Early packet switching networks such as the NPL network
, ARPANET, Merit Network
, and CYCLADES
researched and provided data networking
in the early 1970s. ARPA projects and international working groups
led to the development of protocols
, in which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks, which produced various standards. Bob Kahn
, at ARPA, and Vint Cerf
, at Stanford University
, published research in 1974 that evolved into the Transmission Control Protocol
(TCP) and Internet Protocol
(IP), the two protocols of the Internet protocol suite
. The design included concepts from the French CYCLADES project directed by Louis Pouzin
In the early 1980s, the National Science Foundation (NSF)
funded national supercomputing
centers at several universities in the United States, and provided interconnectivity in 1986 with the NSFNET
project. Thus creating network access to these supercomputer sites for research and academic organizations in the United States. International connections to NSFNET, the emergence of architecture such as the Domain Name System
, and the adoption of TCP/IP
internationally on existing networks marked the beginnings of the Internet
Commercial Internet service providers
(ISPs) began to emerge in the very late 1980s. The ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990.
Limited private connections to parts of the Internet by officially commercial entities emerged in several American cities by late 1989 and 1990.
The NSFNET was decommissioned in 1995, removing the last restrictions on the use of the Internet to carry commercial traffic.
Research at CERN
by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee
in 1989–90 resulted in the World Wide Web
, linking hypertext
documents into an information system, accessible from any node
on the network.
Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture, commerce, and technology, including the rise of near-instant communication by electronic mail
, instant messaging
, voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) telephone calls, video chat
, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums
, social networking services
, and online shopping
sites. Increasing amounts of data are transmitted at higher and higher speeds over fiber-optic networks
operating at 1 Gbit/s
, 10 Gbit/s, or more. The Internet's takeover of the global communication landscape was rapid in historical terms: it only communicated 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunications
networks in the year 1993, 51% by 2000, and more than 97% of the telecommunicated information by 2007.
The Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information, commerce, entertainment, and social networking services
. However, the future of the global network may be shaped by regional differences.
The concept of data communication
– transmitting data between two different places through an electromagnetic medium such as radio or an electric wire – pre-dates the introduction of the first computers. Such communication systems were typically limited to point to point communication between two end devices. Semaphore lines
, telegraph systems
and telex machines
can be considered early precursors of this kind of communication. The telegraph in the late 19th century was the first fully digital communication system.
in the 1940s had a central processing unit
and user terminals
. As the technology evolved in the 1950s, new systems were devised to allow communication over longer distances (for terminals) or with higher speed (for interconnection of local devices) that were necessary for the mainframe computer
model. These technologies made it possible to exchange data (such as files) between remote computers. However, the point-to-point communication model was limited, as it did not allow for direct communication between any two arbitrary systems; a physical link was necessary. The technology was also considered vulnerable for strategic and military use because there were no alternative paths for the communication in case of a broken link.
Inspiration for networking and interaction with computers
A network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines [...] the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval and symbiotic functions suggested earlier in this paper
In August 1962, Licklider and Welden Clark published the paper "On-Line Man-Computer Communication"
which was one of the first descriptions of a networked future.
Although he left the IPTO in 1964, five years before the ARPANET went live, it was his vision of universal networking that provided the impetus for one of his successors, Robert Taylor
, to initiate the ARPANET development. Licklider later returned to lead the IPTO in 1973 for two years.
Packet switching is a rapid store and forward
networking design that divides messages up into arbitrary packets, with routing decisions made per-packet. It provides better bandwidth utilization and response times than the traditional circuit-switching technology used for telephony, particularly on resource-limited interconnection links.
Networks that led to the Internet
Following discussions with J. C. R. Licklider
in 1965, Donald Davies
became interested in data communications
for computer networks.
Later that year, at the National Physical Laboratory (United Kingdom)
, Davies designed and proposed a national commercial data network based on packet switching. The following year, he described the use of an "Interface computer" to act as a router
The proposal was not taken up nationally but he produced a design for a local network to serve the needs of NPL and prove the feasibility of packet switching using high-speed data transmission.
He and his team were one of the first to use the term 'protocol' in a data-commutation context in 1967.
By 1969 he had begun building the Mark I packet-switched network to meet the needs of the multidisciplinary laboratory and prove the technology under operational conditions.
In 1976, 12 computers and 75 terminal devices were attached,
and more were added until the network was replaced in 1986. The NPL local network and the ARPANET were the first two networks in the world to use packet switching,
and were interconnected in the early 1970s. The NPL team carried out simulation work on packet networks, including datagram
networks, and research into internetworking
For each of these three terminals, I had three different sets of user commands. So if I was talking online with someone at S.D.C. and I wanted to talk to someone I knew at Berkeley or M.I.T. about this, I had to get up from the S.D.C. terminal, go over and log into the other terminal and get in touch with them.... I said, oh man, it's obvious what to do: If you have these three terminals, there ought to be one terminal that goes anywhere you want to go where you have interactive computing. That idea is the ARPAnet.
"We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys at SRI ...", Kleinrock ... said in an interview: "We typed the L and we asked on the phone,
"Do you see the L?"
"Yes, we see the L," came the response.
We typed the O, and we asked, "Do you see the O."
"Yes, we see the O."
Then we typed the G, and the system crashed ...
Yet a revolution had begun" ....
35 Years of the Internet, 1969–2004. Stamp of Azerbaijan, 2004.
Early international collaborations on ARPANET were sparse. Connections were made in 1973 to the Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR
), via a satellite link at the Tanum
Earth Station in Sweden, and to Peter Kirstein
's research group at University College London
which provided a gateway to British academic networks.
By 1981, the number of hosts had grown to 213.
ARPANET became the technical core of what would become the Internet, and a primary tool in developing the technologies used.
The Merit Network
was formed in 1966 as the Michigan Educational Research Information Triad to explore computer networking between three of Michigan's public universities as a means to help the state's educational and economic development.
With initial support from the State of Michigan
and the National Science Foundation
(NSF), the packet-switched network was first demonstrated in December 1971 when an interactive host to host connection was made between the IBM mainframe computer
systems at the University of Michigan
in Ann Arbor
and Wayne State University
In October 1972 connections to the CDC
mainframe at Michigan State University
in East Lansing
completed the triad. Over the next several years in addition to host to host interactive connections the network was enhanced to support terminal to host connections, host to host batch connections (remote job submission, remote printing, batch file transfer), interactive file transfer, gateways to the Tymnet
and Telenet public data networks
host attachments, gateways to X.25 data networks, Ethernet
attached hosts, and eventually TCP/IP
and additional public universities in Michigan
join the network.
All of this set the stage for Merit's role in the NSFNET
project starting in the mid-1980s.
packet switching network was a French research network designed and directed by Louis Pouzin
. Building on the ideas of Donald Davies, Pouzin developed the network to explore alternatives to the early ARPANET design and to support internetworking research. First demonstrated in 1973, it was the first network to make the hosts responsible for reliable delivery of data, rather than the network itself, using unreliable datagrams
and associated end-to-end protocol
mechanisms. Concepts of this network influenced later ARPANET architecture.
