The world of technology can get a bit lingo-heavy and, to put it mildly, somewhat on the nerdy side. Those of us immersed in the tech world are quick to throw acronyms and terms around as if they’ve been a part of the spoken language for centuries. Though the equipment and devices powered by communication technologies are used on a daily basis, and on a global scale, the workings behind our computers go largely unnoticed until they’re not working properly. Take “ethernet” for example. Ethernet is a prime example of a prominent technology that the general public knows little to nothing about. After 40 years, ethernet cable has become as much of our daily lives as the electricity that powers our computers. We simply do not function in the same way without it. Some not so-well-known but still interesting facts about ethernet cable include:

  • Ethernet cable was first invented by XeroxR in the 1970’s. The initial cable only carried 3 Mbps but continued improvements by Xerox PARC, which included Digital, Intel and Xerox, allowed communication speeds to increase tp 10Mbps by 1980.
  • Though developed in California, ethernet cable was inspired by Hawaiians. The University of Hawaii developed a hub/star configuration, referred to as ALOHAnet,  over which the neighboring island campuses could all transmit data. Robert Metcalfe is credited for using ALOHAnet as the basis for ethernet.
  • The increase in internet use called for an increase in ethernet speeds. Ethernet cable installation in homes, usually is sufficient at 10 Mbps but users regularly ask for more to experience fast internet downloads. Commercial use of ethernet  can be as high as 10 gigabit for larger corporations.
  • The term ethernet was based on “luminiferous ether”, a 19th century theory on the transmission of electromagnetic waves which was later disproven by Einstein’s theory of relativity.