The Internet. Who isn’t aware of this term in today’s day and age? Many even call modern day technology- especially the internet- the ‘eighth wonder of the world.’ This laud that the internet, quite rightfully, receives makes one wonder- Who was behind all of this?
Silicon Valley invented the internet- most of you must be thinking of this as well. However, while Silicon Valley, California is home to some of the world’s most successful global tech companies and start-ups (think Google, Apple and Facebook), it did not invent the internet.
So who actually did?
Surprisingly, it was actually the US government who we need to thank for our everyday Netflix-bingeing sessions.
Here’s a little backstory behind it:
The Pentagon financed the development of the computer long ago. The internet began as a typical Pentagon-backed program and research project, known as ARPANET, which was created in 1957 in response to the Soviet ‘Sputnik.’
By the early 1980s, use of the ARPA communications protocol, now known as TCP/IP was far more private in nature, than it was military. The ARPANET formally ‘expired’ in 1989, and the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Computing financed the internet’s infrastructure from 1984 until 1994, by which time the trunklines (also known as, the internet’s backbone) were privatised. In short, both the design and implementation of the internet have relied almost exclusively on US government dollars.
Now, we still have the private sector to thank for for a myriad of reasons. For one, without the brilliant efforts at Xerox PARC and Apple, humans would not have been able to develop a useable graphical user interface (GUI), a lightweight and durable mouse, and the Ethernet protocol. Without these- among other- inventions, the internet would be nowhere near what it is today.
Summing up, the US Government invented the internet but at the end of the day, the private sector should still be thanked to ‘glorify’ the internet- which made it what it is today.