[SIGCIS-Members] History of the Internet, by Richard Sharpe

Brian Randell brian.randell at newcastle.ac.uk
Wed Oct 19 06:34:48 PDT 2022


The British Computer Society has just published an online article "History of the Internet" by Richard Sharpe. It starts:

" Richard Sharpe, from the Archives of IT, explores the internet’s history and finds that, though being a very international entity today, the global network of networks has its early roots planted firmly in UK soil.

You may have thought that the development of the internet was a purely US affair. You’d be wrong. Before we go too far, let’s clarify our terms. The UK’s Tim Berners-Lee devised the overwhelmingly popular application of the internet, the World Wide Web. But, not the internet itself – the network upon which the World Wide Web runs.

No less an authority than Vint Cerf, co-author of TCP/IP and co-founder of the institutions that administer the internet, says you’d be wrong too. Cerf addressed an online seminar run by Archives of IT and BCS for over 300 attendees on 6 January 2022 and focused on the UK contribution to early work. The contribution of people in the UK was ‘absolutely essential’ to the development of the internet, Cerf says. UK con-tributions from the UK were ‘extremely important’ to its development.

Many of the Archives’ 200 interviews and 30,000 pages of publications support Cerf’s assertion, with details of work done by British engineers and articles charting the growth of its use. The Archives show that the UK contributed the first implementation of a packet-switched network, the basis of TCP/IP; the first implementation in the world of TCP/IP; and the first international node of the internet outside the USA."

Full text at:  https://www.bcs.org/articles-opinion-and-research/history-of-the-internet 


Brian Randell
School of Computing, Newcastle University, 1 Science Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5TG
EMAIL = Brian.Randell at ncl.ac.uk   PHONE = +44 191 208 7923
URL =  https://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/staff/profile/brianrandell.html

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