X.25 and public data networks
interview with Arthur C. Clarke
, in which he describes a future of ubiquitous networked personal computers.
Based on international research initiatives, particularly the contributions of Rémi Després
, packet switching network standards were developed by the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee
(ITU-T) in the form of X.25
and related standards.
X.25 is built on the concept of virtual circuits
emulating traditional telephone connections. In 1974, X.25 formed the basis for the SERCnet network between British academic and research sites, which later became JANET
. The initial ITU Standard on X.25 was approved in March 1976.
Unlike ARPANET, X.25 was commonly available for business use. Telenet
offered its Telemail electronic mail service, which was also targeted to enterprise use rather than the general email system of the ARPANET.
The first public dial-in networks used asynchronous TTY
terminal protocols to reach a concentrator operated in the public network. Some networks, such as Telenet
, used X.25 to multiplex the terminal sessions into their packet-switched backbones, while others, such as Tymnet
, used proprietary protocols. In 1979, CompuServe became the first service to offer electronic mail
capabilities and technical support to personal computer users. The company broke new ground again in 1980 as the first to offer real-time chat
with its CB Simulator
. Other major dial-in networks were America Online
(AOL) and Prodigy
that also provided communications, content, and entertainment features.
Many bulletin board system
(BBS) networks also provided on-line access, such as FidoNet
which was popular amongst hobbyist computer users, many of them hackers
and amateur radio operators
, first computer networks appeared in the 1950s in missile defense
system at Sary Shagan
(firstly they were tested in Moscow at Lebedev Institute of Precision Mechanics and Computer Engineering
). In the 1960s, the massive computer network project called OGAS
was proposed but failed to be implemented.Apollo–Soyuz
USA–USSR joint space program (1972–1975) used digital data for spaceships transmitted between two countries.
Since the late 1970s, X.25 Soviet
networks began to appear and Academset
emerged in Leningrad
in 1978. By 1982 VNIIPAS
institute was created in Moscow
to serve as Academset's central node, which established X.25 regular connection to IIASA
in Austria (which allowed access to other worldwide networks). In 1983, VNIIPAS together with USA government and George Soros
created Soviet X.25 service provider called SFMT ("San Francisco — Moscow Teleport") that later became Sovam Teleport
("Soviet-American Teleport"). VNIIPAS also provided X.25 services, including over satellite, to Eastern bloc
countries together with Mongolia, Cuba and Vietnam. At the time, Western users of Usenet
were generally unaware of that, and considered such networking in USSR unexistent, so one of them on April 1, 1984 made an "April fool
" hoax about "Kremvax
" ("Kremlin VAX
") that gained some popularity for subsequent years. USSR nominally joined private Fidonet network in October 1990 when first node of Region 50
appeared in Novosibirsk
. Sovam Teleport in early 1990s became a first SWIFT
network provider for emerging Russian banks (over X.25). Some of the early Soviet/Russian networks were also initiated as parts of BITNET
UUCP and Usenet
In 1979, two students at Duke University
, Tom Truscott
and Jim Ellis
, originated the idea of using Bourne shell
scripts to transfer news and messages on a serial line UUCP
connection with nearby University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
. Following public release of the software in 1980, the mesh of UUCP hosts forwarding on the Usenet news rapidly expanded. UUCPnet, as it would later be named, also created gateways and links between FidoNet
and dial-up BBS hosts. UUCP networks spread quickly due to the lower costs involved, ability to use existing leased lines, X.25
links or even ARPANET
connections, and the lack of strict use policies compared to later networks like CSNET
. All connects were local. By 1981 the number of UUCP hosts had grown to 550, nearly doubling to 940 in 1984.
, operating since 1987 and officially founded in Italy in 1989, based its interconnectivity upon UUCP to redistribute mail and news groups messages throughout its Italian nodes (about 100 at the time) owned both by private individuals and small companies. Sublink Network represented possibly one of the first examples of the Internet technology becoming progress through popular diffusion.
1973–1989: Merging the networks and creating the Internet
Map of the TCP/IP
test network in February 1982
With so many different network methods, something was needed to unify them. Bob Kahn
recruited Vinton Cerf
of Stanford University
to work with him on the problem. Steve Crocker
formed an ARPA "Networking Working Group" with Vint Cerf. Concurrently, an International Networking Working Group
formed in 1972; active members included Vint Cerf, Alex McKenzie, Donald Davies
, Roger Scantlebury
, Louis Pouzin
and Hubert Zimmermann
By 1973, these groups had worked out a fundamental reformulation, where the differences between network protocols were hidden by using a common internetwork protocol, and instead of the network being responsible for reliability, as in the ARPANET, the hosts became responsible.
This work also coined the term catenet
Khan and Cerf published their ideas in 1974, which incorporated concepts proposed by Louis Pouzin and Hubert Zimmermann, designers of the CYCLADES
The specification of the resulting protocol, the Transmission Control Program
, was published as RFC 675
by the Network Working Group in December 1974.
It contains the first attested use of the term internet
, as a shorthand for internetwork
. This software was monolithic in design using two simplex communication
channels for each user session.
With the role of the network reduced to a core of functionality, it became possible to exchange traffic with other networks independently from their detailed characteristics, thereby solving the fundamental problems of internetworking
. DARPA agreed to fund development of prototype software. Testing began in 1975 through concurrent implementations at Stanford, BBN and University College London
After several years of work, the first demonstration of a gateway between the Packet Radio network
(PRNET) in the SF Bay area and the ARPANET was conducted by the Stanford Research Institute
. On November 22, 1977 a three network demonstration was conducted including the ARPANET, the SRI's Packet Radio Van
on the Packet Radio Network and the Atlantic Packet Satellite Network
The software was redesigned as a modular protocol stack, using full-duplex channels. Between 1976 and 1977, Yogen Dalal
proposed separating TCP's routing
and transmission control functions into two discrete layers,
which led to the splitting of the Transmission Control Program into the Transmission Control Protocol
(TCP) and the IP protocol
(IP) in version 3 in 1978.
Originally referred to as IP/TCP
, version 4
was described in IETF
publication RFC 791 (September 1981), 792 and 793. It was installed on SATNET
in 1982 and the ARPANET in January 1983 after the DoD made it standard for all military computer networking.
This resulted in a networking model that became known informally as TCP/IP. It was also referred to as the Department of Defense (DoD) model, DARPA model, or ARPANET model.
Cerf credits his graduate students Yogen Dalal, Carl Sunshine, Judy Estrin
, and Richard Karp
, with important work on the design and testing.
DARPA sponsored or encouraged the development of TCP/IP implementations
for many operating systems.
Decomposition of the quad-dotted IPv4 address representation to its binary
IPv4 uses 32-bit
addresses which limits the address space
addresses, i.e. 4294967296
The last available IPv4 address was assigned in January 2011.
IPv4 is being replaced by its successor, called "IPv6
", which uses 128 bit addresses, providing 2128
addresses, i.e. 340282366920938463463374607431768211456
This is a vastly increased address space. The shift to IPv6 is expected to take many years, decades, or perhaps longer, to complete, since there were four billion machines with IPv4 when the shift began.
