Bob Metcalfe Celebrates 40 Years of Ethernet with a Reddit AMA


On 21 May, a day before the 40th Anniversary of Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, held an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on

For two hours, the Reddit community jumped at the opportunity to do everything from share simple expressions of appreciation to ask complex technology questions. Bob was an instant sensation, attracting more than 3,400 comments from Reddit users, or “redditors,” around the world. His AMA even made the front page of Reddit, a formidable accomplishment most commonly achieved by A-List celebrities.

Here’s a look at some of the questions and Bob’s answers from the AMA:

redditor: What do you think the most positive impact the internet has had on society as a whole?

Bob Metcalfe: The Internet reduces market frictions and expands freedom of choice. I give the Internet credit for everything good that has happened since 1969.

redditor: What are your thoughts on Google Fiber (as it’s coming to Austin soon)? And what, exactly, sparked your interest in communications?

Bob Metcalfe: Google Fiber is great news for everyone, especially as a spur to AT&T and Comcast and Time Warner et al. Competition! We are now gigafying the Internet — build it and they (new apps) will come, so far anyway.

redditor: How do you feel knowing that you had such a big impact on the whole world ? Is that fulfilling?

Bob Metcalfe: Mostly now I want to share the credit with the hundreds of people who have invented Ethernet over the last 40 years.

These are just a few of the questions redditors had for Bob. To read his complete AMA, visit “You’re probably connecting to reddit through a technology I invented. I’m Bob Metcalfe and I invented Ethernet” on

The Bob Metcalfe Reddit AMA is just one of many parts of the year-long celebration of the 40™ Anniversay of Ethernet. For more information, visit the IEEE SA 40™ Anniversary of Ethernet Web page or the IEEE SA 40™ Anniversary of Ethernet Facebook page.

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