Internet History

The collection of people, hardware, and software ­- the multiaccess computer together with its local community of users — will become a node in a geographically distributed computer network. Let us assume for a moment that such a network has been formed.

– J. C. R. Licklider, Robert Taylor, The Computer as a Communication Device, 1968.

Who invented the Internet? Each of the individual Internet application chapters starts with a specific section on the history of how it was invented. This particular section describes the history of the invention of the underlying Internet itself.

The Internet has become such an integral part of our lives, with such powerful capabilities, that it is easy to forget that this technological marvel was created by the long, hard, dedicated efforts of human beings — folks who had a vision of what universal networking could become and worked to make it happen. The key people, projects, and organizations that helped create the Internet are described below, first in a top-level summary and then in sections in roughly chronological order.