Susan Estrada picture
Susan Estrada's Biosketch

University of California at Los Angeles, B.S., 1978
Engineering with a Specialty in Mechanics


1993-current President and CEO, Aldea Communications
1993 Author, Connecting to the Internet, O’Reilly and Associates
1985-1993 Data Communications Manager, San Diego Supercomputer
Center, Executive Director, CERFnet, General Atomics
1982-1985 Engineering Project Manager, International New Business, AT&T
1980-1982 EADAS/NM Manager, AT&T Long Lines
1978-1980 Switch Engineer, Pacific Telephone

2013-current ICANN Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel
2012-current FirstMile.US,President
2011-current Glenner Memory Care Centers, Board of Directors
2010-2013 San Diego Technology and Aging Coalition, Steering Committee
2005-2014 FirstMile.US, President
Public Interest Registry (.ORG), Board of Directors and Chairman
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Technological
Advisory Council
Pacific Bell/SBC Telecommunications Consumer Advisory Panel
Federal Networking Council Advisory Committee, Member
1993-1999 Internet Society, Board of Directors
Commercial Internet Exchange, Board of Directors and President
1990-1991 Internet Engineering Task Force/Internet Engineering Steering
Committee, Operations Area Director
1989-1993 Farnet, Member and Various Officer Positions


Since 1993, UCLA engineering graduate Susan Estrada has lead Aldea’s technology efforts as president and CEO. Aldea’s current focus is aging-in-place technologies that leverage broadband. Aldea’s Happy@Home (tm) provides reviews on technology for independent living. She also writes for the Aging in Place Technology Watch blog (, an industry-focused website. Aldea's mission is to facilitate the ongoing growth and success of client broadband and Internet strategies, products and services with on-time, on-budget project management and implementation. Named a "thinking nerd" by colleagues, Susan has a deep interest in emerging broadband and Internet technologies and the ability to make those technologies work to solve real-world problems. Her current interests involve both operational broadband and Internet technologies and broadening public understanding of technology value in everyday life, especially for senior citizens. Big broadband demand creation is also an area where she works with FirstMile.US and other organizations to research, develop and implement public benefit solutions. For over 5 years, she participated with the academic research and education community through National LamdbaRail outreach activities and recently worked with many national and regional networks to coordinate the Catalyst@EDU partnership.

Susan founded the nonprofit FirstMile.US in 2005 to increase awareness of broadband Internet and access technologies in the US. With Susan’s return to the helm in 2012, FirstMile.US is now focused on San Diego County and its underserved senior community. National statistics point to the fact that older adults are not gaining “digital citizenry” at the same rate as the rest of the population. Because of this, the FirstMile.US board decided it was time to set a hyperlocal focus and show how we can change that statistic through local senior-focused outreach. In 2007, she co-chaired the U.S. Department of Energy workshop on Cyber Security Research Needs for Open Science resulting in a letter report and a final report. As the leader of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California's (CENIC) One Gigabit or Bust Initiative from its inception through 2005, Susan provided the vision, the managerial savvy and the technical know-how needed to bring the initiative's multitiered goals to life. The Initiative brought together the interests of research, education, commerce, state and local government, and the general public to develop an action plan for delivery of one gigabit broadband capabilities to every educational institution, business, and home in California by 2010. Susan founded CERFnet in 1988. CERFnet was one of the original regional IP networks. It served the academic and commercial communities in California. As executive director, she took the initial NSF funding ($2.8M) and successfully commercialized the network for both the academic and private sector users, growing from 25 sites to hundreds of sites. CERFnet was later sold to TCG and is now part of AT&T. CERFnet was a particularly visible network because Ms. Estrada was able to use a small amount of resources to achieve early commercial acceptance of the Internet—leading to the Interop Achievement Award in 1991. During her 5-year tenure as the CERFnet executive director, she was instrumental in CERFnet’s user growth from 25 university members to hundreds of corporate members and thousands of individual users. CERFnet developed a number of notable firsts for the Internet including the first deployment of dial-up IP, accounting reports for customers, and high quality service. Giving practical advice on getting the best Internet service, Susan wrote Connecting to the Internet: An O’Reilly Buyer’s Guide, in August 1993 (a Barnes and Noble bestseller). Susan has been invited to speak on diverse subjects including education using the Internet, business on the Internet, and connecting to the Internet. She is consistently praised in evaluations for her down-to-earth presentation delivery. Through her CERFnet leadership and collaboration with PSInet and UUnet, Susan helped form the interconnection enabling the first commercial Internet traffic via the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX). Susan’s high standards and attention to customer needs drove these and other developments. The original CIX router is now in theSmithsonian Museum of American History. As a parent of two young adults, Susan is strongly committed to enhancing educational programs using communications technology. Among other activities, Susan played an instrumental role by co-founding the Global Schoolhouse and organizing the California branch of Tech Corps. Susan was inducted to the Internet Hall of Fame as a Pioneer in 2014. She achieved a NAHB Certified Aging in Place certification. She served on the steering committee of the San Diego County Technology and Aging Coalition and co-leads its Outreach group. She is a board member of the George G. Glenner Family Alzheimer Centers. She participates in the San Diego North County Community Action Network and Fall Prevention Task Force. Susan served as a board member and board chair of the Public Interest Registry (PIR). She was an appointed member to the FCC's Technological Advisory Committee. She was an elected Trustee of the Internet Society, a founder of the Commercial Internet Exchange(CIX), a former area director for the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). She was an appointed member of SBC/Pacific Telesis’s Telecommunications Consumer Advisory Panel and the former member of the U.S. Federal Networking Council's Advisory Committee (FNCAC). She is listed in the Millennium and 1998–1999 editions of Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals. An innovator and entrepreneur, Susan’s experience includes over 30 years association with telecommunications and network management.