Since hosts can be any type of peer in a network like printers, scanners, copier, desktop computers, laptops, handhelds, etc. Now imagine a very big company having divisions all over the world. I think they could come to the count provided everybody in the company has a Palm, a desktop computer, a laptop, a printer, a scanner, etc, in their office and the printrooms are stuffed with plenty of other printers and scanners and copiers, ... Sounds like a big waste of money anyway but I'm pretty sure it is possible... for 127 companies.
When the original addressing scheme for the internet was first developed, no one imagined that a single IP address would be a sparse resource. I mean, the idea that there would *ever* be 4 billion actual nodes on the inter-net each requiring a unique address was inconceivable. Class A address used to be given out to large institutions, companies, and universities as a matter of convenience. But in the late 80s it became apparent that the internet was really starting to get big, and address space might actually become an issue, so they stoped giving out class A address. Now, a class C address is usually the largest you can get, and even that is often broken up into subnets, so if you want a block of addresses from an ISP, they might just give you your own min-addressing range of 4, 8, 16, etc addresses, rather than even the 255 address in a Class C address block. [ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Rob Ross ] [ March 21, 2002: Message edited by: Rob Ross ]
posted 17 years ago
I guess thats my point Rob. Since most computers on a network, even if there were 50 million of them, would most likely be behind a proxy requiring only one IP address for each proxy, it would seem unlikely that even the largest company / government / whatever in the world would need a class A licence. The only reason I could come up with is that you might like to rent / sell them to make money like an ISP perhaps, but they aren't the ones who have them. Perhaps class A addresses were really cheap when they first came out. Were proxies around when the Internet first started?