Something the vast majority of us could not live without, or at least would not like to think about living without, is wireless Internet. From individuals that work from home to families of three or more in which every member has regular access to web accessible devices. The first providers of commercial Internet services would emerge in both the United States and Australia in 1989 after the creation of the World Wide Web carried out by Tim Berners-Lee during research at the Swiss lab CERN. The creation of the Internet consisted of hypertext linked between web pages.
As the 1990s continued on, the development of the Internet began to kick into hyperspeed. Communications between individuals located in distant regions became almost instantaneous with the use of fiber optic cables to transmit phone calls, emails, instant messages, videos, voice over Internet Protocol telephone calls, and video chats. It also made possible online forums, social media outlets, and ecommerce websites accessible through the Internet.
Before the Internet was widely available to the public, it went through many phases for decades. The beginnings of the Internet can be traced back to the 1920s with electronic engineer Harry Nyquist and electronic researcher Ralph Hartley’s work on information theory. One of the major key developments of the Internet happened in the 1940s when telecommunications technology was evolving and the technicalities such as bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratios were being better understood.
The emergence of computer science as a study happened in the 1950s and ARPANET was awarded development by the U.S. Department of Defense. This project would go on to produce the technical foundation behind the structure of the Internet. In the 1980s, supercomputer’s at universities across the nation were provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF.) We can thank the NSF for the development of interconnectivity through the NSFNET project.
Following the emergence of commercial Internet service providers, ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990 and the optical foundation provided by the NSFNET project in 1995. As the Internet continues to grow, develop, and expand, it is becoming more and more of a source of entertainment, work, education, and so much more.
Without the Internet, we would be fully reliant on physical records and resources in order to learn, find businesses relevant to our needs, and everything else the Internet provides for us. Social media is a big part of the entertainment industry and is something that would not be around without the Internet. Streaming services also have the Internet to thank for their functionality. Today, businesses can operate fully or partially online and earn greater commissions due to the reduced cost required to run an ecommerce store.
Not only is the Internet a foundation for a multitude of things, ideas, and practices, but it continues to grow into an even larger hub for everyday life activities. The full history of the development of the Internet can be complicated to digest and lay out in one sitting. There are a ton of elements, discoveries, and research that led to what the Internet has become. It is even available in more rural parts of the world. Click here to read about Internet access in remote areas.