Timeline of Events (Most historical papers not included)


USSR launches Sputnik. US response is to form the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to establish US lead in science and technology applicable to the military.


ARPA sponsors study on "cooperative network of time sharing computers."


First ARPANET Plan


ACM Symposium on Operating Principles includes first design paper on ARPANET.


ARPANET commissioned by DoD for research into networking.
First node-to-node message sent between UCLE and SIR
First Request for Comment (RFC): "Host Software" by Steve Crocker


ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol (NCP).


15 nodes, 23 hosts include: UCLA, SRI, UCSB, University of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND, SDC, Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU(C), CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames

Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents email program to send messages across distributed network.


Ray Tomlinson writes basic email message send and read software.

ARPANET demonstrated on 40 machines.

Telnet specification (RFC 318)


First international connectios to the ARPANET: Univeristy College of London and Royal Radar Establishment in Norway.

Bob Metcalfe's Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet.


BBN opens Telenet, the first public packet data service (a commercial version of ARPANET).


Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom sends out an e-mail.

UUCP developed by Bell Labs and distributed with Unix one year later.


University of Wisconsin, DARPA, NSF and computer scientists from numerous universities gather to establish a Computer Science Department research computer network.

USENET established using UUCP between Duke and UNC. All original groups under net.* hierarchy.


DCA and ARPA establish TCP and IP as the protocol suite (TCP/IP) for ARPANET. This leads to one of the first definitions of an "internet" as a connected set of multiple networks. DoD also declares TCP/IP to be their standard. This leads to one of the first definitions of an "internet" as a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP and "Internet" as connected TCP/IP internets.


Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP (Jan 1)

ARPANET split into ARPANET and MILNET, the latter becoming integrated with the Defense Data Network created the previous year.

Desktop workstations are created, often using Berkeley Unix w/IP.

Networks begin to switch from mainframe to connecting entire local networks.


Domain Name System (DNS) introduced

Number of hosts breaks 1,000


NSFNET created (backbone speed of 56Kbs). NSF establishes 5 super-computing centers to provide high-computing power for all. This allows an explosion of connections, especially from universities.

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) designed to enhance Usenet news performance over TCP/IP.


NSF signs a cooperative agreement to manage the NSFNET backbone with Merit Network, Inc.

1000th RFC "Request For Comments reference guide"

Number of hosts breaks 10,000


Internet worm burrows through the Internet, affecting ~6,000 of the 60,000 hosts.

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) formed by DARPA in response.

DoD decides to adopt OSI. Continues TCP/IP in "interim."

NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544Mbps)

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) developed by Jarkko Oikarinen.


Number of hosts breaks 100,000

First relays between a commercial electronic mail carrier and the Internet: MCI Mail through the Corporation for the National Research Initiative (CNRI), and Compuserve through Ohio State University.


ARPANET ceases to exist

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) founded by Mitch Kapor.

The World comes online (world.std.com) becoming the first commercial provider of Internet dial-up access.

First remotely operated machine to be hooked up to the Internet is the Internet Toaster, controlled by SNMP.


World-Wide Web released by CERN (European center for nuclear particle research) [physicist Tim Berners-Lee]. They want it for an attempt to have a technology which would enable researchers in the area of high-energy particle physics to share research data and collaborate on projects.


Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) released by Philip Zimmerman.

NSFNET backbone upgraded to T3 (44.736Mbps)


Number of hosts breaks 1,000,000

World Bank comes online

The term "Surfing the Internet" is coined by Jean Armour Polly.


InterNIC created by NSF to provide for Internet administration. Maintains directory and database services, registration services and information services.

US White House comes on-line.

UN comes on-line.


Shopping malls arrive on the Internet

WWW edged out telnet to become 2nd most popular service on the Internet (behind ftp-dat).


NSFNET reverts back to a research network Main US backbone traffic now routed through interconnected network providers.

The new NSFNET is born as NSF and establishes the very high speed Backbone Network Service (vBNS) linking supercomputing centers.

WWW surpasses ftp-data as the service with the greatest traffic.

Traditional online dialup systems begin to provide Internet access (Compuserve, AOL, etc.)

Registration of domain names is not longer free. $50 except .edu and .gov

The Vatican comes online.

The first official Internet wiretap was successful in helping the Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) apprehend three individuals who were illegally manufacturing and selling cell phone cloning equipment and electronic devices.


Telecommunication companies as US Congress to ban Internet Phones.

9,272 organizations find themselves unlisted after the InterNIC drops their name service as a result of not having paid their domain name fee.


2000th RFC: "Internet Official Protocol Standards."

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