The History Of The Internet The Internet met its humble beginning thirty years ago at the hand of its creator, Robert Kahn, and over time developed into one of the most sophisticated tools of modern society. One of the Internets creators, Robert Kahn, helped to develop and promote the two early forms of the Internet, MILnet and ARPAnet with Protocols such as TCP/IP and Telnet. Development of TCP/IP and Telnet protocols allowed for the rapid growth of the Internet with its vast resources. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1938, Robert Kahn earned a Bachelors degree in electrical engineering from City College of New York, from where he later transferred to Princeton College, According to Josh McHugh's Robert Kahn article (328+), Studying at Princeton, Robert Kahn received two more degrees in electrical engineering and a Ph.
D. some years later. After leaving Princeton, Robert Kahn joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty, as an assistant professor. After his tenure at MIT, Robert Kahn pursued a career at Bolt, Beranek & Newman Inc. (BBN) where he began working on the Internet, designing the first message processor. Working at Bolt, Beranek & Newman Inc.
, Robert Kahn was in change of designing the layout of the first message processor, contracted to the BBN. Bolt, Beranek & Newman Inc. won the battle for the message processor from the government aided, Advanced Research Project Agency, Stated Dave Kristula in his paper on the History of the net (1+). Michael Hauben stated, in his article on the History Of The Internet, that the goals of the Advanced Research Project Agency was formed with emphasis towards research, and thus was not oriented only toward a military product (1+). With the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite, The United States' reaction was a drastic one. By hurrying the development of research for a military network, a command control center via a military network was the ultimate goal for the Advanced Research Project Agency.
Robert Kahn, with his goals set to acquire a military network, started out by testing a small network of four Interface Message Processors called IMPs at colleges on the West Coast to develop a military network of information and command control center. According to Gray Young in his article on the Internet, Robert Kahn differed from other inventors, in that he understood the importance of developing the Internet publicly in order to expose flaws that may not have been evident in a closed laboratory environment (1+). The initial plan was to link four colleges together on a network to test out protocols and reliability. Protocols would be a key factor in connecting multiple computers to a network, so many hours of hard work was spent towards designing protocols besides the actual construction of the Message Processors. The University of California, Los Angeles, received the first informational packet on constructing their IMP. Graduate students Steve Crocker, Vint Cerf and Jon Postel were enrolled to build the hardware and design the software for their node.
After working around the clock from early summer to late September, two IMPs were finally built. The second of the two was shipped to Stanford's Research institutes, Doug Engelbert Lab. On November 21, about mid-day half-dozen students gathered in the University of California, Los Angeles, Boelter Science Lab to witness the connection of two computers. No one remembers the exact words transmitted from the UCLA science lab to Stanford's research lab, but in Barbar Kantrowitz's Birth of the Net Article, Steve Crocker stated "The connection worked and that was all" (57). Now with the first major achievement in connecting computers, more IMPs were built at colleges around California and Utah. The University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Utah joined the network, one month after the first connection between UCLA and Stanford.
Using the Network Control Protocol (NCP), the growing network renamed ARPAnet was in need of a new protocol, which could allow hosts on different networks communicate together, unlike the NCP where only hosts on the same network could communicate together. Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf teamed up to devise a new protocol, which will enable diverse computer networks with different makes of computers to communicate together. This new protocol was named TCP/IP for Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol, and by 1975, this protocol allowed the ARPAnet to grow to over forty sites. The ARPAnet, with its college sites split into two separate networks, the ARPAnet for commercial use, and the long awaited government information network named MILnet. In 1982, busy network traffic on the ARPAnet was slowing the flow of information, and with the invention of electronic mail by Ray Tomlinson, it became sluggish and unreliable. The ARPAnet at the time was using backbones of 56 kbps, which is the approximate speed home computers access the Internet.
The backbones, which connected the hosts together, needed to be upgraded, and with the help of AT&T, new backbone lines were fabricated. The new backbones called T1 (1.5 mbps) and T3 (45 mbps) lines moved more data at faster speeds, which allowed the performance of the ARPAnet to increase beyond its beginning. As more and more hosts connected to the growing network, CERN released the WorldWide Web in 1992, recognized as http://. This allowed for the computers connected to the network to browse and view information released to the public on the WorldWide Web, which is now refereed to the Internet.
With companies starting up offering Internet access connections to the net via their host, like America Online, the Internet began to grow rapidly. Thirty years ago the Internet started from scratch and grew to a common household tool. Now today, it is possible to shop online including travel ticketing, and banking. Thanks to Robert Kahn, the Internet is a vast network of information for learning and entertainment uses.