Internet definition

The official government definition describes a generic Internet that does not require the Internet Protocol.  

On October 24, 1995, the FNC (Federal Networking Council) unanimously passed a resolution defining the term Internet. This definition was developed in consultation with
members of the Internet and intellectual property rights communities.


"The Federal Networking Council (FNC) agrees that the following language reflects our definition of the term "Internet".

"Internet" refers to the global information system that --

(i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons;

(ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-
compatible protocols; and

(iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein."

In short, the generic Internet used IP at the time but IP is not required. Before IP and after IP any network that meets the remainder of the generic definition is Internet.

The Internet does not require IP any more that a car requires a gasoline engine.

There were cars with before the gasoline engine. A car is a car regardless of the engine.  Tissue is a generic name while Kleenex is a brand of tissue.  Internet is a generic
name while AT&T is a brand. The generic definition of the Internet is not tied to a specific brand or protocol.  The generic Internet is delivered by brand name service providers
called ISPs.  Before the commercial services providers adopted IP, they provided generic Internet services using other protocol and gateways to bridge or interconnect
networks. Today, the commercial service providers us IP. In the future their may be a different computer language to interconnect networks.

The popular description of the Internet history talks almost exclusively about the ARPANET related activity. However; the ARPANET  does not meet the generic definition of the
Internet.  It was a brand of network that  was closed which means that it was not part of the pre-IP Internet. Before IP,  Value Added Networks that were interconnected and
met the generic definition of the Internet were part of the pre-IP  Internet.  Like the ARPANET, there were many predecessor networks.   All networks that existed before the
Internet are part of the past that should be included in the history of the Internet.  Most people know the value of history and that mistakes of the past are repeated when
history is hidden.  It is hard to get more value from past inventors if they are not recognized.  The Internet Society and other promoters of the Internet history should include the
complete history instead of selective history,

What Is The Internet?

It is commercial interconnected shared data networks based on a business model that has two main architectural design principles:
-        Any user on any network can communicate with any other user on any other network when authorized, and
-        Anything that can be recorded electronically can be delivered electronically.
The user community depends on the two business model principles to be met by the commercial service providers regardless of the underlying delivery technology.

Internet adopts commercial business model in 1998

To paraphrase the following full quote: The federal government did not allow the Internet to carry out commercial activities. By 1988, it was apparent the Internet growth and
use was seriously inhibited by this restriction. In response, Congress passed legislation allowing NSF to open the NSFNET to commercial usage.  Thus, the Internet
adopted the commercial business model.

In an article called What Is The Internet (And What Makes It Work) - December, 1999 By Robert E. Kahn and Vinton G. Cerf; they write:

QUOTE: For a long time, the federal government did not allow organizations to connect to the Internet to carry out commercial activities. By 1988, it was becoming apparent,
however, that the Internet's growth and use in the business sector might be seriously inhibited by this restriction. That year, CNRI requested permission from the Federal
Networking Council to interconnect the commercial MCI Mail electronic mail system to the Internet as part of a general electronic mail interconnection experiment.
Permission was given and the interconnection was completed by CNRI, under Cerf’s direction, in the summer of 1989. Shortly thereafter, two of the then non-profit Internet
Service Providers (UUNET [xii] and NYSERNET) produced new for-profit companies (UUNET and PSINET [xiii] respectively). In 1991, they were interconnected with each other
and CERFNET [xiv]. Commercial pressure to alleviate restrictions on interconnections with the NSFNET began to mount.

In response, Congress passed legislation allowing NSF to open the NSFNET to commercial usage END QUOTE

The NSFNET joined the older larger commercial Internet in 1989 when it connected to MCI mail.  That is when it became open instead of closed preventing business and
social networking.  

The free competitor won: NET-neutrality never existed.

There are two main points in the quoted statement: 1, The government did not allow commercial activity which inhibited the NSFNET Internet growth, and 2, Congress
passed legislation to permit NSFNET to begin commercial usage.  As a result, the NSFNET Internet adopted the commercial business model and then began competing
with the commercial services who had developed the successful business model.

Obviously, since NSFNET Internet and IP could not be used for business, IP was more than seriously inhibited. It could NOT compete or merge with the much older and
larger business sector activity. In other words, the existence of the closed research NSFNET  Internet and the underlying technology was on a path to extinction unless it
adopted the commercial Business Model. It took congregational legislation to allow the government NSFNET Internet to adopt the open commercial business model.  Then it
competed for business by giving traffic away for free.

The NSF charged for connection but traffic was free to the consumer at tax payers expense.  The commercial service providers charged for traffic.   It is like a connection to a
water company.  They charge for a connection and they charge for amount of water used.  The ISPs charged for connection and for amount of traffic carried.   Historically,  
ARPANET never charged for traffic.  It was a closed research network funded by the government.  It was not net-neutral because it was a closed research network funded by
the tax payers.  

Even the government highway system is not net-neutral.  It has High Occupancy Vehicle lanes and toll roads.  When traffic volume gets too much for the highway, the traffic is
restricted or people pay for greater access on a toll road.  The electronic highway is the same when it comes to traffic management..

