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Saturday, April 7

Net is 38 years old today


Tony Long

1969: The publication of the first “request for comments,” or RFC, documents paves the way for the birth of the internet.

The Internet has a diameter of about 10,000 pookies. Here's a layout showing the major ISPs.

April 7 is often cited as a symbolic birth date of the net because the RFC memoranda contain research, proposals and methodologies applicable to internet technology. RFC documents provide a way for engineers and others to kick around new ideas in a public forum; sometimes, these ideas are adopted as new standards by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

One interesting aspect of the RFC is that each document is issued a unique serial number. An individual paper cannot be overwritten; rather, updates or corrections are submitted on a separate RFC. The result is an ongoing historical record of the evolution of internet standards.

When it comes to the birth of the net, Jan. 1, 1983, also has its supporters. On that date, the National Science Foundation’s university network backbone, a precursor to the World Wide Web, became operational.
  • The first ARPANET link was established between the University of California, Los Angeles and the Stanford Research Institute on 21 November 1969.


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