CET meeting 05-06. 02. 2000. Budapest
Internet: Past, present, future


ARPA became the technological think-tank of the American defence effort, employing directly a couple of hundred top scientists and with a budget sufficient for sub-contracting research to other top American institutions. Although the advanced computing would come to dominate its work, the initial focus of ARPA's activities were on space, ballistic missiles and nuclear test monitoring. Even so, from the start ARPA was interested in communicating between its operational base and its sub-contractors, preferably through direct links between its various computers.

The Internet was the result of some visionary people in the early 1960's. J.C.R. Licklider of MIT, first proposed a global network of computers in 1962, and moved over to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in late 1962 to head the work to develop it. Leonard Kleinrock of MIT and later UCLA developed the theory of packet switching, which was to form the basis of Internet connections. Lawrence Roberts of MIT connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines. It showed the feasibility of wide area networking, but also showed that the telephone line's circuit switching was inadequate. Kleinrock's packet switching theory was confirmed. Roberts moved over to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in 1966 and developed his plan for ARPANET. These visionaries and many more left unnamed here are the real founders of the Internet.