Ethernet Inventor and 3Com Founder Bob Metcalfe delivers an entertaining overview of Ethernet’s past, present and future at the IEEE 802® LAN/MAN Standards Committee’s Ethernet 40th Anniversary Celebration. While the creation of Ethernet is something to celebrate, Metcalfe emphasizes the standardization of Ethernet by highlighting three key points in his keynote address:
- “The work that you all at IEEE 802 are doing is important,” for instance, take one factor: speed. “We’ve taken the Internet from K’s to M’s and now it’s time to take it from M’s to G’s.” Metcalfe continues, noting that terabits will be next.
- “The future of IEEE 802 is much bigger than its past. Three big applications (and) challenges that we Ethernet people need to confront are education, healthcare and energy. Ethernet will have to carry these applications.”
- “This Ethernet brand works and I urge you (to) stick with it as you go on to future challenges.”
In closing, Metcalfe urges the IEEE 802 committee members to “go with the Force, don’t go to the dark side.” By referencing Star Wars, he illustrates that there are certain attributes such as speed, standardization and compatibility that people have come to expect of Ethernet and suggests “be wise” and stick with the Ethernet brand.