Without global open standards, Ethernet technologies, applications and networks could not be integrated into every aspect of daily life, from PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones to power infrastructure and smart meters, personal medical devices and data center networks. With more than 1.2 billion Ethernet ports shipped in 2012, having a global standard for internet connection streamlines the internet connectivity, saving the provider and the user both time and money.
It’s important to note that Ethernet is not confined to supporting technology and industry in the developed world. Ethernet has in fact placed a key role in infrastructure build-outs in developing countries, by allowing those countries to more cost-effectively take advantage of the same state-of-the-art services and applications that are available elsewhere in the world.
Vint Cerf, recognized as one of the fathers of the internet and the VP and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, describes standards as a sort of building block for creativity and innovation, “People often take the view that standardization is the enemy of creativity. But I think that standards help make creativity possible – by allowing for the establishment of an infrastructure, which then leads to enormous entrepreneurialism, creativity, and competitiveness.”
According to Karen McCabe, Senior Director of Community, IEEE-SA, standardization played a critical role in Ethernet’s continued growth and success. “Standardization provides the low-cost foundation on which technology innovation is based,” says McCabe, “It enables more complex solutions to be developed at a better cost structure; companies do not have to solve the same, shared problems again and again—and instead differentiate on the innovation they provide on top of the standards-based foundation.” It also enables iterative improvement.
For Ethernet, McCabe describes how a standards-driven “ecosystem” grew up around Ethernet over past decades, to drive the technology’s global growth. IEEE 802.3 “Standards for Ethernet” was first approved as an IEEE Standard on June 23rd 1983. Across three decades of standardization and iterative improvement, Ethernet transformed the way people access, consume and use the Internet, revolutionizing communications and business around the world.
Ethernet standards are a classic example of how open standards and promising technologies combine to power life-changing innovations and improvements. The OpenStand global community was started to promote this kind of open standards development — to maximize the impact people, and the technologies they create can have on the world. Please join us as we stand for an open future!