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30 November, 2019

Research and education network leaders in Internet Hall of Fame class of 2019

AARNet congratulates national research and education network colleagues from around the world inducted into the prestigious Internet Hall of Fame!

The 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductees were announced at a special ceremony held in Costa Rica on 27 September 2019, recognising the important contributions these individuals have made to the development and improvement of the global Internet:

Inventor of eduroam

A huge shout out to Klaas Wierenga, a former employee of SURFnet, the national research and education network in the Netherlands, and current employee of GEANT, the pan-European research and education network, who has been recognised for inventing eduroam, the global l Wi-Fi roaming service for academic and research communities now available in over 100 countries.

“I am overwhelmed,” said Wierenga, Chief Community Support Officer at GÉANT. “I am very happy and very honoured with this recognition for me personally. But mainly because it shows that it has not remained unnoticed that hundreds of members of the ‘eduroam family’ have committed themselves, with the help of the research and education community, to build something extraordinary.”

Almost 20 years ago, employed by SURFnet, Klaas Wierenga wondered why he had to log on to the Wi-Fi network again and again, at every university he visits. He decided to challenge traditional business models and the inward-looking policies of universities and schools.

After a successful pilot in the Netherlands, conducted under SURFnet, eduroam was adopted by GÉANT in 2003, and progressively rolled out in other countries. In Australia, eduroam was launched by AARNet 2006. Today, eduroam is available in 101 countries and has more than 4.3 billion authentications at educational and research institutions around the world. There are more than 400 million national and over 100 million international roaming authentications per month, together with nearly 30,000 hotspots around the world.

Pioneer of the Internet in Brazil

AARNet also congratulates Michael Stanton, Network Scientist at RNP, the national research and education network in Brazil, who is also a 2019 inductee. Stanton is recognised for his instrumental role in bringing the Internet to Brazil, and his ongoing participation in the design and deployment of scalable optical networks in South America and around the world.