Can you imagine living without the Internet? Nowadays it seems almost impossible! It’s a part of all our lives, but how did the Internet come to be?
The origins of the Internet date back to research commissioned by the United States federal government in the 1960s to build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks.
The primary precursor network, the ARPANET, initially served as a backbone for interconnection of regional academic and military networks in the 1980s. The funding of the National Science Foundation Network as a new backbone in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial breaextensions, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks.
The linking of commercial networks and enterprises by the early 1990s marks the beginning of the transition to the modern Internet, and generated a sustained exponential growth as generations of institutional, personal, and mobile computers were connected to the network. Although the Internet was widely used by academia since the 1980s, the commercialization incorporated its services and technologies into virtually every aspect of modern life.
Internet use grew rapidly in the West from the mid-1990s and from the late 1990s in the developing world.
In the 20 years since 1995, Internet use has grown 100-times, measured for the period of one year, to over one third of the world population.
Most traditional communications media, including telephony, radio, television, paper mail and newspapers are being reshaped or redefined by the Internet, giving birth to new services such as email, Internet telephony, Internet television music, digital newspapers, and video streaming websites. Newspaper, book, and other print publishing are adapting to website technology, or are reshaped into blogging, web feeds and online news aggregators.
The entertainment industry was initially the fastest growing segment on the Internet.
The Internet has enabled and accelerated new forms of personal interactions through instant messaging, Internet forums, and social networking.
Online shopping has grown exponentially both for major retailers and small businesses and entrepreneurs, as it enables firms to extend their “bricks and mortar” presence to serve a larger market or even sell goods and services entirely online.
Learn more in the following video: