Paving the Internet

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In 1964, Paul Baran created the theory of a distributed network. The theory was proposed as part of research for Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) by Rand corporation with the intention of creating a communication network with no command point to prevent nuclear attacks on its airborne fleet(s).

Within ARPA’s research the concept of a packet switching network was introduced by Leonard Kleinrock who used it to send a message from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to Standford. In 1965, Lawrence Roberts, a chief scientist for ARPA research, designed a small-scale network infrastructure that allowed two computers located in two different places to communicate. The two computers were linked using a single phone line and a modem enabling the transfer of digital data called “packets,” thus, ARPANET, now called the Internet, was born.

Bob Kan and Vint Kerf expanded the theory of “packet switching” in 1974, with the introduction of Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP / IP). The concept of digital data transferred in packets would later be described by Vint Kerf (2007) as, “the infrastructure that gets things from point A to point B.”

In 1983, the Domain Name System (DNS) was invented by Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel at the University of Southern California (USC). The purpose being to create a centralized system that converts domain names into internet protocol (IP) for Internet communication.

ARPANET’s research was later refined and expanded through the use of communication standards such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) by Tom Berners Lee, eminent of the World Wide Web (1989). The concept exploded into internet browsing applications when Marc Anderson created the first widely used Mosaic browser.

ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990; however, the Internet landscape created in its wake now reaches space in its imaginative creation, crossing earth and country borders with limitless boundaries through remote satellite driven technologies.

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