and Development of the Internet
- 1962 - The RAND Corporation begins research into robust, distributed
communication networks for military command and control.
- 1962-1969 - The Internet is first conceived in the early ¦60s.
Under the leadership of the Department of Defense¦s Advanced Research
Project Agency (ARPA), it grows from a paper architecture into
a small network (ARPANET) intended to promote the sharing of super-computers
amongst researchers in the United States.
- 1965 - ARPA sponsors research into a "cooperative network of
- 1967 - First ARPANET papers presented at Association for Computing
- 1967 - Delegates at a symposium for the Association for Computing
Machinery in Gatlinburg, TN discuss the first plans for the ARPANET.
- 1968 - First generation of networking hardware and software
designed Backbone: 50kbps ARPANET, hosts: 4
- 1969 -ARPANET connects first 4 universities in the United States.
Researchers at four US campuses create the first hosts of the
ARPANET, connecting Stanford Research Institute, UCLA, UC Santa
Barbara, and the University of Utah
- 1970 - ALOHANET developed at the University of Hawaii
- 1970-1973 - The ARPANET is a success from the very beginning.
Although originally designed to allow scientists to share data
and access remote computers, email quickly becomes the most popular
application. The ARPANET becomes a high-speed digital post office
as people use it to collaborate on research projects and discuss
topics of various interests.
- 1971 - The ARPANET grows to 23 hosts connecting universities
and government research centers around the country.
- 1972 - The Internetworking Working Group becomes the first of
several standards-setting entities to govern the growing network.
Vinton Cerf is elected the first chairman of the INWG, and later
becomes known as a "Father of the Internet.". Backbone: 50kbps
ARPANET, hosts: 23
- 1973- ARPANET goes international with connections to University
College in London, England and the Royal Radar Establishment in
- 1974- Bolt, Beranek & Newman opens Telenet, the first commercial
version of the ARPANET.
- 1974-1981 - The general public gets its first vague hint of
how networked computers can be used in daily life as the commercial
version of the ARPANET goes online. The ARPANET starts to move
away from its military/research roots.
- 1975 - Internet operations transferred to the Defense Communications
- 1976 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom goes online
with the first royal email message from the Royal Signals and
Radar Establishment (RSRE) in Malvern.
- 1977 - UUCP provides email on THEORYNET
- 1978 - TCP checksum design finalized
- 1979 Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, two grad students at Duke University,
and Steve Bellovin at the University of North Carolina establish
the first USENET newsgroups. Users from all over the world join
these discussion groups to talk about the net, politics, religion
and thousands of other subjects.
- 1981 - ARPANET has 213 hosts. A new host is added approximately
once every 20 days. Backbone: 50kbps ARPANET+Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET,
- 1982 - The term 'Internet' is used for the first time.
- 1982-1987 - Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf are key members of a team,
which creates TCP/IP, the common language of all Internet computers.
For the first time the loose collection of networks, which made
up the ARPANET, is seen as an "internet", and the Internet as
we know it today is born. The mid-80s marks a boom in the personal
computer and super-minicomputer industries. The combination of
inexpensive desktop machines and powerful, network-ready servers
allows many companies to join the Internet for the first time.
Corporations begin to use the Internet to communicate with each
other and with their customers.
- 1983 - TCP/IP becomes the universal language of the Internet
backbone: 50kbps ARPANET+Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET, hosts: 562
- 1984 - William Gibson coins the term "cyberspace" in his novel
"Neuromancer." The number of Internet hosts exceeds 1,000. Backbone:
50kbps ARPANET+Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET, hosts: 1024
- 1985 - Internet e-mail and newsgroups now part of life at many
universities backbone: 50kbps ARPANET+Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET+1.544
Mbps (T1) NSENET, hosts: 1024
- 1986 - Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio creates
the first "Freenet" for the Society for Public Access Computing.
Backbone: 50kbps ARPANET+Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET+1.544 Mbps (T1)
NSENET, hosts: 28174
- 1987 - The number of Internet hosts exceeds 10,000.