From ARPANET to NSFNET
After the ARPANET had been up and running for several years, ARPA looked for another agency to hand off the network to; ARPA's primary mission was funding cutting edge research and development, not running a communications utility. Eventually, in July 1975, the network had been turned over to the Defense Communications Agency
, also part of the Department of Defense
. In 1983, the U.S. military
portion of the ARPANET was broken off as a separate network, the MILNET
. MILNET subsequently became the unclassified but military-only NIPRNET
, in parallel with the SECRET-level SIPRNET
for TOP SECRET and above. NIPRNET does have controlled security gateways to the public Internet.
The networks based on the ARPANET were government funded and therefore restricted to noncommercial uses such as research; unrelated commercial use was strictly forbidden. This initially restricted connections to military sites and universities. During the 1980s, the connections expanded to more educational institutions, and even to a growing number of companies such as Digital Equipment Corporation
, which were participating in research projects or providing services to those who were.
T3 NSFNET Backbone, c. 1992
NASA developed the TCP/IP based NASA Science Network (NSN) in the mid-1980s, connecting space scientists to data and information stored anywhere in the world. In 1989, the DECnet
-based Space Physics Analysis Network (SPAN) and the TCP/IP-based NASA Science Network (NSN) were brought together at NASA Ames Research Center creating the first multiprotocol wide area network called the NASA Science Internet, or NSI. NSI was established to provide a totally integrated communications infrastructure to the NASA scientific community for the advancement of earth, space and life sciences. As a high-speed, multiprotocol, international network, NSI provided connectivity to over 20,000 scientists across all seven continents.
In 1981 NSF supported the development of the Computer Science Network
(CSNET). CSNET connected with ARPANET using TCP/IP, and ran TCP/IP over X.25
, but it also supported departments without sophisticated network connections, using automated dial-up mail exchange.
In 1986, the NSF created NSFNET
, a 56 kbit/s backbone
to support the NSF-sponsored supercomputing
centers. The NSFNET also provided support for the creation of regional research and education networks in the United States, and for the connection of university and college campus networks to the regional networks.
The use of NSFNET and the regional networks was not limited to supercomputer users and the 56 kbit/s network quickly became overloaded. NSFNET was upgraded to 1.5 Mbit/s in 1988 under a cooperative agreement with the Merit Network
in partnership with IBM
, and the State of Michigan
. The existence of NSFNET and the creation of Federal Internet Exchanges
(FIXes) allowed the ARPANET to be decommissioned in 1990.
NSFNET was expanded and upgraded to 45 Mbit/s in 1991, and was decommissioned in 1995 when it was replaced by backbones operated by several commercial Internet service providers
The research and academic community continues to develop and use advanced networks such as Internet2
in the United States and JANET
in the United Kingdom.
Transition towards the Internet
The term "internet" was reflected in the first RFC published on the TCP protocol (RFC 675:
Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974) as a short form of internetworking
, when the two terms were used interchangeably. In general, an internet was a collection of networks linked by a common protocol. In the time period when the ARPANET was connected to the newly formed NSFNET
project in the late 1980s, the term was used as the name of the network, Internet, being the large and global TCP/IP network.
As interest in networking grew by needs of collaboration, exchange of data, and access of remote computing resources, the TCP/IP technologies spread throughout the rest of the world. The hardware-agnostic approach in TCP/IP supported the use of existing network infrastructure, such as the International Packet Switched Service
(IPSS) X.25 network, to carry Internet traffic.
Many sites unable to link directly to the Internet created simple gateways for the transfer of electronic mail, the most important application of the time. Sites with only intermittent connections used UUCP
and relied on the gateways between these networks and the Internet. Some gateway services went beyond simple mail peering, such as allowing access to File Transfer Protocol
(FTP) sites via UUCP or mail.
TCP/IP goes global (1980s) CERN, the European Internet, the link to the Pacific and beyond
In early 1982, NORSAR
and Peter Kirstein's
group at University College London (UCL) left the ARPANET and began to use TCP/IP over SATNET.
UCL provided access between the Internet and academic networks in the UK.
Between 1984 and 1988 CERN
began installation and operation of TCP/IP to interconnect its major internal computer systems, workstations, PCs and an accelerator control system. CERN continued to operate a limited self-developed system (CERNET) internally and several incompatible (typically proprietary) network protocols externally. There was considerable resistance in Europe towards more widespread use of TCP/IP, and the CERN TCP/IP intranets remained isolated from the Internet until 1989 when a transatlantic connection to Cornell University was established.
In 1988, the first international connections to NSFNET
was established by France's INRIA
and Piet Beertema
at the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
(CWI) in the Netherlands.
Daniel Karrenberg, from CWI, visited Ben Segal, CERN's TCP/IP coordinator, looking for advice about the transition EUnet
, the European side of the UUCP Usenet network (much of which ran over X.25 links), over to TCP/IP. The previous year, Segal had met with Len Bosack
from the then still small company Cisco
about purchasing some TCP/IP routers for CERN, and Segal was able to give Karrenberg advice and forward him on to Cisco for the appropriate hardware. This expanded the European portion of the Internet across the existing UUCP networks. The NORDUnet
connection to NSFNET was in place soon after, providing open access for university students in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
In January 1989 CERN opened its first external TCP/IP connections.
This coincided with the creation of Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE
), initially a group of IP network administrators who met regularly to carry out coordination work together. Later, in 1992, RIPE was formally registered as a cooperative
At the same time as the rise of internetworking in Europe, ad hoc networking to ARPA and in-between Australian universities formed, based on various technologies such as X.25 and UUCP
Net. These were limited in their connection to the global networks, due to the cost of making individual international UUCP dial-up or X.25 connections. In 1989, Australian universities joined the push towards using IP protocols to unify their networking infrastructures. AARNet
was formed in 1989 by the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee
and provided a dedicated IP based network for Australia. New Zealand's first international Internet connection was established the same year.
In May 1982 South Korea set up a two-node domestic TCP/IP network, adding a third node the following year.
Japan, which had built the UUCP-based network JUNET
in 1984, connected to NSFNET
in 1989 marking the spread of the Internet to Asia. It hosted the annual meeting of the Internet Society
, INET'92, in Kobe
. Singapore developed TECHNET
in 1990, and Thailand gained a global Internet connection between Chulalongkorn University and UUNET in 1992.
The early global "digital divide" emerges
While developed countries with technological infrastructures were joining the Internet, developing countries began to experience a digital divide
separating them from the Internet. On an essentially continental basis, they are building organizations for Internet resource administration and sharing operational experience, as more and more transmission facilities go into place.
At the beginning of the 1990s, African countries relied upon X.25 IPSS
and 2400 baud modem UUCP links for international and internetwork computer communications.
In August 1995, InfoMail Uganda, Ltd., a privately held firm in Kampala now known as InfoCom, and NSN Network Services of Avon, Colorado, sold in 1997 and now known as Clear Channel Satellite, established Africa's first native TCP/IP high-speed satellite Internet services. The data connection was originally carried by a C-Band RSCC Russian satellite which connected InfoMail's Kampala offices directly to NSN's MAE-West point of presence using a private network from NSN's leased ground station in New Jersey. InfoCom's first satellite connection was just 64 kbit/s, serving a Sun host computer and twelve US Robotics dial-up modems.
