPv4.Global offered to lease the entire larger block of IPv4 addresses back to Hartwick if scheduling required it.
  • Navigating market fluidity – Considering the fluid IPv4 address market conditions, Hartwick College was concerned about selling its assets below market price and losing part of their value during the transaction and before the deal closed. IPv4.Global agreed to share with Hartwick any substantial profits gained from selling these addresses.

Leasing IPv4 Addresses for Recurring Income

As an alternative to selling surplus IPv4 addresses, a university can lease them for recurring income. IP address leasing is a suitable option if an institution is uncertain about expanding its network in the near or long term.

Ultimately though, selling—rather than leasing—IPv4 addresses may be ideal if an organization has a vast inventory of these addresses that it doesn’t anticipate using anytime soon.

Strategic Investments and Funding Initiatives

Thinking strategically, a university with surplus IPv4 addresses can monetize these to generate income to finance other critical projects.

If a university only requires a handful of IP addresses to meet its network connectivity needs, earning revenue from a one-time sale can help fund university initiatives such as:

  • Research projects – At most universities, R&D budgets are often among the largest because of costs such as purchasing technology to support studies, compensating students and research staff, and funding other unforeseen project requirements.
  • Infrastructure expansion – As universities take on more students, they need additional funding to construct new buildings, renovate existing ones, and maintain infrastructure across their campuses.
  • Program development – Likewise, developing programs to meet a university’s expansion goals requires significant funding, especially if it anticipates these programs will last sustainably into the future.

Future Considerations—Partner with IPv4.Global for IP Address Management

Any university with a surplus of IPv4 addresses can monetize them to fund various initiatives. With the help of an IPv4 broker like IPv4.Global, institutions can sell these addresses competitively while avoiding the hassles of completing the sale and transfer themselves.

Whether an organization chooses to sell surplus IPv4 address blocks on IPv4.Global’s online marketplace or opt for our private brokered solutions, we streamline every sale to ensure a successful transfer of each address sold.

Contact us today to learn more about monetizing IPv4 addresses.