Browse Definitions :

Robert Metcalfe

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Robert Melancton Metcalfe was born on April 7, 1946 and is considered to be the father of the internet.

Robert Metcalfe

A native to Brooklyn New York, Robert Metcalfe’s father was an aerospace technician specialized in gyroscope testing. Metcalfe graduated from Bay Shore High School, where his mother was a secretary, before joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology class of 1968. Metcalfe graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and then attended Harvard, where he attained a Masters of Science in applied mathematics and a PhD in computer science.

Metcalfe was a vocal advocate of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) and did his dissertation on the network. When Harvard refused to allow him to connect the school to ARPANET, Metcalfe began working with MIT’s Project MAC (mathematics and computers). There he built some of the hardware that connected the school.

While working at Xerox (Palo Alto Research Center) PARC, Metcalfe read of the University of Hawaii’s ALOHA network and assisted in correcting several issues. Also while working at PARC in 1973, he co-invented Ethernet, a means for connecting wired local area networks (LANs).

In 1979 Metcalfe left PARC in order to start the computer communications company 3COM. Metcalfe later left the company in 1990 and became a columnist. Metcalfe is famous for predicting, in his column, that the internet would violently collapse in 1996. His response to being proved wrong was to cut out his column and put it in a blender with water. Metcalfe then proceeded to eat the black and white smoothie with a spoon in front of an audience.

This was last updated in March 2019

Continue Reading About Robert Metcalfe

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.


File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:


  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...


  • cybersecurity insurance (cybersecurity liability insurance)

    Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to ...

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.



  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 


  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...