- 1988 - Internet worm unleashed backbone: 50kbps ARPANET+Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET+1.544
Mbps (T1) NSENET, hosts: 56000
- 1988-1990 - By 1988 the Internet is an essential tool for communications,
however it also begins to create concerns about privacy and security
in the digital world. New words, such as "hacker," "cracker" and"
electronic break-in", are created. These new worries are dramatically
demonstrated on Nov. 1, 1988 when a malicious program called the
"Internet Worm" temporarily disables approximately 6,000 of the
60,000 Internet hosts.
- 1988 - The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) is formed
to address security concerns raised by the Worm.
- 1989 - System administrator turned author, Clifford Stoll, catches
a group of Cyberspies, and writes the best seller "The Cuckoo¦s
Egg." The number of Internet hosts exceeds 100,000.
- 1990 - A happy victim of its own unplanned, unexpected success,
the ARPANET is decommissioned, leaving only the vast network-of-networks
called the Internet. The number of hosts exceeds 300,000. Backbone:
Sattelite+56kpbsCSNET+1.544 Mbps (T1) NSENET, hosts: 313000
- 1991 - The World Wide Web is born! Backbone: Sattelite+1.544
Mbps (T1) NSENET, hosts: 617000
- 1991-1993 - Corporations wishing to use the Internet face a
serious problem: commercial network traffic is banned from the
National Science Foundation¦s NSFNET, the backbone of the Internet.
In 1991 the NSF lifts the restriction on commercial use, clearing
the way for the age of electronic commerce. At the University
of Minnesota, a team led by computer programmer Mark MaCahill
releases "gopher," the first point-and-click way of navigating
the files of the Internet in 1991. Originally designed to ease
campus communications, gopher is freely distributed on the Internet.
MaCahill calls it "the first Internet application my mom can use."
1991 is also the year in which Tim Berners-Lee, working at CERN
in Switzerland, posts the first computer code of the World Wide
Web in a relatively innocuous newsgroup, "alt.hypertext." The
ability to combine words, pictures, and sounds on Web pages excites
many computer programmers who see the potential for publishing
information on the Internet in a way that can be as easy as using
a word processor. Marc Andersen and a group of student programmers
at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications located
on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) will
eventually develop a graphical browser for the World Wide Web
- 1991 - Traffic on the NSF backbone network exceeds 1 trillion
bytes per month.
- 1992 - One million hosts have multi-media access to the Internet
over the MBONE
- 1992 - World Bank comes on-line
- 1992 - The first audio and video broadcasts take place over
a portion of the Internet known as the "MBONE." More than 1,000,000
hosts are part of the Internet. Backbone: Sattelite1.544 Mbps
(T1) NSENET, hosts: 1136000
- 1993 - Mosaic, the first graphics-based Web browser, becomes
available. Traffic on the Internet expands at a 341,634% annual
growth rate. Backbone: Sattelite+1.544 Mbps (T1) NSENET+45Mbps
lines, hosts: 2056000
- 1993 - InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet
services: directory and database services (AT&T,) registration
services (Network Solutions Inc.), information services (General
- 1993 - US White House comes on-line (http://www.whitehouse.gov)
- 1993 - United Nations (UN) comes on-line
- 1994 - Shopping malls arrive on the Internet
- 1994 - First Virtual, the first cyberbank, open up for business
- 1994 - The first banner ads appear on hotwired.com in October.
They were for Zima (a beverage) and AT&T
- 1994 - Marc Andersen and Jim Clark form Netscape Communications
Corp. Pizza Hut accepts orders for a mushroom, pepperoni with
extra cheese over the net, and Japan¦s Prime Minister goes online
at www.kantei.go.jp. Backbone traffic exceeds 10 trillion bytes
per month. Backbone: Sattelite+1.544 Mbps (T1) NSENET+45Mbps lines,
- 1995 - NSFNET reverts back to a research project, leaving the
Internet in commercial hands. The Web now comprises the bulk of
- 1995 - The Vatican launches www.vatican.va.
