Hobbes' Internet Timeline v1.3
Robert H'obbes' Zakon
1956 USSR launches Sputnik, first artifial earth satellite. In response,
US forms the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) within the
Department of Defense (DoD) to establish US lead in science and
technology applicable to the military (:amk:)
1962 Paul Baran, RAND: "On Distributed Communications Networks"
- Packet-switching networks; no single outage point
1967 ACM Symposium on Operating Principles
- Plan presented for a packet-switching network
1968 Network presentation to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)
1969 ARPANET commissioned by DOD for research into networking
- First node at UCLA [Network Measurements Center - Xerox DSS 7:SEX]
and soon after at: [legend = function - system:os]
- Stanford Research Institute (SRI) [NIC - SDS940/Genie]
- UCSB [Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics - IBM 360/75:OS/MVT]
- U of Utah [Graphics (hidden line removal) - DEC PDP-10:Tenex]
- use of Information Message Processors (IMP) [Honeywell 516 mini
computer with 12K of memory] developed by Bolt Beranek and Newman,
First Request for Comment (RFC): "Host Software" by Steve Crocker
1970 ALOHAnet developed by Norman Abrahamson, U of Hawaii (:sk2:)
ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol (NCP).
1971 15 nodes (23 hosts): UCLA, SRI, UCSB, U of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND, SDC,
Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU(C), CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames
1972 International Conference on Computer Communications with
demonstration of ARPANET between 40 machines organized by Bob Kahn.
InterNetworking Working Group (INWG) created to address need
for establishing agreed upon protocols. Chairman: Vinton Cerf.
Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents email program to send messages across a
distributed network. (:amk:)
1973 First international connections to the ARPANET: England and Norway
Bob Metcalfe's Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet (:amk:)
1974 Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network
Internetworking" which specified in detail the design of a
Transmission Control Program (TCP). (:amk:)
BBN opens Telenet, commercial version of ARPANET (:sk2:)
1975 Operational management of Internet transferred to DCA (now DISA)
"Jargon File", by Raphael Finkel at SAIL, first released (:esr:)
1970s Store and Forward Networks
- Used electronic mail technology and extended it to conferencing
HM Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom sends out an e-mail
(anyone know the exact year?)
1976 UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) developed at AT&T Bell Labs and distributed
with UNIX one year later.
1977 THEORYNET created at U of Wisconsin providing electronic mail to
over 100 researchers in computer science (using uucp).
1979 Meeting between U of Wisconsin, DARPA, NSF, and computer scientists
from many universities to establish a Computer Science Department
research computer network.
USENET established using uucp between Duke and UNC by Tom Truscott
and Steve Bellovin.
1981 BITNET, the "Because Its Time NETwork"
- Started as a cooperative network at the City University of New York.
- Provides electronic mail and listserv servers to distribute
- Unlike USENET, where client s/w is needed, electronic mail is the
only tool necessary.
CSNET (Computer Science NETwork) built by UCAR and BBN through seed
money granted by NSF to provide networking services (specially
email) to university scientists with no access to ARPANET. CSNET
later becomes known as the Computer and Science Network. (:amk:)
Minitel (Teletel) is deployed across France by French Telecom.
1982 INWG establishes the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet
Protocol (IP), as the protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, for
- This leads to one of the first definition of an "internet"
as a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP,
and "Internet" as connected TCP/IP internets.
- DoD declares TCP/IP suite to be standard for DoD (:vgc:)
EUnet (European UNIX Network) is created by EUUG to provide email and
USENET services. (:glg:)
1983 Name server developed at U of Wisconsin, no longer requiring users
to know the exact path to other systems.
Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP (1 January)
CSNET / ARPANET gateway put in place
ARPANET split into ARPANET and MILNET; the latter became integrated
with the Defense Data Network created the previous year.
Desktop workstations come into being, many with Berkeley UNIX which
includes IP networking software.
Need switches from having a single, large time sharing computer
connected to Internet per site, to connection of an entire local
Berkeley releases 4.2BSD incorporating TCP/IP (:mpc:)
EARN (European Academic and Research Network) established. Very
similar to the way BITNET works.
FidoNet developed by Tom Jennings.
1984 Domain Name Server (DNS) introduced.
# of hosts breaks 1,000
JUNET (Japan Unix Network) established using UUCP.
