For most of us, the internet is an essential part of our way of life. We google how to get to the closest Starbucks, look up the weather forecast for the next week, or check out the latest breaking news. Maps, newspapers, and magazines—in fact, almost everything—have been moving online, and industry providers, such as internet providers in Greensboro, are practically indispensable. How did this all get started?
When It All Began
The first baby steps of internet development began in the 1950s. Several computer science laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, and France initiated the concept of packet networking to enable communication of data between two points.
Then, in the 1960s, the US Department of Defense pursued development of an alternative method of communication in case of a massive Soviet attack on the American phone system. A scientist by the name of J.C.R. Licklider suggested creating a “galactic network” of computers that communicate with each other. This led to the creation of the ARPANET, the earliest form of the internet.
The first attempt at communication between ARPANET computers on October 29, 1969 crashed when the communication reached the third letter of “LOGIN”! Charley Kline of UCLA was the man who held the honor of making this first attempt to use the internet. By the end of the 1960s, only four computers were connected to this network, but it grew rapidly from there.
The Advent of TCP/IP
By the end of the 1970s, Vinton Cerf, a computer scientist, invented the transmission control protocol and the internet protocol—now referred to as TCP/IP, which enabled the internet to become worldwide. However, in those early days, only scientists, engineers, librarians, and computer professionals used the ARPANET and the system was very complicated. There was no such thing as home or office computers.
The World Wide Web
It wasn’t until 1991 that a Swiss programmer by the name of Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web that we’re familiar with today. He created the first website, which was text-only and very basic. On the first line, he defined the “World Wide Web (W3)” as a “wide-area hypermedia information retrieval initiative aiming to give universal access to a large universe of documents.” It gave instructions on how to create web pages and explained hypertext.
From there, it was all history. The next year, in 1992, University of Illinois students and researchers developed the first web browser called Mosaic, which later became Netscape. By the end of the 1990s, there were over 3 million websites. By 2001, there were 7,000 internet providers.
The history of the internet has been a fast-moving innovation. Thirty years ago, the internet as we know it didn’t exist and most people would not have dreamed of the high-tech capabilities we now have. But now, Greensboro internet providers are one of the first places you contact when you move into the area, because most of us can’t imagine being without internet service for very long!