The internet provides a cornerstone on which many modern innovations: in business, leisure and every other sector besides, are built. The origins of such an epochal invention are rightly a topic of huge fascination for technological and social historians. However, the fragmented nature of the work that went into the formation of the modern internet and the lack of a paper trail documenting said work means being definitive about where and when the internet was formed is no easy task.
Arpanet and TCP/IP
The BBC’s WebWise resource breaks down the fundamentals of what the internet is and how it works before going on to discuss its past and its potential growth in the future. As with many explorations of the internet’s origins the article points to the work of the US Defence Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency which in the 1960s created the ARPAnet; a basic computer network that worked by sharing packets of data. A decade later UCLA students Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf combined their work on a host-to-host protocol and improved hardware architecture for ARPAnet to develop the Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (known collectively as TCP/IP).
Ian Peter, writing on his online information resource Net History, presents five bodies of work that could legitimately be seen as a precursor to the modern internet. In doing so he challenges the received wisdom of TCP/IP and Arpanet being the only origin story and investigates the roles of US government-funded activity as well as that from the commercial sector and agencies outside the United States. Peter cites work by telecoms companies such as AT&T in the early 1960s, email being sent over other protocols such as X.25 and work done at Xerox Parc, using the Parc Universal Protocol, as plausible landmarks on the road towards the internet alongside the much-publicised TCP/IP and Arpanet explanations.
The internet in business
Irrespective of its precise origin the internet has developed into a vital resource for businesses of all sizes. Through the use of browsers, the world wide web can be used to make sense of the internet, even for those with no dedicated computer expertise. Basics such as business email accounts can be set up with little prior computer knowhow, however for more advanced web applications, such as company websites and e-commerce platforms, professional help is required. For anyone requiring web design in Chichester, firms such as zetasoft.co.uk offer a range of web solutions including website builds, custom applications and their wealth of knowledge to kickstart your business’ internet compatibility.
A sizeable proportion of the world’s population now uses the internet in some form on a daily basis. From its origins somewhere in the early 1960s through a range of groundbreaking computer projects in the following decades the Internet has become the great technological phenomenon of the modern era. As it was at the beginning businesses are the drivers of the internet, with all business leaders now looking harness the internet’s peerless communications potential.
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