History of the Internet

  • Proposition of the Internet

    J.C.R Licklider of MIT first proposed a global network of computers in 1962 and moved over to the Defense of Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
  • Leonard Klienrock and UCLA

    Leonard Kleinrock of MIT and later UCLA developed the theory of packet swtiching. Packet Switching is to form the basis of Intenet connections.
  • ARPA funding

    With ARPA funding, Larry Roberts and Thomas Marill create the first wide-area network connection. They connect the TX-2 at MIT to the Q-32 in Santa Monica via a dedicated telephone line with acoustic couplers.
  • Lawrence Roberts of MIT

    Lawrence Roberts of MIT connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines. It showed the feasibility of wide area newtworking, bu also showed that the telephone line's circuit switching was inadequate.

    Roberts moved over to DARPA and started to develop ARPANET.These visionaries and many more left unnamed here are the real founders of the Internet.
  • Larry Roberts conference

    Larry Roberts convenes a conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to bring the ARPA researchers together. At the conclusion, Wesley Clark suggests that the network be managed by interconnected ‘Interface Message Processors’ in front of the major computers. Called IMPs, they evolve into today’s routers.
  • ARPA team refine structure

    Roberts and the ARPA team refine the overall structure and specifications for the ARPANET. They issue an RFQ for the development of the IMPs.
  • First Person to use the Internet

    First Person to use the Internet
    Charley Kline at UCLA sent the first packets on ARPANet as he tried to connect to Stanford Research Insititue. The system crashed as he reached the G in LOG IN!
  • Nodes

    Nodes are added to the ARPANET at the rate of one per month.
    Programmers Dennis Ritchie and Kenneth Thompson at Bell Labs complete the UNIX operating system on a spare DEC minicomputer. UNIX combines many of the time-sharing and file-management features offered by Multics and wins a wide following, particularly among scientists.
  • Even more nodes!

    The ARPANET grows by ten more nodes in the first 10 months of 1972. The year is spent finishing, testing and releasing all the network protocols, and developing network demonstrations for the ICCC.
  • Additions to Arpanet

    Thirty institutions are connected to the ARPANET. The network users range from industrial installations and consulting firms like BBN, Xerox PARC and the MITRE Corporation, to government sites like NASA’s Ames Research Laboratories, the National Bureau of Standards, and Air Force research facilities.

    USENET starts a series of shell scripts written by Steve Bellovin at UNC to help communicate with Duke. Newsgroups start with a name that gives an idea of its content. USENET is an early example of a client server where users dial in to a server with requests to forward certain newsgroup postings. The server then ‘serves’ the request.

    Larry Landweber at Wisconsin holds a meeting with six other universities to discuss the possibility of building a Computer Science Research Network to be called CSNET. Bob Kahn attends as an advisor from DARPA, and Kent Curtis attends from NSF’s computer research programs. The idea evolves over the summer between Landweber, Peter Denning (Purdue), Dave Farber (Delaware), and Tony Hearn (Utah).

    By the beginning of the year, more than 200 computers in dozens of institutions have been connected in CSNET. BITNET, another startup network, is based on protocols that include file transfer via e-mail rather than by the FTP procedure of the ARPA protocols.
  • 200+ Computers

    By the beginning of the year, more than 200 computers in dozens of institutions have been connected in CSNET. BITNET, another startup network, is based on protocols that include file transfer via e-mail rather than by the FTP procedure of the ARPA protocols
  • Standardization of TCP/IP

    In January, the ARPANET standardizes on the TCP/IP protocols adopted by the Department of Defense (DOD). The Defense Communications Agency decides to split the network into a public ‘ARPANET’ and a classified ‘MILNET, ‘ with only 45 hosts remaining on the ARPANET. Jon Postel issues an RFC assigning numbers to the various interconnected nets. Barry Leiner takes Vint Cerf’s place at DARPA, managing the Internet.
  • Feeder Networka

    The 56Kbps backbone between the NSF centers leads to the creation of a number of regional feeder networks - JVNCNET, NYSERNET, SURANET, SDSCNET and BARRNET - among others. With the backbone, these regionals start to build a hub and spoke infrastructure. This growth in the number of interconnected networks drives a major expansion in the community including the DOE, DOD and NASA.
  • Commercial use for internet

    The NSF, realizing the rate and commercial significance of the growth of the Internet, signs a cooperative agreement with Merit Networks which is assisted by IBM and MCI. Rick Adams co-founds UUNET to provide commercial access to UUCP and the USENET newsgroups, which are now available for the PC. BITNET and CSNET also merge to form CREN.
  • Shut down of ARPANET

    ARPANET formally shuts down. In twenty years, ‘the net’ has grown from 4 to over 300,000 hosts. Countries connecting in 1990 include Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Greece, India, Ireland, South Korea, Spain, and Switzerland
  • NSFNET upgrade!

    The NSFNET backbone upgrades to T3, or 44 Mbps. Total traffic exceeds 1 trillion bytes, or 10 billion packets per month! Over 100 countries are now connected with over 600,000 hosts and nearly 5,000 separate networks.
  • Coming of Age of inter-networking

    The Internet becomes such a part of the computing establishment that a professional society forms to guide it on its way. The Internet Society (ISOC), with Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn among its founders, validates the coming of age of inter-networking and its pervasive role in the lives of professionals in developed countries. The IAB and its supporting committees become part of ISOC.
  • Networks at an all time high!

    The number of networks exceeds 7,500 and the number of computers connected passes 1,000,000. The MBONE for the first time carries audio and video. The challenge to the telephone network’s dominance as the basis for communicating between people is seen for the first time; the Internet is no longer just for machines to talk to each other.
  • WWW Supernova

    The WWW bursts into the world and the growth of the Internet explodes like a supernova. What had been doubling each year, now doubles in three months. What began as an ARPA experiment has, in the span of just 30 years, become a part of the world’s popular culture.