1 Jul 2013 Utrecht - Kees Neggers, retired managing director of SURFnet, has been elected to the Internet Hall of Fame as an Internet Pioneer. According to the jury of this annual Internet Society event, held for the first time last year, Mr. Neggers has earned this honour on account of 'his technical expertise, leadership and co-ordinating activities that have made him a key figure in the development of the Internet worldwide'. Mr. Neggers is the first Dutchman to have been included in the highly select Pioneers Circle of the Internet Hall of Fame.
The objective of the Internet Hall of Fame awards is to publicly honour a select group of visionaries and leaders who have made important contributions to the development and enhancement of the Internet worldwide. Mr. Neggers now finds himself in the company of Internet Pioneers such as Vint Cerf and Jon Postel - the founders of the modern Internet - and Internet Innovators such as Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, and Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the WWW.
Mr. Neggers entered the international world of research and education networks in 1984, when he was appointed director of EARN for the Netherlands. After intensive collaboration on the founding of SURF and SURFnet, he served as managing director of SURFnet from 1988 until his retirement in 2012. In addition, he launched many initiatives, served as a board member of and was the driving force behind various organisations that still play an important part in the development of the Internet and where he was able to apply and advocate his cherished principles of 'openness', 'inclusiveness' and 'bottom-up industry self-regulation'.
"It is thanks to Kees that the Netherlands holds a special position on the Internet, with such initiatives as the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, the world's largest Internet hub, and the establishment of TERENA and RIPE NCC in the Netherlands. In addition to this, Kees is always happy to share his knowledge, which provided an extra stimulus to Dutch industry", stated Erwin Bleumink, CEO of SURFnet.
In 1991, while he was at SURFnet, Mr. Neggers was the initiator of Ebone, the first pan-European IP backbone based on open exchanges. Ten years later he introduced 10 Gbit/s IP networking directly over lightpaths in collaboration with SURFnet and founded the NetherLight Open Lightpath Exchange in Amsterdam. Jointly with co-SURFnet director Boudewijn Nederkoorn he was elected ICT Personality of the Year by the ICT~Office - currently Nederland ICT - in 2002 and he was made Officer in the Order of Orange Nassau upon his retirement in 2012. At present, Mr. Neggers is affiliated with the SURF Holding as a strategic advisor.
Wim Liebrand, director of SURF, is also proud of this accomplishment: "It is also thanks to Kees' leadership that SURFnet was able to develop into one of the most advanced and respected research and education networks in the world. The leading position worldwide enjoyed by SURFnet today can be attributed to his efforts. It is thanks to this that the Netherlands can now present itself as the digital gateway to Europe."