- Backbone: Sattelite+1.544 Mbps (T1) NSENET+45Mbps lines, hosts:
- 1995 - Hong Kong police disconnect all but one of the colony's
Internet providers for failure to obtain a license; thousands
of users are left without service
- 1995 - James Gosling and a team of programmers at Sun Microsystems
release an Internet programming language called Java, which radically
alters the way applications and information can be retrieved,
displayed, and used over the Internet.
- 1995 - Traditional online dial-up systems (CompuServe, America
Online, Prodigy) begin to provide Internet access
- 1995 - The Canadian Government comes on-line (http://canada.gc.ca/)
- 1995 - Operation Home Front connects, for the first time, soldiers
in the field with their families back home via the Internet.
- 1996 - Internet phones catch the attention of US telecommunication
companies who ask the US Congress to ban the technology (which
has been around for years)
- 1996 - As the Internet celebrates its 25th anniversary; the
military strategies that influenced its birth become historical
footnotes. Approximately 40 million people are connected to the
Internet. Users in almost 150 countries around the world are now
connected to the Internet. The number of computer hosts approaches
10 million. Within 30 years, the Internet has grown from a Cold
War concept for controlling the tattered remains of a post-nuclear
society to the Information Superhighway. Just as the railroads
of the 19th century enabled the Machine Age, and revolutionized
the society of the time, the Internet takes us into the Information
Age, and profoundly affects the world in which we live. The Age
of the Internet has arrived. Backbone: Sattelite+1.544 Mbps (T1)
NSENET+45Mbps lines+155Mbp lines, hosts: 15000000
- 1997 - 71,618 mailing lists registered at Liszt, a mailing list
- 1997 - The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is
established to handle administration and registration of IP numbers
to the geographical areas currently handled by Network Solutions
- 1997 - Network Solutions registers its 2 millionth domain on
- 1998 - CA*net II launched in June to provide Canada's next generation
Internet using ATM/SONET
- 1998 - Electronic postal stamps become a reality, with the US
Postal Service allowing stamps to be purchased and downloaded
for printing from the Web.
- 1998 - Indian ISP market is deregulated in November causing
a rush for ISP operation licenses
- 1998 - US DoC enters into an agreement with the Internet Corporation
for Assigned Numbers (ICANN) to establish a process for transitioning
DNS from US Government management to industry (25 November)
- 1998 - Open source software comes of age
- 1999 - Internet access becomes available to the Saudi Arabian
(.sa) public in January
- 1999 - IBM becomes the first Corporate partner to be approved
for Internet2 access
- 1999 - US State Court rules that domain names are property that
may be garnished
- 1999 - MCI/Worldcom, the vBNS provider for NSF, begins upgrading
the US backbone to 2.5GBps
- 1999 - Somalia gets its first ISP - Olympic Computer (Sep)
- 1999 - Free computers are all the rage (as long as you sign
a long term contract for Net service)
- 1999 - business.com is sold for US$7.5million (it was purchased
in 1997 for US$150,000 (30 Nov)
- 1999 - ISOC approves the formation of the Internet Societal
Task Force (ISTF). Vint Cerf serves as first chair
- 2000 thru Today:
- People telecommute over the Internet, allowing them to choose
where to live based on quality of life, not proximity to work.
- Schools use the Internet as a vast electronic library, with
- Internet-enabled devices such as pagers and cell phones
receive e-mail and access the Web
- NASA developed a Virtual Collaborative Clinic that connects
medical facilities around the U.S.,allowing doctors to manipulate
high-resolution, 3-D images of MRI scans and other medical
imaging. Not only can doctors consult and diagnose, but they
can simulate surgery by using a "CyberScalpel." Virtual surgery
gives surgeons an opportunity to practice before ever entering
the operating room.
- Electrolux, best known for its vacuum cleaners, has developed
the ScreenFridge, an Internet icebox that manages your pantry,
among other things. It e-mails a shopping list to your local
supermarket and coordinates a convenient delivery time with
And even as
the Internet offers a single Global Village, it threatens to create
a 2nd class citizenship among those without access. As a new generations
grow up as accustomed to communicating through a keyboard as in
person, life on the Internet will become an increasingly important
part of life on Earth.