Remembering Jon: Looking Beyond the Decade by Vint Cerf

Jon Postel died ten years ago and Vint Cerf has posted on the ICANN blog a piece remembering Postel and his legacy, and looks forward to the next decade of the internet.Cerf looks at Postel’s background and interests and the lead up to the creation of ICANN, created in October 1998, two weeks before Postel’s death.”In 1998 there were an estimated 30 million computers on the Internet and an estimated 70 million users. In the ensuing decade, the user population has grown to almost 1.5 billion and the number of servers on the Internet now exceeds 500 million (not counting episodically connected laptops, personal digital assistants and other such devices). As this decade comes to a close, the Domain Name System is undergoing a major change to accommodate the use of non-Latin character sets in recognition that the world’s languages are not exclusively expressible in one script. A tidal wave of newly Internet-enabled devices as well as the increasing penetration of Internet access in the world’s population is consuming what remains of the current IPv4 address space, driving the need to adopt the much larger IPv6 address space in parallel with the older one. Over three billion mobiles are in use and roughly 15% of these are already Internet-enabled.”Postel was also the first individual member of the Internet Society as well as helping to found the organisation.To read Vint Cerf’s tribute to Jon Postel in full, see the ICANN blog at blog.icann.org/?p=373.

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