Vint Cerf, Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and general co-father of the Internet, stopped by The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to discuss the origins of the Web as well as where Cerf sees the Internet going forward.
During the conversation, Cerf noted that “about 3 billion people are online right now,” a number which is unimaginably larger than what the Internet was intended for when it was being developed for the military and academia, and Cerf says we have another 4 billion people to go with expanding online access.
While Colbert comically recommended dropping free AOL CD’s to developing countries to promote the Internet around the world, Cerf pointed seriously to the role of the smartphone in spreading Internet access to third world countries.
To that end, Cerf did mention the limited amount of IP addresses (4.3 billion) we faced up until 2011 as well as the modern math behind calculating available IP addresses. For perspective of scale and history, Cerf mentioned that work on the Internet started in 1973 and wasn’t turned on until 1983.
When asked if former United States Vice President Al Gore did indeed “invent the Internet” as he is often comically attributed as claiming, Cerf noted that “He did help!” as far back as 1986.
Watch Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vent Cerf’s conversation with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report above.
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