Africa is building an Internet infrastructure. AFRINIC
, headquartered in Mauritius
, manages IP address allocation for the continent. As do the other Internet regions, there is an operational forum, the Internet Community of Operational Networking Specialists.
There are many programs to provide high-performance transmission plant, and the western and southern coasts have undersea optical cable. High-speed cables join North Africa and the Horn of Africa to intercontinental cable systems. Undersea cable development is slower for East Africa; the original joint effort between New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
and the East Africa Submarine System (Eassy) has broken off and may become two efforts.
Asia and Oceania
South Korea's first Internet system, the System Development Network (SDN) began operation on 15 May 1982. SDN was connected to the rest of the world in August 1983 using UUCP (Unixto-Unix-Copy); connected to CSNET in December 1984; and formally connected to the U.S. Internet in 1990.
In 1991, the People's Republic of China saw its first TCP/IP
college network, Tsinghua University
's TUNET. The PRC went on to make its first global Internet connection in 1994, between the Beijing Electro-Spectrometer Collaboration and Stanford University
's Linear Accelerator Center. However, China went on to implement its own digital divide by implementing a country-wide content filter
1989–2004: Rise of the global Internet, Web 1.0
Initially, as with its predecessor networks, the system that would evolve into the Internet was primarily for government and government body use. However, interest in commercial use of the Internet quickly became a commonly debated topic. Although commercial use was forbidden, the exact definition of commercial use was unclear and subjective. UUCP
Net and the X.25 IPSS had no such restrictions, which would eventually see the official barring of UUCPNet use of ARPANET
connections. (Some UUCP links still remained connecting to these networks however, as administrators cast a blind eye to their operation.)
Number of Internet hosts worldwide: 1969–present
In 1992, the U.S. Congress passed the Scientific and Advanced-Technology Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1862(g)
, which allowed NSF to support access by the research and education communities to computer networks which were not used exclusively for research and education purposes, thus permitting NSFNET to interconnect with commercial networks.
This caused controversy within the research and education community, who were concerned commercial use of the network might lead to an Internet that was less responsive to their needs, and within the community of commercial network providers, who felt that government subsidies were giving an unfair advantage to some organizations.
By 1990, ARPANET's goals had been fulfilled and new networking technologies exceeded the original scope and the project came to a close. New network service providers including PSINet
, CERFNet, ANS CO+RE, and many others were offering network access to commercial customers. NSFNET
was no longer the de facto backbone and exchange point of the Internet. The Commercial Internet eXchange
(CIX), Metropolitan Area Exchanges
(MAEs), and later Network Access Points
(NAPs) were becoming the primary interconnections between many networks. The final restrictions on carrying commercial traffic ended on April 30, 1995 when the National Science Foundation ended its sponsorship of the NSFNET Backbone Service and the service ended.
NSF provided initial support for the NAPs and interim support to help the regional research and education networks transition to commercial ISPs. NSF also sponsored the very high speed Backbone Network Service
(vBNS) which continued to provide support for the supercomputing centers and research and education in the United States.
World Wide Web and introduction of browsers
Precursors to the web browser emerged in the form of hyperlinked
applications during the mid and late 1980s (the bare concept of hyperlinking had by then existed for some decades). Following these, Tim Berners-Lee
is credited with inventing the World Wide Web in 1989 and developing in 1990 both the first web server
, and the first web browser, called WorldWideWeb
(no spaces) and later renamed Nexus.
Many others were soon developed, with Marc Andreessen
's 1993 Mosaic
being particularly easy to use and install, and often credited with sparking the Internet boom of the 1990s.
Other major web browsers have been Internet Explorer
, Google Chrome
, Microsoft Edge
was a graphical browser which ran on several popular office and home computers.
It is credited with first bringing multimedia content to non-technical users by including images and text on the same page, unlike previous browser designs;
Marc Andreessen, its creator, also established the company that in 1994, released Netscape Navigator
, which resulted in one of the early browser wars
, when it ended up in a competition for dominance (which it lost) with Microsoft Windows
' Internet Explorer
, which was bundled with Windows which in turn led to the United States v. Microsoft Corporation
antitrust lawsuit. The Web began to enter general use in 1993-4, when websites for everyday use
started to become available.
Commercial use restrictions were lifted in 1995. In the US, the online service America Online
(AOL) offered their users a connection to the Internet via their own internal browser, using a dial-up internet
connection. Faster Broadband internet
connections have replaced many dial-up connections since the beginning of the 2000s.
Use in wider society
During the first decade or so of the public Internet, the immense changes it would eventually enable in the 2000s were still nascent. In terms of providing context for this period, mobile cellular devices
("smartphones" and other cellular devices) which today provide near-universal access, were used for business and not a routine household item owned by parents and children worldwide. Social media
in the modern sense had yet to come into existence, laptops were bulky and most households did not have computers. Data rates were slow and most people lacked means to video or digitize video; media storage was transitioning slowly from analog
tape to digital optical discs
and to an extent still, floppy disc
). Enabling technologies used from the early 2000s such as PHP
, technologies such as AJAX
, HTML 4
(and its emphasis on CSS
), and various software frameworks
, which enabled and simplified speed of web development, largely awaited invention and their eventual widespread adoption.
The Internet was widely used for mailing lists
and early popular online shopping
for example), online forums
and bulletin boards
, and personal websites and blogs
, and use was growing rapidly, but by more modern standards the systems used were static and lacked widespread social engagement. It awaited a number of events in the early 2000s to change from a communications technology to gradually develop into a key part of global society's infrastructure.
With the call to Web 2.0 following soon afterward, the period of the Internet up to around 2004–2005 was retrospectively named and described by some as Web 1.0.
2004–present: Web 2.0, global ubiquity, social media
The changes that would propel the Internet into its place as a social system took place during a relatively short period of no more than five years, from around 2004 to 2009. They included:
- The call to "Web 2.0" in 2004 (first suggested in 1999),
- Accelerating adoption and commoditization among households of, and familiarity with, the necessary hardware (such as computers).
- Accelerating storage technology and data access speeds – hard drives emerged, took over from far smaller, slower floppy discs, and grew from megabytes to gigabytes (and by around 2010, terabytes), RAM from hundreds of kilobytes to gigabytes as typical amounts on a system, and Ethernet, the enabling technology for TCP/IP, moved from common speeds of kilobits to tens of megabits per second, to gigabits per second.
- High speed Internet and wider coverage of data connections, at lower prices, allowing larger traffic rates, more reliable simpler traffic, and traffic from more locations,
- The gradually accelerating perception of the ability of computers to create new means and approaches to communication, the emergence of social media and websites such as Twitter and Facebook to their later prominence, and global collaborations such as Wikipedia (which existed before but gained prominence as a result),
- The mobile revolution, which provided access to the Internet to much of human society of all ages, in their daily lives, and allowed them to share, discuss, and continually update, inquire, and respond.
- Non-volatile RAM rapidly grew in size and reliability, and decreased in price, becoming a commodity capable of enabling high levels of computing activity on these small handheld devices as well as solid-state drives (SSD).
