In the 1960s, MIT computer scientist J.C.R. Licklider first suggested the idea of a global computer network. He shared his idea with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency. Two years later, Leonard Kleinrock and Lawrence G. Roberts created packet-switching theory and published a blueprint for ARPANET, which would grow over the years. Despite these limitations, the Internet was born.
In the early days of the internet, technological infrastructure was not yet available. Computers used floppy discs to store information. Data rates were slow, and people didn’t own computers. Nevertheless, the first “dot com” bubble created a lot of hype, spurring investors to rapidly boost stock values. The subsequent market crash only slowed the initial growth and enthusiasm of the internet, but only temporarily. However, this first boom spurred the emergence of mobile computing and social media.
The NSF’s decision to hand over the backbone of the ARPANET to ISPs paved the way for laymen to access the network, via dial-up connections. However, the World Wide Web soon followed. This became the second ‘killer application’ of ARPANET. But what’s more, this ‘killer application’ did not just increase access rates but changed the way that people worked together.
The history of the Internet is more complicated than it might seem. There are countless factors that have shaped the Internet and influenced its development. For example, the Cold War played a significant role in the development of the Internet. However, this does not mean the evolution of the Internet was inevitable or unavoidable. Many different forces contributed to its development, including accident and economic and social conditions. The ‘Whig’ interpretation of the history of the internet is misleading.
Today, the Internet is an integral part of our daily lives. It has transformed from a simple network of computer systems to instantaneous wireless communications. Understanding the history of the Internet will help you understand the evolving nature of technology and the future of Internet services. You will be able to appreciate the true power of the Internet. The history of the internet is rich with details that will inspire you to use it. So, take the time to learn as much as you can about the evolution of the Internet and its role in our world today.
The early development of the Internet was centered around the Request for Comments (RFC) process. This process is still used to distribute and propose new Internet Protocols and Internet Systems. The first RFC was “Host Software” and published on April 7, 1969. The early days of the Internet’s development were captured in the 1972 film Computer Networks: Heralds of Resource Sharing. These pioneers were responsible for the development of the World Wide Web.
In mid-1984, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded supercomputing centers. NFSNET was intended to serve as the backbone of a larger academic network. However, NSF also agreed to use the existing ARPANET as a temporary backbone. This was an unprecedented move as the US government had no idea what they were doing. Nonetheless, NSF and the IAB created the IANA and InterNIC in 1985.