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Dr. Rob Blokzijl Receives Prestigious Jonathan B. Postel Service Award

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Photo: Hans Petter Holen

The award was created by the Internet Society (ISOC) in 1999 to honour people or organisations who have made an outstanding contribution to the Internet community.

Rob has played a key role in the Internet since its beginning. After making his start in the world of high-energy physics, Rob helped to build the computer networks at CERN and NIKHEF (the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics) that would become essential for this branch of science.

Quick to recognise both the necessity and benefits of cooperation in growing and connecting these early networks, Rob was among the founding members of RIPE in 1989. He soon went on to become RIPE Chairman, a position he held for 25 years until his retirement in 2014. Rob was also instrumental in establishing the RIPE NCC, the world's first Regional Internet Registry (RIR) in 1992. Growing steadily over the years, the organisation now has more than 12,000 members and over 130 staff.

Rob was also among the first to see that neutral exchange points were crucial to keep the playing field level and provide stable and economical traffic exchange. He convinced his then-employer (NIKHEF), to rent out space in an under-used computer room on an “equal access” basis. This was the formation of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), and in the 1990s he helped others to formalise the organisation as it grew in a way that preserved its neutrality.

Rob excelled at bringing people together and providing leadership, often defusing tense situations or breaking impasses with his own unique brand of humour and good sense. We are delighted to see that Rob's enormous contribution to the Internet has been recognised and we wish him all the best.