We helped the Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) kick off their “China 2.0: Rise of a Digital Superpower” conference in Beijing today with a discussion over telepresence that reconnected two of the pioneering engineers who worked to bring connectivity to China – Dr. Les Cottrell of the Stanford Linear Accelator Center (SLAC) and Prof. Xu Rengshang of Beijing’s Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP).
Back in 1991 teams from both academic institutions worked with ‘dogged perserverence’ over a 3 year period to establish a link to aid their research, working with AT&T using DECnet over a satellite connection from Point Reyes, north of San Francisco, over to Beijing Airport, and the using several subsequent hops to connect to IHEP itself. Les told me a little bit about his fascinating journey in bringing the Internet to Beijing after the telepresence session in San Jose today (the actual conference is taking place in the Grand Millenium Hotel in Beijing for the next couple of days):
Find out more about the conference itself here on SPRIE’s website.
There’s more information on the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center confluence site here as well: