IEEE Marks 50 Years of the Internet with Celebration of Global Historic Milestones

Live-Streamed Event Commemorates Developments That Laid the Groundwork for the Modern Internet

PISCATAWAY, N.J., May 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, will commemorate the IEEE milestone Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Enables the Internet, celebrating the first 50 years of the internet with a May 19, 2024 live-streamed global virtual event to highlight essential building blocks that made the internet possible — Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which ensures that data sent over computer networks arrives in the right place, free of errors. To register to watch the livestream starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT/19:00 UTC-04 visit https://engage.ieee.org/celebrate-i50.

To mark the anniversary, IEEE, in collaboration with People-Centered Internet, will host the event, “IEEE i50: A Virtual Celebration of 50 Years of the Internet,” featuring discussions by technical and business leaders worldwide. The event will include stories from global leaders who benefit from and struggle with the current Internet, and discussions of the ways that stakeholders can shape a people-centered digital future, especially in light of artificial intelligence (AI).

IEEE Life Fellow Vint Cerf, a vice president at Google who is frequently referred to as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” will sit on a panel to highlight the challenges and opportunities created by the Internet over the last 50 years. “When we developed TCP, we had no idea how impactful it would be,” Cerf said. “It has been amazing to see how this project grew into the infrastructure for technological innovation that it is today.”

The IEEE milestone commemorates the publication of the 1974 IEEE Transactions on Communications paper that debuted the concept of TCP, that supported the “interconnection of multiple packet-switched networks,” forming the architecture of the internet. Today the internet connects more than five billion people and countless more devices. TCP enables trillions of dollars in economic activity annually, inspiring an ecosystem of innovation and infrastructure around it, including routers, optical fiber networks, Wi-Fi, cloud computing services and more.

“Today we’re celebrating the innovative leaps in technology that have impacted humanity in such a profound way,” said Tom Coughlin, 2024 IEEE President and CEO. “The internet has transformed the way we live our lives. As we enter the daunting age of AI, a big task for the future will be applying this tool effectively in, and through public infrastructure to shape a people-centered digital ecosystem. Many historic tasks are likely to become vastly easier as a new generation of infrastructure emerges that truly takes advantage of our collective capabilities.”

Two Additional IEEE Milestones to Be Celebrated on May 20
IEEE will also celebrate two additional milestones as part of this event:

  • The IEEE 802 Standards Committee – Since 1980, the IEEE 802 Standards Committee has made significant contributions to technology and economics by developing global network communication standards defining, for example, how data is transmitted over both wired and wireless networks, ensuring compatibility of all devices.
  • Google’s PageRank technology – Invented in 1996, the PageRank citation algorithm was the basis of the Google search engine and the company’s founding in 1998. PageRank helps internet users quickly find information through useful ranking scores for all indexed web pages.

Each of the three developments is being recognized through the IEEE Milestone program, which honors significant technical achievements in all areas associated with IEEE. Milestones recognize technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity, which are found in unique products, services, seminal papers, and patents.

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at https://www.ieee.org

Media contacts:
Francine Tardo
+1 732 465 5865
f.tardo@ieee.org

Monika Stickel
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