Michael Silverton

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Note: Transcribed from Silverton to clean up that disambiguation page.

Michael Silverton,[1] Stanford University alumnus, conceived of and sequentially built the world's first 10 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s, and 1000 Mbit/s all-optical Ethernet To The Home (ETTH) networks in Palo Alto, California in 1999 to 2000, as the result of research and work that first began in 1991 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Fiberhood Networks, Inc.[2], a Silicon Valley company championed by Silverton, and co-founded with fellow Stanford alumni Sinuhe Hardegree and Jonathan Usuka, along with Palo Alto innovators Christopher Lein, Chris Minchberg, Keith Cooley, and Joe Villareal, utterly failed financially and cost Silverton his personal life savings, but the engineering success and ensuing industry enthusiasm from the likes of Pirelli, Corning, France Telecom, Telstra, SBC, and industry standards groups like the IEEE, all validated a proof of concept for this first field-operational implementation of its kind. ETTH became conceptually prototypical of the future all-Ethernet, consumer-grade, local carrier network; or as Silverton's 1997 Stanford thesis described it, the "Information Superdriveway", a title that extended early analogies of "internet as roadway" connecting everyday users to the information city streets and global superhighways.

After several years of industry collaboration [3], the prototypical ETTH implementation was subsequently adapted, improved, field hardened, and codified in June 2004 as the Ethernet In The First Mile (EFM) 802.3ah technical standard. Today's OEMs, along with cable and DSL internet service providers are clamoring toward various adaptations of this original model using a variety of increasingly diverse technological solutions that include but are by no means limited to commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) active Ethernet, Ethernet Passive Optical Networking (EPON), wireless Ethernet (WiFi), and a promising wireless metropolitan area networking standard known as WiMAX. It remains to be seen just how Ethernet To The Home will be ultimately and universally delivered, but as with so many world-changing technologies, the inevitability of ETTH, and indeed consumer level Ethernet Everywhere or Universal Ethernet, was established and first realized in a plain Palo Alto, California garage in 1999.[citation needed]


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