- An emphasis on power efficient processor and device design, rather than purely high processing power; one of the beneficiaries of this was ARM, a British company which had focused since the 1980s on powerful but low cost simple microprocessors. ARM architecture rapidly gained dominance in the market for mobile and embedded devices.
"The Web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static screenfuls, is only an embryo of the Web to come. The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop. The Web will be understood not as screenfuls of text and graphics but as a transport mechanism, the ether through which interactivity happens. It will [...] appear on your computer screen, [...] on your TV set [...] your car dashboard [...] your cell phone [...] hand-held game machines [...] maybe even your microwave oven."
The term resurfaced during 2002–2004,
and gained prominence in late 2004 following presentations by Tim O'Reilly
and Dale Dougherty at the first Web 2.0 Conference
. In their opening remarks, John Battelle
and Tim O'Reilly outlined their definition of the "Web as Platform", where software applications are built upon the Web as opposed to upon the desktop. The unique aspect of this migration, they argued, is that "customers are building your business for you".
They argued that the activities of users generating content (in the form of ideas, text, videos, or pictures) could be "harnessed" to create value.
Web 2.0 does not refer to an update to any technical specification, but rather to cumulative changes in the way Web pages are made and used. Web 2.0 describes an approach, in which sites focus substantially upon allowing users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media
dialogue as creators of user-generated content
in a virtual community
, in contrast to Web sites where people are limited to the passive viewing of content
. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking services
, video sharing
sites, hosted services
, Web applications
, and mashups
, in his 3rd Edition of New Media
described what he believed to characterize the differences between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0:
"[The] move from personal websites to blogs and blog site aggregation, from publishing to participation, from web content as the outcome of large up-front investment to an ongoing and interactive process, and from content management systems to links based on tagging (folksonomy
This era saw several household names gain prominence through their community-oriented operation – YouTube
, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit
and Wikipedia being some examples.
The mobile revolution
The process of change that generally coincided with "Web 2.0" was itself greatly accelerated and transformed only a short time later by the increasing growth in mobile devices. This mobile revolution meant that computers in the form of smartphones became something many people used, took with them everywhere, communicated with, used for photographs and videos they instantly shared or to shop or seek information "on the move" – and used socially, as opposed to items on a desk at home or just used for work.
Location-based services, services using location and other sensor information, and crowdsourcing
(frequently but not always location based), became common, with posts tagged by location, or websites and services becoming location aware. Mobile-targeted websites (such as "m.website.com") became common, designed especially for the new devices used. Netbooks
, widespread 4G
, and mobile chips capable or running at nearly the power of desktops from not many years before on far lower power usage, became enablers of this stage of Internet development, and the term "App
" emerged (short for "Application program" or "Program") as did the "App store
This "mobile revolution" has allowed for people to have a nearly unlimited amount of information at their fingertips. With the ability to access the internet from cell phones came a change in the way we consume media. In fact, looking at media consumption statistics, over half of media consumption between those aged 18 and 34 were using a smartphone.
Networking in outer space
The first Internet link into low earth orbit
was established on January 22, 2010 when astronaut T. J. Creamer
posted the first unassisted update to his Twitter account from the International Space Station
, marking the extension of the Internet into space.
(Astronauts at the ISS had used email and Twitter before, but these messages had been relayed to the ground through a NASA data link before being posted by a human proxy.) This personal Web access, which NASA calls the Crew Support LAN, uses the space station's high-speed Ku band
microwave link. To surf the Web, astronauts can use a station laptop computer to control a desktop computer on Earth, and they can talk to their families and friends on Earth using Voice over IP
Communication with spacecraft beyond earth orbit has traditionally been over point-to-point links through the Deep Space Network
. Each such data link must be manually scheduled and configured. In the late 1990s NASA and Google began working on a new network protocol, Delay-tolerant networking
(DTN) which automates this process, allows networking of spaceborne transmission nodes, and takes the fact into account that spacecraft can temporarily lose contact because they move behind the Moon or planets, or because space weather
disrupts the connection. Under such conditions, DTN retransmits data packages instead of dropping them, as the standard TCP/IP Internet Protocol does. NASA conducted the first field test of what it calls the "deep space internet" in November 2008.
Testing of DTN-based communications between the International Space Station and Earth (now termed Disruption-Tolerant Networking) has been ongoing since March 2009, and is scheduled to continue until March 2014.
This network technology is supposed to ultimately enable missions that involve multiple spacecraft where reliable inter-vessel communication might take precedence over vessel-to-earth downlinks. According to a February 2011 statement by Google's Vint Cerf
, the so-called "Bundle protocols" have been uploaded to NASA's EPOXI
mission spacecraft (which is in orbit around the Sun) and communication with Earth has been tested at a distance of approximately 80 light seconds.
NIC, InterNIC, IANA, and ICANN
As the early ARPANET grew, hosts were referred to by names, and a HOSTS.TXT file would be distributed from SRI International
to each host on the network. As the network grew, this became cumbersome. A technical solution came in the form of the Domain Name System
, created by ISI's Paul Mockapetris
The Defense Data Network—Network Information Center (DDN-NIC) at SRI handled all registration services, including the top-level domains
(TLDs) of .mil
, root nameserver
administration and Internet number assignments under a United States Department of Defense
In 1991, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) awarded the administration and maintenance of DDN-NIC (managed by SRI up until this point) to Government Systems, Inc., who subcontracted it to the small private-sector Network Solutions, Inc.
The increasing cultural diversity of the Internet also posed administrative challenges for centralized management of the IP addresses. In October 1992, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) published RFC 1366,
which described the "growth of the Internet and its increasing globalization" and set out the basis for an evolution of the IP registry process, based on a regionally distributed registry model. This document stressed the need for a single Internet number registry to exist in each geographical region of the world (which would be of "continental dimensions"). Registries would be "unbiased and widely recognized by network providers and subscribers" within their region. The RIPE Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) was established as the first RIR in May 1992. The second RIR, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), was established in Tokyo in 1993, as a pilot project of the Asia Pacific Networking Group.
Since at this point in history most of the growth on the Internet was coming from non-military sources, it was decided that the Department of Defense
would no longer fund registration services outside of the .mil TLD. In 1993 the U.S. National Science Foundation
, after a competitive bidding process in 1992, created the InterNIC
to manage the allocations of addresses and management of the address databases, and awarded the contract to three organizations. Registration Services would be provided by Network Solutions
; Directory and Database Services would be provided by AT&T
; and Information Services would be provided by General Atomics
Over time, after consultation with the IANA, the IETF
, RIPE NCC
, and the Federal Networking Council
(FNC), the decision was made to separate the management of domain names from the management of IP numbers.
Following the examples of RIPE NCC and APNIC, it was recommended that management of IP address space then administered by the InterNIC should be under the control of those that use it, specifically the ISPs, end-user organizations, corporate entities, universities, and individuals. As a result, the American Registry for Internet Numbers
(ARIN) was established as in December 1997, as an independent, not-for-profit corporation by direction of the National Science Foundation
and became the third Regional Internet Registry.
