The History of the Internet: The Missing Narratives
67 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2005
Date Written: December 2, 2005
Most histories of the Internet, both scholarly and popular, focus on its origins in the ARPANET network built by the U.S. Advanced Projects Research Agency in the late 1960s. In this paper it is shown that the ARPANET was just one of many private and public initiatives that helped shape the Internet of today. For example, the early 1960s saw the deployment of numerous defense networks (such as the $8 billion SAGE program), the first airline reservation systems, and the beginnings of the remote computer services industry. The 1970s saw the development of computerized networks for banks and the rise of the Electronic Data Interchange movement, which established business-to-business communications across many industry sectors. The 1970s also saw the first online information providers, such as Lexis and Dialog, and the first global data communications networks to connect users to these services. With the rise of the personal computer in the 1980s, a vista of computer networking services opened up: the first consumer networks such as CompuServe and Prodigy, the first commercial email services, and Videotext services that became the basis for national information infrastructures in many countries. In the 1990s, the embryonic Internet was popularized by the World Wide Web - a technology that was rooted in information-science research that long predated networked computers.
Keywords: Internet, World Wide Web, History
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