JANET (Joint Academic Network) established in the UK using the
Coloured Book protocols.
1986 NSFNET created (backbone speed of 56Kbps)
- NSF establishes 5 super-computing centers to provide high-computing
power for all ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
Theory [email protected]).
- ARPANET bureaucracy keeps it from being used to interconnect
centers and NSFNET comes into being with the aid of NASA and DOE.
- This allows an explosion of connections, especially from
Cleveland Freenet (start of NPTN) comes on-line (:sk2:)
Network News Transfer Protocl (NNTP) designed to enhance Usenet news
performance over TCP/IP.
Mail Exchanger (MX) records developed by Craig Partridge allowing
non-IP network hosts to have domain addresses.
1987 NSF signs a cooperative agreement to manage the NSFNET backbone with
Merit Network, Inc. (IBM and MCI involvement was through an agreement
with Merit). Merit, IBM, and MCI later founded ANS.
UUNET is founded with Usenix funds to provide commercial UUCP and
1000th RFC: "Request For Comments reference guide"
# of hosts breaks 10,000
# of BITNET hosts breaks 1,000
1988 Internet worm burrows through the Net
1989 # of hosts breaks 100,000
NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544Mbps)
RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens) formed (by European service providers) to
ensure the necessary administrative and technical coordination to
allow the operation of the pan-European IP Network. (:glg:)
First relay between a commercial electronic mail carrier (Compurserve)
and the Internet through Ohio State University (:jg1:)
1990 ARPANET ceases to exist
Second relay between a commercial electronic mail carrier (MCI Mail)
and the Internet through the Corporation for the National Research
Electronic Frontier Foundation is founded by Mitch Kapor
1991 Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX) Association, Inc. formed by General
Atomics (CERFnet), Performance Systems International, Inc. (PSInet),
and UUNET Technologies, Inc. (AlterNet) (:glg:)
WAIS released by Thinking Machines Corporation
Gopher released by University of Minnesota
US High Performance Computing Act (Gore 1) establishes the National
Research and Education Network (NREN)
1992 Internet Society is chartered
World-Wide Web released by CERN
# of hosts breaks 1,000,000
NSFNET backbone upgraded to T3 (44.736Mbps)
First MBONE audio multicast (March) and video multicast (November)
1993 InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services: (:sc1:)
- directory and database services (AT&T)
- registration services (Network Solutions Inc.)
- information services (General Atomics/CERFnet)
US White House comes on-line:
- President Bill Clinton: [email protected]
- Vice-President Al Gore: [email protected]
- First Lady Hillary Clinton: [email protected] (-:rhz:-)
Internet Talk Radio begins broadcasting (:sk2:)
United Nations and World Bank come on-line (:vgc:)
US National Information Infrastructure Act
Businesses and media really take notice of the Internet
Mosaic takes the Internet by storm; WWW proliferates at a 341,634%
annual growth rate of service traffic. Gopher's growth is 997%.
1994 Communities begin to be wired up directly to the Internet
US Senate and House provide information servers
First flower shop taking orders via the Internet
Shopping malls arrive on the Internet
Mass marketing finds its way to the Internet with mass e-mailings
Worms of a new kind find their way around the Net - WWW Worms (W4),
joined by Spiders, Wanderers, Crawlers, and Snakes ...
