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The Development of the Internet Essay

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Updated: Mar 9th, 2022

The internet is a worldwide network of computers linking thousands and thousands of computers all over the globe. It has turn out to be one of the quickest growing means of communication in the 21st century. The internet began as a U.S Defense Department Cold War trial during the 1960s (Ruthfield, 1995, para.1). The government was seeking for a method of conveying messages linking tanks and headquarters, so the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DAPRA) developed a method of relaying signals from the combat zone to get to the main computer by means of radio signals and satellites.

J.C.R. Licklider of MIT suggested a way of linking computers in 1962, and relocated to DARPRA later in the same year to champion the efforts of developing it. Leornard Kleinrock of MIT and afterward UCLA built up the technique of packet switching. It is a way of dividing the information being sent into small independent packets which transport sufficient message to find its destination and channeling them out individually in the direction of the destination server. This was to act as a foundation for internet connection (Howe, 2009, para.1).

The packet switching theory developed by Kleinrock was verified in 1965 when Lawrence Roberts of MIT linked two different computers in Massachusetts and California by use of radio signals. Roberts relocated to DARPRA in 1966 and initiated his intentions in ARPANET. These visionary thinking individuals and other unnamed ones are the fathers of internet. The first person to use the internet was Charley Kline who in October 29, 1969 made an ARPANET link involving Stanford Research Institute, Los Angeles, and the University of California. The use of ARPANET grew rapidly from then.

In 1979, Tom Trustcott and Jim Ellis then students at Duke University, developed the Unix-to-Unix Protocol (UUCP) to transmit news and messages on a serial line. In 1979, the use of Usenet was adopted based on UUCP. Newsgroups then developed that functioned to exchange messages across the world. The use of internet got a major boost in the 1970’s from the development of TCP/IP network protocol first suggested by Bob Kahn at BBN and later improved by Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf of Stanford University during the decade. The Defense Department took it in 1980 and substituted it with the previous Network Control Protocol (NCP); it was globally adopted in 1983.

The word “internet” was accepted in the first Request for Comments (RFC) publication on the TCP network in 1974 as a short form for the word internetworking and both terms were used interchangeably (Cerf, et al., 1974). Generally, internet referred to any network making use of TCP/IP network. Around that time, ARPANET was connected with NSFNET in the 80’s, and the word meant the name of the network, internet, signifying an enormous and worldwide TCP/IP network. Interest in worldwide network was aroused and software applications for it were made, the internet technology extended all over the world (Wiggins, 1994).

The TCP/IP network made it possible to use any present network facility, for example the IPSS X.25 network, to transmit internet traffic. In 1989, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, commonly recognized as CERN, suggested the latest protocol for message circulation that made nets easier to use. This protocol, which in 1991 was adopted as the World Wide Web, was founded based on hypertext messaging.


Cerf, V. et al., 1974. Specification of internet transmission control program. Web.

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McCrossan, J., 2000. Books and reading in the Lives of notable Americans: a biographical sourcebook. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Ruthfield, S., 1995. The Internet’s History and Development. Web.

Wiggins, W., 1994.The Internet for Everyone: A Guide for Users and Providers. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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