Metcalfe to Unveil 'New Ethernet'

Bob 'The Father of Ethernet' Metcalfe is to announce 'A New Ethernet' on Feb 23. Could this be a case of the Emperor's New Clothes?

February 9, 2012

2 Min Read
Metcalfe to Unveil 'New Ethernet'

PARIS -- Is the telecom world ready for a "New Ethernet"?

Ready or not, that's what's being presented by the "Father of Ethernet" Bob Metcalfe, currently a general partner at Polaris Venture Partners and Professor of Innovation at the University of Texas at Austin, on Feb. 23. (See Bob Metcalfe Goes Back To School.)

So says MEF president Nan Chen, who told a packed auditorium of hundreds of mostly baffled attendees Wednesday morning here at the MPLS and Ethernet World Congress that Metcalfe would unveil this new development in two weeks' time.

So what is this new development? Could it be Terabit Ethernet, which Metcalfe talked about some time ago? (See Bob Metcalfe on the Terabit Ethernet.)

Well, Chen isn't saying. "No comment," is his response. "Join the MEF online on Feb. 23," he adds when Light Reading asks about it.

We found a handful of others here in Paris who claimed to know what Metcalfe will unveil on Feb. 23, but they're all remaining tight-lipped. However, one industry figure with knowledge of the development suggested this would not be so much a "New Ethernet" as a "repackaging" of the existing Carrier Ethernet.

But what would that achieve? The majority of the normally well-connected delegates here at the Paris event suggested it would do little more than promote the MEF and its commercial activities, but hardly any, including those who are members of the MEF, had any idea at all what Metcalfe will unveil.

Those that were willing to hazard a guess, though, suggested the focus would be on creating a new vision for what Carrier Ethernet can achieve, especially in a cloud services environment, rather than any new technology.

Other, far more cynical suggestions were offered to Light Reading on the show floor, but repeating those ideas could cause legal problems.

Chen and Metcalfe now face the challenge of delivering against a promise made in front of the cream of Europe's Carrier Ethernet fraternity.

Will the Ethernet Emperor have any clothes? We await to see on Feb. 23.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like