In 1998, both the IANA and remaining DNS-related InterNIC functions were reorganized under the control of ICANN
, a California non-profit corporation
contracted by the United States Department of Commerce
to manage a number of Internet-related tasks. As these tasks involved technical coordination for two principal Internet name spaces (DNS names and IP addresses) created by the IETF, ICANN also signed a memorandum of understanding with the IAB to define the technical work to be carried out by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.
The management of Internet address space remained with the regional Internet registries, which collectively were defined as a supporting organization within the ICANN structure.
ICANN provides central coordination for the DNS system, including policy coordination for the split registry / registrar system, with competition among registry service providers to serve each top-level-domain and multiple competing registrars offering DNS services to end-users.
Internet Engineering Task Force
The IETF is a loosely self-organized group of international volunteers who contribute to the engineering and evolution of Internet technologies. It is the principal body engaged in the development of new Internet standard specifications. Much of the work of the IETF is organized into Working Groups
. Standardization efforts of the Working Groups are often adopted by the Internet community, but the IETF does not control or patrol the Internet.
The IETF grew out of quarterly meetings with U.S. government-funded researchers, starting in January 1986. Non-government representatives were invited by the fourth IETF meeting in October 1986. The concept of Working Groups was introduced at the fifth meeting in February 1987. The seventh meeting in July 1987 was the first meeting with more than one hundred attendees. In 1992, the Internet Society
, a professional membership society, was formed and IETF began to operate under it as an independent international standards body. The first IETF meeting outside of the United States was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in July 1993. Today, the IETF meets three times per year and attendance has been as high as ca. 2,000 participants. Typically one in three IETF meetings are held in Europe or Asia. The number of non-US attendees is typically ca. 50%, even at meetings held in the United States.
Request for Comments
Request for Comments
(RFCs) are the main documentation for the work of the IAB, IESG, IETF, and IRTF. RFC 1, "Host Software", was written by Steve Crocker at UCLA
in April 1969, well before the IETF was created. Originally they were technical memos documenting aspects of ARPANET development and were edited by Jon Postel
, the first RFC Editor
RFCs cover a wide range of information from proposed standards, draft standards, full standards, best practices, experimental protocols, history, and other informational topics.
RFCs can be written by individuals or informal groups of individuals, but many are the product of a more formal Working Group. Drafts are submitted to the IESG either by individuals or by the Working Group Chair. An RFC Editor, appointed by the IAB, separate from IANA, and working in conjunction with the IESG, receives drafts from the IESG and edits, formats, and publishes them. Once an RFC is published, it is never revised. If the standard it describes changes or its information becomes obsolete, the revised standard or updated information will be re-published as a new RFC that "obsoletes" the original.
The Internet Society
The Internet Society
(ISOC) is an international, nonprofit organization founded during 1992 "to assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world". With offices near Washington, DC, USA, and in Geneva, Switzerland, ISOC has a membership base comprising more than 80 organizational and more than 50,000 individual members. Members also form "chapters" based on either common geographical location or special interests. There are currently more than 90 chapters around the world.
Globalization and Internet governance in the 21st century
Since the 1990s, the Internet's governance
and organization has been of global importance to governments, commerce, civil society, and individuals. The organizations which held control of certain technical aspects of the Internet were the successors of the old ARPANET oversight and the current decision-makers in the day-to-day technical aspects of the network. While recognized as the administrators of certain aspects of the Internet, their roles and their decision-making authority are limited and subject to increasing international scrutiny and increasing objections. These objections have led to the ICANN removing themselves from relationships with first the University of Southern California
and in September 2009, gaining autonomy from the US government by the ending of its longstanding agreements, although some contractual obligations with the U.S. Department of Commerce continued.
Finally, on October 1, 2016 ICANN ended its contract with the United States Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), allowing oversight to pass to the global Internet community.
The IETF, with financial and organizational support from the Internet Society, continues to serve as the Internet's ad-hoc standards body and issues Request for Comments
In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society
, held in Tunis
, called for an Internet Governance Forum
(IGF) to be convened by United Nations Secretary General
. The IGF opened an ongoing, non-binding conversation among stakeholders representing governments, the private sector, civil society, and the technical and academic communities about the future of Internet governance. The first IGF meeting was held in October/November 2006 with follow up meetings annually thereafter.
Since WSIS, the term "Internet governance" has been broadened beyond narrow technical concerns to include a wider range of Internet-related policy issues.
, inventor of the web, was becoming concerned about threats to the web's future and in November 2009 at the IGF in Washington DC launched the World Wide Web Foundation
(WWWF) to campaign to make the web a safe and empowering tool for the good of humanity with access to all.
In November 2019 at the IGF in Berlin, Berners-Lee and the WWWF went on to launch the Contract for the Web
, a campaign initiative to persuade governments, companies and citizens to commit to nine principles to stop "misuse" with the warning "If we don't act now - and act together - to prevent the web being misused by those who want to exploit, divide and undermine, we are at risk of squandering" (its potential for good).
Politicization of the Internet
Due to its prominence and immediacy as an effective means of mass communication, the Internet has also become more politicized
as it has grown. This has led in turn, to discourses and activities that would once have taken place in other ways, migrating to being mediated by internet.
- The spreading of ideas and opinions;
- Recruitment of followers, and "coming together" of members of the public, for ideas, products, and causes;
- Providing and widely distributing and sharing information that might be deemed sensitive or relates to whistleblowing (and efforts by specific countries to prevent this by censorship);
- Criminal activity and terrorism (and resulting law enforcement use, together with its facilitation by mass surveillance);
- Politically-motivated fake news.
On April 23, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) was reported to be considering a new rule that would permit Internet service providers
to offer content providers a faster track to send content, thus reversing their earlier net neutrality
A possible solution to net neutrality concerns may be municipal broadband
, according to Professor Susan Crawford
, a legal and technology expert at Harvard Law School
On May 15, 2014, the FCC decided to consider two options regarding Internet services: first, permit fast and slow broadband lanes, thereby compromising net neutrality; and second, reclassify broadband as a telecommunication
service, thereby preserving net neutrality.
On November 10, 2014, President Obama
recommended the FCC reclassify broadband Internet service as a telecommunications service in order to preserve net neutrality
On January 16, 2015, Republicans
presented legislation, in the form of a U.S. Congress HR discussion draft bill
, that makes concessions to net neutrality but prohibits the FCC from accomplishing the goal or enacting any further regulation affecting Internet service providers
On January 31, 2015, AP News
reported that the FCC will present the notion of applying ("with some caveats") Title II (common carrier)
of the Communications Act of 1934
to the internet in a vote expected on February 26, 2015.
Adoption of this notion would reclassify internet service from one of information to one of telecommunications
and, according to Tom Wheeler
, chairman of the FCC, ensure net neutrality
The FCC is expected to enforce net neutrality in its vote, according to The New York Times
On March 12, 2015, the FCC released the specific details of the net neutrality rules.
On April 13, 2015, the FCC published the final rule on its new "Net Neutrality
On December 14, 2017, the F.C.C Repealed their March 12, 2015 decision by a 3–2 vote regarding net neutrality rules.
