A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Irving served for seven years as administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, becoming one of the main architects of telecommunications policy in the Clinton White House.
The creator of the phrase “digital divide,” Irving said in a video interview that he fears both the phrase and phenomenon he observed almost 30 years ago have become politicized in recent years.
“There are 5 million rural American households that don’t have broadband,” he said. “There are 15 million urban American households that don’t have Internet. Yet all the focus at the FCC seems to be on the 5 million rural and not the 15 million urban and suburban (households).”