Internet TImeline 1949 to 1996

The popular descriptions of the history of the Internet are basically correct as far they go. They describe a DARPA and ARPANET centric
path to the Internet. They do not include the first computer network which was initiated in 1949 or the first online order application which
was initiated in 1953.  The first file transfer was on SAGE which was running years before ARPANET was first imagined.  The first online
order application was running before the ARPANET was imagined. There are many things that are left out of the popular description of the
Internet history.

This effort includes some major activity about both the commercial and government paths to the Internet from 1949 to 1996.

1949, computer networks began

SAGE research and development. The worlds first computer network was developed in the research labs doing work on the SAGE project.  
That network had the worlds first file transfer or email.


The worlds first production computer network, initiated in 1949, was SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment), the national air defense
system implemented by the United States to warn of and intercept airborne attacks during the Cold War. The SAGE collaborative produced
an array of inventions in data processing and communications hardware used across a new  distributed system  of real-time information,
now known as a network. When fully deployed in 1963, SAGE operated across 27 locations via modems and 25,000 telephone lines (using
digital-analog and analog-digital conversions). The system displayed  interactive computer graphics,  often executed by a light gun aimed
at a screen.   (From IBM 100 website)

See IBM 100 SAGE  

SAGE could not be hacked.


SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment) central reservation system, which was originally a part of American Airlines,
pioneered online transactions. For the first time, computers were connected together through a network that allowed people around the
world to enter data, process requests for information and conduct business. (From IBM 100 website)

See IBM 100 SABRE   SABER could not be hacked.  


VNET is an acronym for Virtual Network.  Anecdotally, it began as part of SAGE research and development.  

IBM VNET could not be hacked.


Between the 1960s and the 1900s, Thousands of public and private networks were implemented. There were standards protocols but IBM
s SNA was used by over 80% of the public and private networks until IP was made available for general use in 1996.   In 1977, the IBM
education center in taught 1,100 hardware and software support people how to do system network problem determinations.

Those networks could not be hacked until 1983 when remote control was designed into computer to computer connections.


In 1966, Lawrence G. Roberts went to Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to put together his plan for the Advanced
Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) to interconnect large research computers.  
ARPANET was purpose-built restricted to closed communities.   


Announced in 1979, CompuServe became the first major commercial online service provider in the USA. It was a dominate Value Added
Network (VAN) service provider through the 1980s and was ultimately purchased by AOL.


In 1981 BITNET (Because It is Time) was established. It was modeled after IBM s VNET.  While BITNET had fair us rules like ARPANET, it
was not closed to military or research.  It was for widespread education and research communication with a wide audience. In a very short
time it had all state governments and most if not all higher education facilities connected at several locations.  It had thousand of
connections when it converted to the Internet Protocol.  

“in 1981 Ira Fuchs and Greydon Freeman devised BITNET, which linked academic mainframe computers in an "email as card images"

With the exception of BITNET and USENET, these early networks (including ARPANET) were purpose-built - i.e,they were intended for, and
largely restricted to, closed communities of scholars; there was hence little pressure for the individual networks to be compatible and,
indeed, they largely were not.  (From Internet society site)

In 1988, BITNET connected to the IBM Information Network (
BITNET


Announced in 1982, the IBM Information Network (IBM IN) later named the IBM Global Network was made available.  IBM IN began as
another Value Added Network (VAN). It became the fastest growing of all network service providers. It was the most successful pre-IP
generic Internet service provider of all the various VANs and online service providers.  It continued its growth through the 1980s and
1990s. It eventually changed protocol emphasis from IBM SNA to IP.

During the rapid growth pre-IP phase it acquired a competing Value Added Network that was delivered by Sears. The combined larger VAN
became known as Advantis. Before it made the switch to IP to becoming another ISP in the 1995. It was the largest customer of the three
largest telephone companies in the USA. In addition to using more transmission facilities of the three phone companies than any of their
other customers, it had significant in house owned transmission facilities.

After the conversion to the Internet Protocol, the IBM Global Network was purchased by AT&T.  As a part of AT&T it is still a major ISP.

