VNR: Pioneering wireless technology ALOHAnet recognized as engineering milestone

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marc R Arakaki, (808) 228-3215
Content Producer, UH Office of Communications
Kimberly Perez Hults, (808) 956-7426
Director of Marketing & Outreach Relations, College of Engineering
Posted: Oct 13, 2020

IEEE milestone plaque outside of Holmes Hall
IEEE milestone plaque outside of Holmes Hall

Link to video and sound (details below):

WHAT: A dedication ceremony where ALOHAnet, a pioneering computer networking system developed at UH Mānoa in 1971, was recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE, pronounced “I-triple-E”), the leading national organization in electrical engineering, as an IEEE milestone.


Governor David Ige (UH Mānoa electrical engineering alumnus) 

UH President David Lassner

College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka

ALOHAnet founders Norman Abramson and Franklin Kuo

Google Chief Internet Evangelist and “Father of the Internet” Vint Cerf (pronounced “surf”)

2020 IEEE President-elect Susan K. (Kathy) Land

WHEN: October 13, 2020

WHERE: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

WHY: All wireless communications in Hawaiʻi and the world—including mobile, satellite, cellular and WiFi—utilize the protocol developed in the ALOHAnet system to establish an initial link. In June 1971, ALOHAnet was the first system to transmit data into a computer using radio waves as it provided interisland access to computing facilities at UH. ALOHAnet provided the first public demonstration of a wireless packet data network and led to the development of Ethernet and personal wireless communication technologies. 

After being nominated by Hawaiʻi’s local IEEE chapter and undergoing a lengthy application and selection process, ALOHAnet has been approved as an IEEE milestone. 

Visit the College of Engineering website to learn more about ALOHAnet’s history.

A celebration and symposium is scheduled at the UH Mānoa College of Engineering in June 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary of ALOHAnet.


0:00-0:25 - plaque unveiling 

0:25-0:55 - shots of the ceremony and speakers

0:55-1:01- ALOHAnet satellite dish on the roof of Holmes Hall with some of its founders

1:01-1:07 - Formatting of the ALOHA packets, as well as the retransmission protocols in the ALOHAnet were implemented by the ALOHA Terminal Control Unit (TCU) shown here.

1:07-1:13 - Materials from ALOHAnet at an event in San Jose, California in January 2020


David Lassner, UH President


“ALOHAnet and the ALOHA protocols all developed right here have changed the world as one of the critical enabling technologies for the internet before it was called the internet.”

Brennon Morioka, UH Mānoa College of Engineering dean


“It’s been unbelievable for me to be able to say that I have the opportunity to work at a place that can arguably be said to have given birth to our modern way of life, a lifestyle that is inextricably intertwined with the internet, cell phones, wifi and all other mobile technologies out there.”

Norman Abramson, UH Mānoa professor emeritus and ALOHAnet co-founder


“Whenever you pick up your telephone and make a phone call or use some other applications from that telephone, the very first thing you do is a packet comes from that telephone and the packet says ‘ALOHA.’”