The Internet, a revolutionary and cheap communications system that has
transformed the lives of billions of people across the world, turned 30
The computer network officially began its technological
revolution when it fully substituted previous networking systems on
January 1 1983.
Known as "flag day", it was the first time the US
Department of Defence (DoD)-commissioned ARPANET network fully switched
to use of the Internet protocol suite (IPS) communications system.
Using data "packet-switching", the new method of linking computers paved the way for the arrival of the World Wide Web.
don't think that anybody making that switch on the day would have
realised the importance of what they were doing," the Daily Telegraph
quoted Chris Edwards, an electronics correspondent for Engineering and
Technology magazine, as saying.
"But without it the Internet and the World Wide Web as we know them could not have happened."
on the historic event's impact on the world, Edwards said: "The
Internet means there is nowhere and no one in the world you can't reach
easily and cheaply.''
Based on designs by Welsh scientist Donald Davies, the ARPANET network began as a military project in the late 1960s.
was developed at prestigious American universities and research
laboratories, such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
and the Stanford Research Institute.
Starting in 1973, work on the
powerful and flexible IPS and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
technology which would change mass communications got under way.
new systems were designed to replace the more vulnerable Network
Control Program (NCP) used previously, making sure the network was not
exposed to a single point of failure.
This meant a single attack could not bring it down, making it safer and more reliable, the report said.
January 1 1983, the substitution of the older system for the new
Internet protocol had been completed and the Internet was born.
computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee was then able to use it to host the
system of interlinked hypertext documents he invented in 1989, known as
the World Wide Web.