"A Day in the Life of the Internet" begs to be published (:rhz:)
Internet growth summary:
Date Hosts | Date Hosts Networks Domains
----- --------- + ----- --------- -------- -------
1969 4 | 07/89 130,000 650 3,900
04/71 23 | 10/89 159,000 837
06/74 62 | 10/90 313,000 2,063 9,300
03/77 111 | 01/91 376,000 2,338
08/81 213 | 07/91 535,000 3,086 16,000
05/82 235 | 10/91 617,000 3,556 18,000
08/83 562 | 01/92 727,000 4,526
10/84 1,024 | 04/92 890,000 5,291 20,000
10/85 1,961 | 07/92 992,000 6,569 16,300
02/86 2,308 | 10/92 1,136,000 7,505 18,100
11/86 5,089 | 01/93 1,313,000 8,258 21,000
12/87 28,174 | 04/93 1,486,000 9,722 22,000
07/88 33,000 | 07/93 1,776,000 13,767 26,000
10/88 56,000 | 10/93 2,056,000 16,533 28,000
01/89 80,000 | 01/94 2,217,000 20,539 30,000
____# Countries____ ____# Countries____
Date I B U F O Date I B U F O
----- --- --- --- --- --- ----- --- --- --- --- ---
09/91 31 47 79 49 01/93 50 50 101 72 31
12/91 33 46 78 53 04/93 56 51 107 79 31
02/92 38 46 92 63 08/93 59 51 117 84 31
04/92 40 47 90 66 25 02/94 62 51 125 88 31
08/92 49 46 89 67 26
(I)nternet (B)ITNET (U)UCP (F)IDONET (O)SI
USENET growth summary:
Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups | Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups
---- ----- --- ------ ------ + ---- ----- --- ------ ------
1979 3 2 3 | 1984 900 225
1980 15 10 | 1985 1300 1.0 375
1981 150 0.5 20 | 1986 2200 2.0 946 241
1982 400 35 | 1987 5200 2.1 957 259
1983 600 120 | 1988 7800 4.4 1933 381
~ approximate: MB - megabytes per day, Posts - articles per day
HELP: Where is this data archived from 1989- ?
Comments/corrections should be sent to [email protected]
Hobbes' Internet Timeline Copyright (c)1993-4 by Robert H Zakon.
Permission is granted for use of this document in whole or in part for non
commercial purposes as long as appropriate credit is given to the author/
maintainer. For commercial uses, please contact the author first.
Hobbes' Internet Timeline FAQ:
Q: Why did you compile Hobbes' Internet Timeline?
A: For use in the Internet courses I teach: Introduction to the Internet,
Internet Tools Administration, and Net Surfing 101.
Q: How do I get Hobbes' Internet Timeline?
A: For now, you can send an e-mail to [email protected] You will
receive an automated reply with the Timeline. For comments/corrections
please use [email protected] If you'd like to host an HTML
version on your server for Net wide access, drop me an e-mail.
Q: What do you do at MITRE?
A: I design the soccer shoe of the future :-) Nah, actually, I wear the
following hats: Internet Evangelist, HCI Engineer, Systems Integrator,
System Administrator, Instructor, He with the Most Toys
Q: Is your license plate really NET SURF?
A: Yes, and there is a frame around it with INTERNET at the top, and my
e-mail address at the bottom. (My wife is too embarrassed to drive it:)
Q: Who do you think is going to win the World Cup?
A: Brasil, of course! (I was born in Rio de Janeiro ...)
A: Peddie (Ala Viva!), CWRU (North Side), Amici Usque Ad Aras (OH Epsilon)
Q: E-mail me if you know
Hobbes' Internet Timeline was compiled from a number of sources, with some
of the stand-outs being:
Cerf, Vinton (as told to Bernard Aboba). "How the Internet Came to Be."
This article appears in "The Online User's Encyclopedia," by Bernard Aboba.
Hardy, Henry. "The History of the Net." Master's Thesis, School of
Communications, Grand Valley State University.
Hauben, Ronda and Michael. "The Netizens and the Wonderful World of the Net."
Kulikowski, Stan II. "A Timeline of Network History." (author's email below)
Quarterman, John. "The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems
Worldwide." Bedford, MA: Digital Press. 1990
Internet growth summary compiled from:
- zone program reports maintained by Mark Lottor at:
- connectivity table maintained by Larry Landweber at:
USENET growth summary compiled from Quarterman and Hauben sources above
Contributors to Hobbes' Internet Timeline have their initials next to the
contributed items in the form (:zzz:) and are:
amk - Alex McKenzie ([email protected])
esr - Eric S. Raymond ([email protected])
glg - Gail L. Grant ([email protected])
jg1 - Jim Gaynor ([email protected])
mpc - Mellisa P. Chase ([email protected])
sc1 - Susan Calcari ([email protected])
sk2 - Stan Kulikowski ([email protected]) - see sources section
vgc - Vinton Cerf ([email protected]) - see sources section
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) ;-) Help the Author (-: (-: (-: (-: (-: (-: (-:
The author is on an eternal genealogical search. If you know of someone
whose last name is Zakon or could spare 1 minute to check your local phone
book, please e-mail any info (i.e., name, phone, address, city) to
[email protected]; your help is greatly appreciated.