Who Created The Internet
Despite the fact that the information is available, many people still have questions about who created the Internet. Amid the many rumors – including one involving a particular ill-fated presidential candidate – the truth about the creation and development of the Internet is becoming better known. Read on as we recount the story of the Internet’s inception, and who was behind it.
- In 1962, the idea that would become the Internet was first hatched by Leonard Kleinrock. In a paper called “Information Flow in Large Communication Nets”, he spoke of a network of computers that were able to communicate with one another. Though this MIT researcher’s paper focused more on a communications concept called “packet switching theory”, it would later become the cornerstone idea on which the Internet was founded. One notable contemporary of Kleinrock’s, named J.C.R. Lidlicker, was also working on similar ideas in the same time frame. In his work, he referenced a so-called “Galactic Network” that would connect computers everywhere.
- Kleinrock, Lidlicker, and another researcher named Lawrence Roberts went to a governmental agency called DARPA to help develop the idea. This agency, more formally known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, was created just after the USSR beat the United States to space with the launch of their satellite, Sputnik. Its purpose was to provide resources and support to researchers like Kleinrock, Lidlicker, and Roberts, in order to assist them in developing technologies that the military might find useful. With the monetary and technological support of DARPA behind the idea, entire research teams were dedicated to the creation of the Internet. Thus, it wasn’t one single person who created the Internet, but an entire group of researchers and supporters.
- Just few years later, the network that we now know as the Internet sent its first computer-to-computer message. On October 29th of 1969, Leonard Kleinrock, now working out of UCLA, transmitted the first message from a computer. Ironically, this first message also coincided with the first Internet crash in history – something users of the Internet have unfortunately become very familiar with over the years.
- After several years in private, experimental operation, the first commercial Internet service was offered in 1974. When it was in its first phases, the Internet was called “ARPANET” by its developers, in reference to the government agency backstopping the operation. During this time, only DARPA and the researchers it contracted with had access to the network. With the advent of “Telenet” in 1974, the public could buy Internet service for the first time.