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Where Did the Internet Start?

Early 1960s

Computer scientists experiment with new ways of connecting

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machines. 1969

The US government, through the Advanced Research Projects

Agency, decides to fund an experimental network, dubbed

ARPANET. Four computers are hooked up. 1970s

Researchers create a simpler communication protocol, called

Transmission Control Protocol or TCP/IP. Universities pick

TCP/IP and begin to hook up to the network, sending electronic

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mail and files. 1972

At the first public demonstration of ARPANET, more than 1,000

people witness some 40 terminals accessing computers at

different locations. 1975

The US Defense Department takes over control of ARPANET. Early 1980s

ARPANET becomes the backbone - or physical connection - for

TCP/IP network, which collectively becomes known as the

Internet. 1983

Because of growing traffic, ARPANET splits into military and

civilian networks. 1988

The backbone is upgraded from 56,000 bits of data per second

to 1.5 million bits per second. It becomes NSFNET, which

eventually takes over functions of ARPANET and other networks.

Graduate student Robert Morris writes a computer program,

known as a worm, that floods the network and brings down part

of the system temporarily. The event leads to new laws against

misuse of computer resources. 1991

The National Science Foundation allows commercial traffic on

most parts of the Internet. By the end of the year, the

Internet is linked up to some 5,000 networks and more than 35

countries, 700,000 host computers, and 4,000,000 people. 1994

Internet management passes to three new companies - General

Atomics, AT&T, and Network Solutions, Inc. - which

collectively make up the InterNIC. Traffic now flows at 45

million bits per second. By midyear, the Internet has grown to

included more than 35,000 networks, 92 countries, 2.2 million

computers, and an estimated 20 million people.