What is some information about the invention of the internet?

Invention of the Internet

Many people think that the Internet is a recent innovation, when in fact the fundamental ideas behind the Internet have been around for over a quarter century.

The development of what we now call the Internet started in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite, beating the United States into space. The powers behind the American military at the time became highly alarmed as this meant that the USSR could theoretically launch bombs into space, and then drop them anywhere on earth. In 1958 the concerns of people in the US military triggered the creation of the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

DARPA's initial role was to jump start American research in technology, find safeguards against a space-based missile attack and to reclaim the technological lead from the USSR. After only 18 months after the creation of DARPA, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency had developed and deployed the first US satellite. DARPA went on to have a direct contribution to the development of the Internet by appointing Joseph Licklider to head the new Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO).

It was the job of the IPTO to further the work previously done by members of the "SAGE" (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) program and develop technologies to protect the US against a space-based nuclear attack.

Licklider envisaged the potential benefits of a countrywide communications network, influencing his successors to implement his vision and to hire Lawrence Roberts who at that time was carrying out research with networks which was also being funded by DARPA.

Roberts led development of the ARPANet network architecture, and based it on the new idea of packet switching. A special computer called an Interface Message Processor was developed to realise the design. The ARPANet first went live in October 1969, with communications between the University of California in Los Angeles and the Stanford Research Institute.

The first networking protocol used on the ARPANet was the Network Control Program. In 1983, it was replaced with the TCP/IP protocol, which is still the standard used today.

In 1990, the National Science Foundation took over management of what was then called the NSFNet, and significantly expanded its reach by connecting it to the CSNET in Universities throughout North America, and later to the EUnet throughout research facilities in Europe.

Thanks in large part to the NSF's free-thinking management, and the growing popularity of the web, the nature of the Internet changed quickly in 1992, when the U.S. government began pulling out of network management and commercial entities offered Internet access to the general public for the first time. This change marked the beginning of the Internet's astonishing expansion. According to a survey conducted by CommerceNet and Nielsen Media Research in 1997, the number of users worldwide was believed to be well into the tens of millions. The so called Internet explosion coincided with the advent of increasingly powerful yet reasonably priced personal computers with easy-to-use GUI's (Graphical User Interfaces). The result was an attraction of recent computer converts to the Internet, and new multimedia capabilities, the size, scope and design of which allows users to:

  • connect easily through ordinary personal computers
  • exchange electronic mail with friends and colleagues
  • post and update frequently, information for others to access
  • access multimedia information that includes sound, photographic images and video
  • access diverse attitudes and perspectives from around the world
  • to directly and transparently communicate between computers

Today, the Internet is not owned or funded by any one institution, organisation, or government, it is a self-sustaining widespread information infrastructure accessible to hundreds of millions of people world-wide. The Internet is, however, directed by the Internet Society (ISOC), which is composed of volunteers. ISOC appoints the IAB (Internet Architecture Board) sub-council, the appointed members of which decide on standards, network resources, and network addresses. The day-to-day issues of Internet operation is taken care by of curtsy of a volunteer group called the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force).

In brief a small number of governing boards work to establish common standards, few rules or single organisation bind the Internet, essentially the Internet is in the most part an ungoverned global network of networks.

Other s

  • The Internet was invented by the US Department of Defence as a means of communication if we were attacked by Russia. That was in 1969. The WWW on the other hand was invented by an Englishman called Tim Berners-Lee in Switzerland in 1989. The Internet dates back to the 1950s and 60s, although few of us knew of it then as it was part of the American defence system.
  • Some say development started in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first satellite.
  • I think it's the difference between pop culture and invention that confuses people. The origins of the Internet stretch back to the 1950s and the invention of the World Wide Web to 1989, but the Internet IS a newish innovation as far as pop culture is concerned as it only really kicked into the lives of the vast majority of us after the 1989 invention of WWW.
  • DARPA was created in 1958. But this only started the research that led to create the Internet. The Network Control Protocol (NCP) was finalized and deployed in December 1970 by the Network Working Group (NWG), led by Steve Crocker. But it was not until RFC 768 "User Datagram Protocol", RFC 791 "Internet Protocol", RFC 792 "Internet Control Message Protocol, RFC 793 "Transmission Control Protocol" were ratified in 1980 and 1981 that the Internet took shape. Modern protocols like e-mail, ftp, telnet, http ... all depend on these underlying protocols. The ARPANET host protocol was switched from NCP to TCP/IP as of January 1, 1983. The underlying protocols that run the Internet have fundamentally changed since this date. Much later on Mar. 11, 1999 Al Gore claims to have invented the Internet: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet." References: http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml
  • The seed of what would become the internet was created by ARPANET in 1969. It was basically a group of researchers working for the Department of Defense.