For computer science students at UCLA, COVID-19 has had one silver lining: the opportunity to interact with multiple Internet Hall of Fame inductees via Zoom during class.
2021 Internet Hall of Fame inductee's Lixia Zhang and George Varghese incorporated live Zoom interviews for their students with five fellow Internet Hall of Fame inductees over the course of the fall 2020 quarter.
The guests included UCLA Distinguished Professor and 2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductee Leonard Kleinrock, who developed the mathematical theory of packet-switching that underpins the Internet and directed the transmission of the first Internet message in 1969; UCLA alumnus and 2012 inductee Vint Cerf, the co-inventor of transmission control protocol/Internet protocol; 2013 inductee Bob Metcalfe, who invented ethernet technologies used in local...
Today's library patrons may expect to be able to access the internet from comupters at their local library. 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductee, Jean Armour Polly, faced a lot of professional pushback when in the 1980s she first introducted the idea of transforming public library service and redefining the role of the librarian as a digital educator and Internet advocate.
Jean Armour Polly was among the first librarians in the country to facilitate patrons’ Internet access after she convinced the Liverpool, New York, public library to buy an Apple desktop for public use in 1981.
In a video interview, Polly said that initially, many of her peers were very resistant to the idea of libraries expanding their media offerings to include internet access.
“In library-land, it really was not popular, the idea of putting the internet out there for the public, because it was not going to be mediated information,” she said. “It was not going to be librarians being the gatekeepers of knowledge and wisdom anymore. Now people could get at this information themselves and create their own resources.”
Once upon a time, Michael Stanton could not have imagined using a cell phone to access the Internet.
A 2019 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Stanton played a key role in the development and launch of what is now known as the National Education and Research Network. He continues to help with the design and deployment of scalable optical networks in Brazil and around the world.
In a 2019 interview, Stanton reminisced about access during the Internet’s early days, which required a wired connection or a fixed radio link, in comparison to today's proliferation of WiFi networks.
“It was not imaginable at that time that it would be so easy,” he said, noting that he now regularly accesses the Internet via a smartphone.
A 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductee wants to see the Internet continue to facilitate user-friendly innovations.
A native of Togo, Adiel Akplogan helped establish his country’s first TCP/IP connection in the mid 1990s and went on to help start AFRINC, the first regional Internet registry on the African continent. He eventually became its chief operating officer, a role he held until 2015.
In a recent interview, Akplogan said that while he hopes that the Internet continues to develop in a manner that allows for creativity among users, he acknoledges the need for public policies that help facilitate user security.
“How do we make sure we close as much as possible the gap between the development of the technology and the policy making? They need to coalesce at some point to allow the technology to develop, but also to allow people to be confident that this technology…can help solve a lot of problems we have.”
For one Internet Hall of Fame inductee, access to universal broadband is a need on par with the right to clean water.
2013 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Henning Schulzrinne co-developed the key protocols that enable several multimedia applications, including Voiceover Internet Protocol, Real Time streaming and Session Initiation Protocol.
A former Chief Technology Officer for the Federal Communications Commission, Schulzrinne is now a computer science professor at Columbia University.
In a November question and answer piece with Columbia News about the pros and cons of the technology components of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill, Schulzrinne said the importance of reliable broadband access was thrown into sharp relief by COVID-19.
“Uneven access to broadband is fundamentally unfair,” he said. “All kinds of day-to-day activities, from applying to jobs to tracking kids’ performance in school, become much more difficult without it. The pandemic made this problem more visible and probably renewed efforts to tackle it at a larger scale.”