Here was the way this news item appeared on the ARRL site today:
“The proceeds from this month’s sale of some 4 million unused consecutive AMPRNet internet addresses will fund operations of the non-profit Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC), establishing a program of grants and scholarships program in support of communications and networking research — with a strong emphasis on Amateur Radio, a lengthy ARDC news release said. ARDC manages AMPRNet. The sale to what ARDC is calling “a very big company with a significant internet presence” fetched “several million dollars.” ARDC said that its Board of Directors had agreed to keep the exact figure confidential for now, “to avoid adversely influencing others buying and selling addresses.”
This is complete bullshit. While I have no dog in this hunt and the sale will have zero impact on my amateur radio experience, these few key individuals were trusted custodians of this large block of IP addresses on behalf of ham radio. They busted that “trust” when they made this sale and doubtless enriched themselves in the process.
The decision to fund a non-profit organization with this windfall was no doubt a face-saving mechanism to deflect expected criticism from selling out ham radio resources that should have remained in the realm of hobbyists.