The internet has changed the way we do things. The invention of computers, telephones, telegraph etc. have unleashed unprecedented integration of capabilities. The internet is an international networks of computers primarily for the dissemination of information and a medium of interaction between people without any geographical barrier.
Internet began with the invention of electronic computers in the 1950s. The US Department of Defense awarded contracts in the early 1960s for the development of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network popularly called ARPANET project. The ARPANET was the first network to use the TCP/IP protocol and the earliest form of switching network known. Message was first sent over the ARPANET in 1969 by Professor Leonard Kleinrock from his computer science lab in UCLA to a network node at Stanford Research Institute.
After this successful transmission of message from one network node to the other, packet switching networks such as the National Physics Laboratory (NPL) network, Telnet, Tymnet, Merit Network and CYCLADES were developed using different communication protocols. These led to intense research in these areas majorly in the United States, France and The United Kingdom.
In the 1980s, national supercomputing centers were founded in several universities across the United States with support from the NSF and by 1986, they have provided interconnectivity with the National Science Foundation Network (The NSFNET project). This created access sites to supercomputers in the United States from research and educational organizations.
In The late 1980s, commercial internet service providers commonly known as (ISPs) have now being formed and operational and in 1990, ARPANET was decommissioned. This decommissioning allowed private connections to some parts of the internet by commercial organizations, although very limited. But in 1995, the NSFNET project was decommissioned, which subsequently led to full utilization of the internet by commercial organizations.
In the 1980s, a British computer scientist, Tim Berners – Lee working at CERN in Switzerland developed the World Wide Web. This resulted in the successful linking of hypertext documents into an information system easily accessible from any node on the network. This provided the foundation for what is known today as the internet.
One of the most important factors to the rapid growth of the internet is its free and open access to basic documents especially those for the specifications of the protocols. This action encouraged by the ARPANET project within the universities researchers’ communities promoted the open publications of ideas and research results, consequently allowing the easy access and exchange of information and ideas that made the development and deployment of internet to everyone possible within this space of time.