A Global Initiative to diversify the Internet
and promote global interconnection hubs
Published in the Latest Issue | DECEMBER 31, 2019
Jasmine Bedi, InterGlobix Magazine’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief, taps in on the expertise of two industry evangelists, Clint Heiden, Founder, IEIC and Vinay Nagpal, Executive Director, IEIC. In this exclusive chat, Jasmine excavates the background behind the inception of IEIC, some of its pathbreaking initiatives and the road ahead. She also interacts with the Enterprise Founding Members who reveal why it’s a great time to be part of the digital revolution.
What is the Internet Ecosystem Innovation Committee?
IEIC is an independent group of like-minded technology and business leaders, who are part of some of the world’s most prestigious companies. This creative cluster comprises industry luminaries spanning industries including, but not limited to, banking, finance, healthcare, e-commerce, gaming, hospitality, automotive, network, subsea cable, Internet exchange, data center, Internet equipment, academia, government and IP services.
Together, these thought-leaders work as a committee to educate and support other regions in the world in their effort to enter the digital economy, while also diversifying the Internet and eliminating bottlenecks and single regions/points of failure. Although in its nascent stage, IEIC has garnered resounding success and a strong backing from the world over. It will soon offer corporate and individual memberships as it gears up for the inaugural IEIC Global Summit, slated on May 4–5, 2020, at the QTS Richmond NAP in Henrico, Virginia.
Why was the IEIC founded?
Two pivotal events spurred IEIC’s formation. The first episode, triggered off decades ago, involves the exponential growth of the Internet. The second occurrence was stimulated almost overnight with the landing of the fastest and highest capacity subsea cables from Europe, the Caribbean and South America in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now, touted as one of the largest global interconnection points, Richmond recently became home to a Network Access Point (NAP) or commonly known as the QTS Richmond NAP with the arrival of the MAREA and BRUSA subsea cables.
To gauge an overview, combine these two occurrences with the fact that Internet traffic can also transit through other regions and lead to the development of Interconnection hubs such as Ashburn. Add to this, Richmond’s abundant utilities (fiber, energy and water), a growing workforce supported by Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) commitment to technical curriculum, cost-effective real estate and a supportive local Henrico County government leading to one of the most effective public/private partnerships in the nation. The result? A region poised to act as a new global interconnection point, ready to augment other Internet locations to better diversify and accelerate the Internet’s healthy growth.
By Dr. Vint Cerf VP & Chief Internet Evangelist, Google; Chairman, IEIC and Pioneer, Internet Hall of Fame
Google’s Background with Data
Google was founded to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” It has persisted in that objective, while expanding its service footprint from the search of the World Wide Web to language translation, specialty searches of scholarly publications, image search, streaming video and video conferencing, smartphone applications, document production, photo archive management, voice recognition and generation, machine learning applications and a host of other products and services. Some of the most recent applications involve automatic speech recognition and captioning for video conferences, streaming video, and small group conversational captioning using smart phones. Our holding company, Alphabet, has a number of corporate initiatives of which Google is one. Others include human longevity (Calico), health (Verily), stratospheric communication (Loon), autonomous vehicles (Waymo), research “moonshots” (X), smart cities (Sidewalk Labs), deep machine learning (Deep Mind), drone delivery systems (Wing), power generation kites (Makani), terrestrial fiber(Google Fiber) among others.
Google, a Founding Member of IEIC
Google is deeply dependent on the global Internet to reach its customers and users, so Internet Exchange points and undersea cables are part of its critical infrastructure. The IEIC effort is focused on the formation of additional infrastructure lending resilience and capacity to the Internet. Our data centers require high capacity interconnection for internal data distribution and for access to the global Internet. We are not the first to recognize and invest in major communications infrastructure, but we are one of the major consumers of such capacity.