First, some history on The Internet…
The Internet has been with us for almost 50 years. The original concept was created in 1968 by the American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; abbreviated to ARPA, or DARPA as it’s now known.
The first demonstration of the technology was a pioneering piece of work, created as a concept for sharing digital resources between computer systems that were geographically seperate from each other.
The name for this first digital network was ARPANET, and interestingly the packet switching technologies used in 1969 are still fundamentally the same as the technologies used within the contemporary Internet as we know it today.
This interesting diagram shows the evolution of The ARPANET from its inception in 1969 until 1977. Initially the network was connected between universities in a small geographic area in western America, before expanding further into universities in eastern and central regions.
The birth of TCP/IP and “The Internet Suite”
In the 1970s several significant advances were made, one of which was email, which was developed by Ray Tomlinson, who at the time was a programmer working for a US company called BBN Technologies.
In 1974 a technical proposal was developed by a researcher called Vinton Cerf, which was conceived to change the architecture of how ARPAnets would connect together, by using connection orientated communication controlled directly between the hosts that were attached to the network, rather than by the existing method of using the network itself to control communication centrally.
This development was the beginining of the “inter-network” and was the formula for the TCP/IP protocol that is currently still the fundamental transport communication layer that exists within The Internet today.
The arrival of TCP/IP was a very important step in the history of The Internet, as it allowed hosts connected to the network to communicate directly; transmitting data at a layer that was logically independent of the physical transmission paths provided by the underlying internetwork.
Evolution into the commerical Internet…
The ARPANET continued to evolve through three decades of innovation, which eventually led to the commercial Internet as we know it today.