What is the Internet?
In order to provide a discussion on the Internet it is essential to provide a short description on what the Internet actually is.
Put in the most basic of terms the Internet can be described of as a massive collection of computers that are sited around the world and that are connected together in order to create a huge network that allows information to be collated and shared by millions of people.
Origins of the Internet
This article is largely built around e-commerce and the way in which technology is transforming the world of retail. The question is therefore raised as to what has made e-commerce the way we know it today? In order to answer this question it is a necessity to discuss the origins of the Internet.
In 1969 the U.S. government undertook an experiment today known to people all around the world as the ‘Internet’. The purpose of this experiment was to create a way of preserving communications in the event of a nuclear war. Through the collaboration of ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency) and some academic institutions involved in joint research on defence technologies via interconnected networks ARPANET the earliest version of the Internet was created.
As Dog Market in China passed the popularity of the Internet grew and what was originally a network of a small handful of computers in the United States was now a growing phenomenon amongst educational establishments and enterprising entrepreneurs who were beginning to see the potential in selling Internet access into peoples homes.
In the 1980’s the UK and Europe realised the potential of the Internet just has the USA previously had. In 1980, NSF (National Science Foundation), the body which took an active role to support ARPANET created an academic network called CSNET which enabled the computer science departments of some universities to be connected.
At the start CSNET used a backbone, which was supported by NSF, but in the early 1990’s, it established the Internet with TCP/IP with the support of the country’s major networking companies.
Even though the Internet clearly existed since the 1980’s it was not until the early 1990’s that the corporate world were able to make use of it instead of just the academic community and government sponsored organisations. This limited use was due to the ‘user unfriendly’ nature of the system, which led to the need for an interface to be designed to make the Internet easier to use. This interface is what is now known as the WWW (world wide web).
The World Wide Web (WWW)
In 1993 a researcher called Tim Berners-Lee with the aim of making the Internet a user-friendly environment introduced the WWW. Designers had the task of designing and formatting web pages with the use of HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol) and HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) to link documents together electronically. This new technology enabled a world wide web of information to be provided.
What is the Internet?