Use and culture
The ARPANET computer network made a large contribution to the evolution of electronic mail. An experimental inter-system transferred mail on the ARPANET shortly after its creation.
In 1971 Ray Tomlinson
created what was to become the standard Internet electronic mail addressing format, using the @ sign
to separate mailbox names from host names.
A number of protocols were developed to deliver messages among groups of time-sharing computers over alternative transmission systems, such as UUCP
email system. Email could be passed this way between a number of networks, including ARPANET
, as well as to hosts connected directly to other sites via UUCP. See the history of SMTP
In addition, UUCP allowed the publication of text files that could be read by many others. The News software developed by Steve Daniel and Tom Truscott
in 1979 was used to distribute news and bulletin board-like messages. This quickly grew into discussion groups, known as newsgroups
, on a wide range of topics. On ARPANET and NSFNET similar discussion groups would form via mailing lists
, discussing both technical issues and more culturally focused topics (such as science fiction, discussed on the sflovers mailing list).
During the early years of the Internet, email and similar mechanisms were also fundamental to allow people to access resources that were not available due to the absence of online connectivity. UUCP was often used to distribute files using the 'alt.binary' groups. Also, FTP e-mail gateways
allowed people that lived outside the US and Europe to download files using ftp commands written inside email messages. The file was encoded, broken in pieces and sent by email; the receiver had to reassemble and decode it later, and it was the only way for people living overseas to download items such as the earlier Linux versions using the slow dial-up connections available at the time. After the popularization of the Web and the HTTP protocol such tools were slowly abandoned.
From Gopher to the WWW
As the Internet grew through the 1980s and early 1990s, many people realized the increasing need to be able to find and organize files and information. Projects such as Archie
, and the FTP Archive list attempted to create ways to organize distributed data. In the early 1990s, Gopher, invented by Mark P. McCahill
offered a viable alternative to the World Wide Web
. However, in 1993 the World Wide Web saw many advances to indexing and ease of access through search engines, which often neglected Gopher and Gopherspace. As popularity increased through ease of use, investment incentives also grew until in the middle of 1994 the WWW's popularity gained the upper hand. Then it became clear that Gopher and the other projects were doomed to fall short.
In 1989, while working at CERN
, Tim Berners-Lee
invented a network-based implementation of the hypertext concept. By releasing his invention to public use, he encouraged widespread use.
For his work in developing the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee received the Millennium technology prize
One early popular web browser, modeled after HyperCard
, was ViolaWWW
Mosaic was superseded in 1994 by Andreessen's Netscape Navigator
, which replaced Mosaic as the world's most popular browser. While it held this title for some time, eventually competition from Internet Explorer
and a variety of other browsers almost completely displaced it. Another important event held on January 11, 1994, was The Superhighway Summit
's Royce Hall. This was the "first public conference bringing together all of the major industry, government and academic leaders in the field [and] also began the national dialogue about the Information Superhighway
and its implications."
Even before the World Wide Web, there were search engines that attempted to organize the Internet. The first of these was the Archie search engine
from McGill University in 1990, followed in 1991 by WAIS
and Gopher. All three of those systems predated the invention of the World Wide Web but all continued to index the Web and the rest of the Internet for several years after the Web appeared. There are still Gopher servers as of 2006, although there are a great many more web servers.
As the Web grew, search engines
and Web directories
were created to track pages on the Web and allow people to find things. The first full-text Web search engine was WebCrawler
in 1994. Before WebCrawler, only Web page titles were searched. Another early search engine, Lycos
, was created in 1993 as a university project, and was the first to achieve commercial success. During the late 1990s, both Web directories and Web search engines were popular—Yahoo!
(founded 1994) and Altavista
(founded 1995) were the respective industry leaders. By August 2001, the directory model had begun to give way to search engines, tracking the rise of Google
(founded 1998), which had developed new approaches to relevancy ranking
. Directory features, while still commonly available, became after-thoughts to search engines.
Google's "Knowledge Panel" this is how information from the Knowledge Graph is presented to users.
Database size, which had been a significant marketing feature through the early 2000s, was similarly displaced by emphasis on relevancy ranking, the methods by which search engines attempt to sort the best results first. Relevancy ranking first became a major issue circa 1996, when it became apparent that it was impractical to review full lists of results. Consequently, algorithms
for relevancy ranking have continuously improved. Google's PageRank
method for ordering the results has received the most press, but all major search engines continually refine their ranking methodologies with a view toward improving the ordering of results. As of 2006, search engine rankings are more important than ever, so much so that an industry has developed ("search engine optimizers
", or "SEO") to help web-developers improve their search ranking, and an entire body of case law
has developed around matters that affect search engine rankings, such as use of trademarks
. The sale of search rankings by some search engines has also created controversy among librarians and consumer advocates.
Today, Google has made strides to transform the search engine experience for users. With Google's addition of the Google Knowledge Graph
, there has been a significant affect on the internet as a whole, possibly even limiting certain websites traffic, including Wikipedia. By pulling information from Wikipedia and presenting it on Google's page, some argue that it can negatively affect Wikipedia and other sites. However, there have been no immediate concerns between Wikipedia and the Knowledge Graph.
Resource or file sharing has been an important activity on computer networks from well before the Internet was established and was supported in a variety of ways including bulletin board systems
(1981), and many others. The File Transfer Protocol
(FTP) for use on the Internet was standardized in 1985 and is still in use today.
A variety of tools were developed to aid the use of FTP by helping users discover files they might want to transfer, including the Wide Area Information Server
(WAIS) in 1991, Gopher
in 1991, Archie
in 1991, Veronica
in 1992, Jughead
in 1993, Internet Relay Chat
(IRC) in 1988, and eventually the World Wide Web
(WWW) in 1991 with Web directories
and Web search engines
In 1999, Napster
became the first peer-to-peer file sharing
Napster used a central server for indexing and peer discovery, but the storage and transfer of files was decentralized. A variety of peer-to-peer file sharing programs and services with different levels of decentralization and anonymity
followed, including: Gnutella
, and Freenet
in 2000, FastTrack
, and BitTorrent
in 2001, and Poisoned
All of these tools are general purpose and can be used to share a wide variety of content, but sharing of music files, software, and later movies and videos are major uses.
And while some of this sharing is legal, large portions are not. Lawsuits and other legal actions caused Napster in 2001, eDonkey2000 in 2005, Kazaa
in 2006, and Limewire in 2010 to shut down or refocus their efforts. The Pirate Bay
, founded in Sweden in 2003, continues despite a trial and appeal in 2009 and 2010
that resulted in jail terms and large fines for several of its founders.
File sharing remains contentious and controversial with charges of theft of intellectual property
on the one hand and charges of censorship
on the other.