IBM IN was the worlds first network specifically designed to support the requirements that 1) any user on any network can communicate with
any user on any network when authorized;  and 2) anything that can be recorded electronically can be delivered electronically. Those
requirements adhere to the official government definition of the Internet which means it was the first generic Internet service provider.  The
IBM IN Architecture and Strategy was based on the IBM Electronic Customer Support Architecture and Strategy created in 1980 at the
Washington System Center. The architect wrote the 1985 IBM Information Network Marketing Guide that described the marketing approach
to sell the new concept of a shared data network like the shared voice network or the interstate highway system.  Thus, the electronic

The IBM IN activity was visible in the networking world. Eventually; all other public and private use networks had to adjust their business
plans to coincide with the IBM IN architecture and strategy. The Internet business model of today is the same as specified in the IBM IN
Architecture and Strategy.     

Minitel Videotex

In 1982, Minitel Videotex online service was announced in France. Users could make online purchases and perform various online activities
including chat.  It converted to the Internet Protocol and became an ISP.  It is still a large successful ISP that predated the US government s
NSFNET Internet by years.


Telnet, first proposed in 1971 and first used in 1983 on the ARPANET,  was the beginning of hacking capability being designed into
networks. The remote control design enabled a computer to take control of a remote computer.  That remote control was hacking capability
designed into ARPANET.  

To provide security TELNET must be closed and replaced with a secure process to enable business.  


CVT (AOL), PRODIGY and others

AOL began in 1983, as Control Video Corporation (CVC),

In 1984, Prodigy began its online service as a pre-IP Internet service provider.  It was a joint venture between IBM and Sears.  It followed a
prior joint venture between IBM, Sears and CBS.  Like the France Videotex , it allowed subscribers to search for information and do other
activity such as banking and shopping.

Other dial services sites also came between 1983 and 1998.  

The dial services did not have much success until the first three steps of the architecture had delivered the shared global network.  Once
the critical mass had been achieved, fourth and fifth streps of the IBM IN architecture became reality.  

EMAIL any to any

In 1986, pilot connections for any to any email began.  The IBM PROFS to customer PROFS service was formally announced for general
availability in 1988.  An article titled So long telephone tag describes the beginning of any to any  email. In that article, it is mention that
email growth will be geometric as companies implement their own email programs.

In 1986, thousands of companies had an internal email product.  PROFS was the dominate internal email product used inside IBM and by
IBM customers.  The first step for any to any email was to connect the dominate internal email service the outside world.  In 1991, IBM Mail
Exchange was the second step that naturally followed to interconnect other internal email product to the outside world.  

see so long telephone tag


The NSF solicited proposals in June 1987 for a new higher speed research network.  In November, 1987, the NSF awarded the job of
building and managing this new high-speed research network to a team consisting of IBM, MCI and Merit.  In 1988, they began building a
new research NSFNET Internet to replace the NSFs ARPANET.  The new NSFNET research network had the same ARPANET research fair
use rules that specifically excluded all business that the Internet is know for today. In 1987, when the NSF issued the contract, there were
tens of thousands of public and private networks interconnected through the IBM IN and other Value Added Networks.  

See IBM 100 Rise of the Internet


Many new networks and site services emerged in the early 1990s.  Most of the new networks and site services were IP based.  Since the
shared data communication network was in place, the new site services did not have to build dial access.  It made it easier for their former
dial customers to gain access.  


In 1996, the Value Added Networks officially become ISPs.  In the early 1990s VANs began using the Internet Protocol along with their other
computer languages. Over time, they ended the use of other protocols and the technology contest ended with IP as the single protocol.  
The IBM Information Network had so many customers that it was about to run out of address space using IBM' SNA so it was timely to
convert to IP.  

After the convergence, access to the NSFNET backbone was limited and the fair use rules were reapplied. The activity on the commercial
services providers backbones continued to add growing number individuals, business and government users and services.  

Most of the large company business to business activity had been implemented in the 1980s using other protocols and that activity was
converted to the Internet Protocol.  The commercial transport  service providers backbones continued to carry the commercial traffic for
their customers as the had done since they first began to interconnect in 1983.

The 1987 NSFNET project to build a research network to replace the ARPANET ended at the end of 1995.  The NSFNET Internet
backbone essentially returned to being a closed a government  research network in 1996.  

The biggest post convergence growth began with the general public who began using open any to any email then added other online
business.  Social networking gradually stimulated significant growth.