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Development of the Internet

How has the Internet developed from a small-scale research network at DARPA through to its dominant position in Enterprise and Telecoms networks and services...


The first development of basic Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) took place in the early 1970's and was published in RFC 647 in 1973. The TCP/IP protocols were adopted as Military Standards (MIL STD) in 1983, and all hosts that were to connect to the ARPANET were required to convert to these protocols. At the same time, the term Internet came into common use with the division of ARPANET into two new networks. These were MILNET, the unclassified part of the Defence Data Network (DDN), and a new, smaller ARPANET. The term 'Internet' was thus used to refer to the combination of MILNET and ARPANET

In 1990, ARPANET formally passed out of existence. NSFNet ceased its role as the primary Internet backbone network in 1995. Commercialisation of the Internet began in 1990. with changes to the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for the network that allowed profits to be made from operating it, and offering access to it and services across it. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) business dates from this change.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit corporation to oversee the address and namespace management of the public Internet, and to operate key functions, such as the Whois database and the root servers of the Domain Name System (DNS).

Throughout the decade of the 1990's the TCP/IP protocol suite was adopted universally by corporations as their data networking infrastructure, at least in part because of the rich Internet applications which were emerging, including Internet email and the World Wide Web.

Throughout the decade of the 2000's, IP has achieved a prominent place in the (public) telecoms networks, and is the convergence layer for Next Generation Networks (NGNs) as specified by the main mobile and fixed network architecture and standards forums.

An ITU-T report published in 2006 stated that broadband access (ADSL, Cable Modems, etc) outnumbered dial-up access for the first time that year in the UK, and the penetration is similar across other developed economies.

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