A mistake to ignore history

It is a big mistake to ignore history. When inventors are not recognized, their future inventions are likely lost. The NSFNET Internet used the ARPANET security requirements
which were OK for a closed research network but not fit for an open commercial network. They focused on transport and retrofit security  with fire walls that were not fire proof.  
So, they got a transport service with security problems. They needed to recognize and use the commercial business model security requirements.  

In 1988, the Iinternet adopted the commercial business model that was in place in 1983.  See pages from the 1985 Information Network Marketing guide that describe the
shared data network to enable any user on any network to communicate with any user on any other network.  The documents includes the principle that any thing that can be
recorded electronically can be delivered electronically.  
See IBM Information Network Marketing guide   Prior to the IBM Information Network OPEN any to any business model
architecture and strategy, all other networks were isolated to individual companies or to selected user communities. There were millions of users and applications on
thousands of networks using different communication technologies.

The IBM Information Network architecture defined a shared data network that is similar to the shared voice network or a shared electronic highway. Companies or people did
not build separate voice networks but companies and user communities did build isolated data networks.  Each data network was for a specific company or specific set of
users.  The Information Network changed the paradigm from build your own network to using a shared data network.  Gateways were implemented to enable the
interconnection of the isolated user community specific networks.   The business model of interconnecting of all networks for all things was first put in place by the IBM
Information Network.  

Why was the architecture originated?

This architecture and strategy could have been invented by the NSF or DARPA since the government had a large customer population to support.  The only difference is that it
would have been a government invention instead of a commercial invention.  As it is, the invention came from IBM.

The Architecture and Strategy is straight forward and very easy to understand. IBM was the dominate seller of computers and software. Thousands of companies worldwide
had IBM computers using SNA for their networks.  Thousands of other companies had IBM computers or competing computers using other protocols for their networks.
Those networks were not interconnected.

When a customer of IBM needed support, the System Engineer (SE) or Program Support Representative (PSR) would go to an IBM facility, do research and load a fix on a
tape.  Then the SE or PSR would drive to the customer location.  Since the information was initially in electronic form, it could be delivered electronically if there were a
connection between IBM and the customer.  

Step 1.

Build a shared data network then establish connections between IBM and it’s customers and suppliers. Connecting both customers and suppliers made Electronic
Customer Support a two way electronic business solution. That was the beginning of the formal Electronic Customer Support Architecture and Strategy to deliver wide scale
electronic business to business communication on a future global network that would naturally emerge.

Once IBM customers were connected to IBM’s network they could access IBM support systems tp do some of the stuff that had been done by Systems Engineers and
Program Support Representatives. This business model is described in the 1984 Network Services Marketing guide. By 1985, the architecture and strategy was formally
engaged with the announcement of IBM InfoExpress through the IBM Information Network.
see InfoExpress

Step 2.

Once IBM’s customers and suppliers were connected to a common global network for electronic business with IBM, those same customers could use the same connection
to perform their own electronic business with their customers and suppliers.  Step two was a simple expansion of the IBM to many to allow any to any. The cost benefit work
had been completed for communication with IBM.  The subsequent Business to Business communication was virtually cost free productivity gain.

The any to any growth was geometrical as each company added their business partners. One connection to IBM’s Value Added Network gave a common connection to the
world for open electronic communication with all people regardless of their business or government activities and communication partners.

Step 3.

While step one and two concentrated primarily on IBM and it’s customers and suppliers, step three went after other enterprises or smaller enterprises who might not be IBM
customers or suppliers. A person who makes belts for a retailer might have just a PC. Their electronic business activity could also be conducted through the shared global

Add multi-enterprise Email. Thousands of public and private enterprises  already had some form of internal file transfer and internal email applications.  They just were
isolated. People saw  the advantage of internal email so the idea of connecting to an external any to any email service was another obvious step.  Instead of printing things
and mailing it to a company that reentered the information, companies easily understood that anything that can be recorded electronically can be delivered electronically.  
This part of the strategy changed the paradigm from closed internal email to the formation of open any to any Email.  
See so long telephone tag

Step 4.

Connect the general public who could then purchased anything from any company that is also connects to do business online.  

Step 5.

The ultimate goal is to enable the architect and you to communicate with friends and family along with access to a myriad information sources, applications or users. The
architect also intended for you and anyone reading this to do email and all sorts of stuff electronically including pictures and videos. It would make things like family and class
reunions easier to plan and promote.  Social networks were an implicit  natural progression.

Electronic mail was part of the driver for steps 4 and 5. The architect used email at work and wanted to do it at home with family and friends. He knew that other people would
love it.  Any to any email was planned to save both time and cost of mailing letters and such.  It is better to do it electronically that cut a tree to make paper and burn gas
delivering the paper.

Steps 1 to 4 were intended as the means to the step 5 end result.

It was a Business Motivator  

The strategy provided productivity and reduced cost for all the participating businesses. The IBM motivation was the productivity and customer satisfaction associated with
faster more reliable problem determination and software fix deliver.  

The architecture and strategy was to build a global network to address two main requirements:

- Any user on any network can communicate with any other user on any other network when authorized, and
- Anything that can be recorded electronically can be delivered electronically.

The user community depends on those two business model principles to be met by the commercial service providers regardless of the underlying delivery technology.

See an article about interconnecting state driver license agencies.

See an article about the network going global and full blown international networking.

See an article about BITNET interconnection.  

See articles about the first remote viewing on a shared global network  

See an article about selling and implementing the architecture.