Suddenly the low price of reaching millions worldwide, and the possibility of selling to or hearing from those people at the same moment when they were reached, promised to overturn established business dogma in advertising, mail-order
sales, customer relationship management
, and many more areas. The web was a new killer app
—it could bring together unrelated buyers and sellers in seamless and low-cost ways. Entrepreneurs around the world developed new business models, and ran to their nearest venture capitalist
. While some of the new entrepreneurs had experience in business and economics, the majority were simply people with ideas, and did not manage the capital influx prudently. Additionally, many dot-com business plans were predicated on the assumption that by using the Internet, they would bypass the distribution channels of existing businesses and therefore not have to compete with them; when the established businesses with strong existing brands developed their own Internet presence, these hopes were shattered, and the newcomers were left attempting to break into markets dominated by larger, more established businesses. Many did not have the ability to do so.
The dot-com bubble burst in March 2000, with the technology heavy NASDAQ Composite
index peaking at 5,048.62 on March 10
(5,132.52 intraday), more than double its value just a year before. By 2001, the bubble's deflation was running full speed. A majority of the dot-coms had ceased trading, after having burnt through their venture capital
and IPO capital, often without ever making a profit
. But despite this, the Internet continues to grow, driven by commerce, ever greater amounts of online information and knowledge and social networking.
Mobile phones and the Internet
The first mobile phone with Internet connectivity was the Nokia 9000 Communicator
, launched in Finland in 1996. The viability of Internet services access on mobile phones was limited until prices came down from that model, and network providers started to develop systems and services conveniently accessible on phones. NTT DoCoMo
in Japan launched the first mobile Internet service, i-mode
, in 1999 and this is considered the birth of the mobile phone Internet services. In 2001, the mobile phone email system by Research in Motion (now BlackBerry Limited
) for their BlackBerry
product was launched in America. To make efficient use of the small screen and tiny keypad
and one-handed operation typical of mobile phones, a specific document and networking model was created for mobile devices, the Wireless Application Protocol
(WAP). Most mobile device Internet services operate using WAP. The growth of mobile phone services was initially a primarily Asian phenomenon with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan all soon finding the majority of their Internet users accessing resources by phone rather than by PC.
Developing countries followed, with India, South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines, and Pakistan all reporting that the majority of their domestic users accessed the Internet from a mobile phone rather than a PC. The European and North American use of the Internet was influenced by a large installed base of personal computers, and the growth of mobile phone Internet access was more gradual, but had reached national penetration levels of 20–30% in most Western countries.
The cross-over occurred in 2008, when more Internet access devices were mobile phones than personal computers. In many parts of the developing world, the ratio is as much as 10 mobile phone users to one PC user.
File Hosting Services
File hosting allowed for people to expand their computer's hard drives and "host" their files on a server. Most file hosting services offer free storage, as well as larger storage amount for a fee. These services have greatly expanded the internet for business and personal use.
, launched on April 24, 2012 has become the most popular file hosting service. Google Drive allows users to store, edit, and share files with themselves and other users. Not only does this application allow for file editing, hosting, and sharing. It also acts as Google's own free-to-access office programs, such as Google Docs
, Google Slides
, and Google Sheets
. This application served as a useful tool for University professors and students, as well as those who are in need of Cloud storage
, released in June 2007 is a similar file hosting service that allows users to keep all of their files in a folder on their computer, which is synced with Dropbox's servers. This differs from Google Drive as it is not web-browser based. Now, Dropbox works to keep workers and files in sync and efficient.
, having over 200 million users, is an encrypted storage and communication system that offers users free and paid storage, with an emphasis on privacy.
Being three of the largest file hosting services, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Mega all represent the core ideas and values of these services.
The earliest form of online piracy began with a P2P (peer to peer) music sharing service named Napster
, launched in 1999. Sites like LimeWire
, The Pirate Bay
, and BitTorrent
allowed for anyone to engage in online piracy, sending ripples through the media industry. With online piracy came a change in the media industry as a whole.
There are nearly insurmountable problems in supplying a historiography
of the Internet's development. The process of digitization represents a twofold challenge both for historiography in general and, in particular, for historical communication research.
A sense of the difficulty in documenting early developments that led to the internet can be gathered from the quote:
"The Arpanet period is somewhat well documented because the corporation in charge – BBN
– left a physical record. Moving into the NSFNET
era, it became an extraordinarily decentralized process. The record exists in people's basements, in closets. ... So much of what happened was done verbally and on the basis of individual trust."
- ^ a b "The Computer History Museum, SRI International, and BBN Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of First ARPANET Transmission, Precursor to Today's Internet". SRI International. October 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 29, 2019. Retrieved September 25, 2017. But the ARPANET itself had now become an island, with no links to the other networks that had sprung up. By the early 1970s, researchers in France, the UK, and the U.S. began developing ways of connecting networks to each other, a process known as internetworking.
- ^ a b by Vinton Cerf, as told to Bernard Aboba (1993). "How the Internet Came to Be". Archived from the original on September 26, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017. We began doing concurrent implementations at Stanford, BBN, and University College London. So effort at developing the Internet protocols was international from the beginning.
- ^ a b Hauben, Ronda (May 1, 2004). "The Internet: On its International Origins and Collaborative Vision A Work In-Progress". Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- ^ Kim, Byung-Keun (2005). Internationalising the Internet the Co-evolution of Influence and Technology. Edward Elgar. pp. 51–55. ISBN 978-1845426750.
- ^ Turing's Legacy: A History of Computing at the National Physical Laboratory 1945–1995, David M. Yates, National Museum of Science and Industry, 1997, pp. 126–146, ISBN 0901805947. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
- ^ "Data Communications at the National Physical Laboratory (1965–1975)", Martin Campbell-Kelly, IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 9 Issue 3–4 (July–Sept 1987), pp. 221–247. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
- ^ "A Flaw In The Design". The Washington Post. May 30, 2015. Historians credit seminal insights to Welsh scientist Donald W. Davies and American engineer Paul Baran
- ^ a b Press, Gil. "A Very Short History Of The Internet And The Web". Forbes. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
- ^ "The internet's fifth man". The Economist. November 30, 2013. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved April 22, 2020. In the early 1970s Mr Pouzin created an innovative data network that linked locations in France, Italy and Britain. Its simplicity and efficiency pointed the way to a network that could connect not just dozens of machines, but millions of them. It captured the imagination of Dr Cerf and Dr Kahn, who included aspects of its design in the protocols that now power the internet.
- ^ "The Untold Internet". Internet Hall of Fame. October 19, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2020. many of the milestones that led to the development of the modern Internet are already familiar to many of us: the genesis of the ARPANET, the implementation of the standard network protocol TCP/IP, the growth of LANs (Large Area Networks), the invention of DNS (the Domain Name System), and the adoption of American legislation that funded U.S. Internet expansion—which helped fuel global network access—to name just a few.
- ^ "Study into UK IPv4 and IPv6 allocations"(PDF). Reid Technical Facilities Management LLP. 2014. As the network continued to grow, the model of central co-ordination by a contractor funded by the US government became unsustainable. Organisations were using IP-based networking even if they were not directly connected to the ARPAnet. They needed to get globally unique IP addresses. The nature of the ARPAnet was also changing as it was no longer limited to organisations working on ARPA-funded contracts. The US National Science Foundation set up a national IP-based backbone network, NSFnet, so that its grant-holders could be interconnected to supercomputer centres, universities and various national/regional academic/research networks, including ARPAnet. That resulting network of networks was the beginning of today's Internet.
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