Twenty-one pioneering individuals who fundamentally changed the world through their work building and developing the global Internet have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame. These engineers, physicists, mathematicians, academics, and others from 11 nations made outstanding contributions to the Internet’s global growth, inventing the technologies that launched it, expanding its reach in their own regions and worldwide, and making it more secure, reliable, and accessible for millions.
The Internet they helped create brought the new cohort together in a virtual induction ceremony 14 December 2021. They logged on from points around the world to share the honor with their colleagues, about whom Internet Society President, Andrew Sullivan, noted: “Their contributions made it possible for us to look forward to our future, inextricably tied to the open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet, and its ability to connect us reliably and consistently.”
The 2021 Inductees are:
Carlos Afonso (Brazil/Canada) advanced Internet development and democratized access in Brazil and beyond through his role as a founder and leader of several key organizations, including the Association for Progressive Communications....
There’s no question the global pandemic tested the integrity, durability, and reach of the Internet in ways we couldn’t have previously imagined.
Only now do we collectively understand that our future is inextricably linked to the future of the global network and its ability to connect us to work, to school, and to each other.
In the context of this new reality, the 2021 return of the Internet Hall of Fame is that much more significant.
Now in its tenth year, the annual awards program’s focus on individuals who have made sure the Internet could perform under even the most extreme circumstances is more relevant than ever.
This year’s inductee class honors 21 people from 11 countries who have built, optimized, and strengthened the foundational infrastructure of the network for reach, access, security, and scale.
We are excited to announce that we’ll be convening to reveal and recognize these individuals in an online awards ceremony on 14 December through a LiveStream broadcast starting at 14:00 UTC. We’ll also be chronicling event highlights on the Internet Hall of Fame’s social media channels on Twitter@Internet_HOF...
When it comes to the future of the Internet, Doug Comer has moved past hope...and on to expectation.
A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Comer wrote the first series of textbooks explaining the scientific principles underlying the Internet’s design and communications protocols.
In a recent video interview, Comer said that his initial early hopes for the Internet, including reliable public access, were surpassed years ago. He is now banking on a future that includes infrastructural improvements that facilitate greater network access.
“In terms of hopes, I’d say I have expectations that things will continue to get better in terms of technology,” he said. “We will have faster, more reliable, ubiquitous Internet everywhere, all the time.”
When you listen to Klaas Wierenga talk about the development of eduroam, the access tool that provides academics and researchers with wifi roaming services at campuses around the world, you hear one phrase over and over again: “So I said, ‘Sure!’”
That spirit of affirmation is what made the development of eduroam possible. Saying “yes” to working together is what the system is all about. In fact, Wierenga calls eduroam “the poster child for collaboration.”
Launched in 2002, eduroam is currently available in 106 territories around the globe, connecting hundreds of academic institutions. Travelling students, faculty, and staff log in via their home-institution network no matter what campus they happen to be on. End-to-end encryption means that private-user credentials are only available to the home institution.
In addition to giving visitors wifi access, eduroam relieves the host institution from having to provide guest access. eduroam can also be used as an institution’s complete wireless network to serve its own campus.
The man who planted the eduroam seed that “grew into a very big flower,” as Wierenga puts it, was an indifferent high school student. “I would pass every year with the absolute minimum,” he says. The university environment, though, sparked his interest. Wierenga performed his government-...
Thirty years ago, the World Wide Web was in its infancy.
In a retrospective piece for ZDNet in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Internet Hall of Fame inductee Tim Berners-Lee turning on a server that would become the World Wide Web, Steven Vaughan-Nichols noted that that action dramatically changed the world.
Prior to that server being turned on in August 1991, Internet access was limited to the military, scientists, researchers, and academics. Within two years, the public was starting to learn about the Internet and its potential uses.
Vaughan-Nichols wrote about the web’s launch in the early 1990s and acknowledged that at the time, he didn’t completely grasp the magnitude of what he was covering.
“It was, after all, created to help scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, share search, not share cat pictures,” Vaughan-...