NSFNET: The first internet backbone

Timeline created by alexmaginnis
  • NSFNET Idea

    In 1985, NSF wanted to discover a way to link scientists and researchers to the information available in the supercomputer centers.
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  • NSFNET Birth

    When NSFNET connected supercomputer centers at 56,000 bits per second when it went online in 1986. This was a huge help in aiding people to get the information that they were looking for much faster, as this is about the speed of the modems that are used today.
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  • Network Expansion

    After two years of use, the network began to be overloaded by its users and needed to be expanded to accommodate its many users. So, in 1988, the network was expanded to work at 1.5 megabits per second opposed to the prior 56,000 bits per second. There were also more research and educational networks linked to the NSFNET, which allowed for a further consumption of information across the US.
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  • World Wide Web

    The number of users on NSFNET continued to rise and the network was upgraded to 45 megabits per second. While all of this was happening, the World Wide Web was also launched in 1991. This allowed for the increase of private computer use among households.
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  • Mosaic

    Mosaic was a free web browser that was released by NSF in 1993 and quickly became the most used web browser in existence at the time.
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  • Decline of NSFNET

    As networks became more commercial, the need for NSFNET began to deteriorate to the point that in 1995 the NSFNET backbone was decommissioned.
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  • End of NSF Relevance

    Even after NSFNET was decommissioned, NSF still played a role in the internet, but, in 1998, NSF officially was cut off from having a direct role in the internet.
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