ENA Board Member honored among group of visionaries and innovators instrumental in shaping today’s Internet and expanding its global connectivity.
September 27, 2019 — ENA lauds the announcement of board member Larry Irving for joining the elite ranks of notable individuals who have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for significant contributions to the advancement of the global Internet.
The Internet Hall of Fame inducted Irving for his contributions to the identification of the Digital Divide in the U.S, igniting global interest in the issue and strongly aligning with ENA’s vision to deliver high-capacity and future-ready connectivity, communication, cloud, security, and software services to education and library communities across the nation.
Irving produced the first empirical study proving the existence of the “Digital Divide.” As part of this work, in 1993, he initiated hearings across the U.S. that identified opportunities and obstacles affecting development of the nascent Internet. He subsequently commissioned a comprehensive Census Bureau survey that quantified for the first time the U.S. communities and populations that didn’t have Internet access and diagnosed some of the causes.
“Larry’s groundbreaking research sparked global efforts to begin bridging the divide and continues to be widely cited today by those studying Internet access around the world,” said David Pierce, CEO of ENA. “His work is reflective of what we try to do each day at ENA in bringing transformative technology solutions to K–12 schools, higher education institutions and libraries across the nation. We are pleased that he’s getting due recognition and honored to have him as part of the ENA family.”
Irving’s research showed that Americans most at-risk for access inequity were communities that couldn’t afford to fall further behind. His work ultimately ignited global concern about the Digital Divide phenomenon, leading to international regulatory and legislative reforms and programs to promote Internet growth.
As the assistant secretary of commerce and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) during the Clinton Administration, Irving helped establish some of the earliest and most foundational U.S. domestic and international Internet policies, including those supporting universal Internet access, private investment, competition, open access and “light touch” regulation.
This data helped provide support for legislative initiatives such as the E-Rate program and, in conjunction with the NTIA’s Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP), demonstrated the growing importance of the Internet for all communities.
Irving will be honored at the Internet Hall of Fame 2019 Induction Ceremony on September 27, 2019 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The ceremony can be viewed via livestream: https://livestream.com/internetsociety/ihof2019. More details on the 2019 Internet Hall of Fame inductees, including their biographies and photos, can be found at www.internethalloffame.org. You can follow the Internet Hall of Fame on Facebook and on Twitter at @Internet_HOF (#ihof2019).