50th Anniversary of the Internet

Internet, ARPANET, University of California

50 years ago, today, the internet was founded in a test performed at the University of California, Los Angeles. On 29th October 1969, Professor Len Kleinrock and his team sent the first message over a network of computers. This first message sent over a network has evolved into the internet we know today.

The message sent over the computer network was “LOGIN” but got as far as “LO” when the network crashed. These first 2 characters was etched in history as the start of a worldwide communication revolution.

The network was named ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was developed by government, industry and academia. Allowed scientists and academics to share computer resources and research files between educational campuses.

2 months later, 4 transfer nodes were setup to include UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, Universities of Santa Barbara and Utah. These network nodes grew exponentially to 100 in 1977, 100,000 by 1989, 1,000,000 early 90’s to a billion in 2012. Currently serves more than half of the planet’s population.

ARPANET diagrams

Through the years, there have been many surprising, positive applications emerging changing the way we go about our daily lives. The introduction of email, world wide web, file sharing, Napster, YouTube, social networking has transformed communication and commerce. There has also been a growing emergence of harmful and unethical use of the internet. Beginning in the early 90’s, email SPAM and commerce opportunities bringing fraud, privacy, fake news and internet attacks.

Internet Future

As the internet reaches 50 years old, what do we see for its future for the next 50? The internet is expected to become more invisible and built into infrastructure and surroundings. As we walk or drive we’ll interact on the go without the use of specific devices. The Internet of Things is bringing this embedded internet service into our homes. These IoT devices are becoming more automated with less human interaction. They will work straight from the box and configure themselves according to the environment.

Many internet innovations are emerging daily and, with global accessibility, fast moving technology, global preferences and disruptors affecting its direction. Evolving and surprising us to something indistinguishable from what we currently know as the internet 50 years from now.