Using all the technology available, companies were able to team up with the phone company and tie branch offices to the headquarters. The speeds of data transfer were often slow and were still dependent on the speed and capacity of the host computers at the headquarters site.
The phone company was also able to offer leased line and dial-up options. With leased-lines, companies paid for a continuous connection to the host computer. Companies using dial-up connections paid only for time used. Dial-up connections were perfect for the small office or branch.
Birth of the personal computer
The birth of the personal computer in 1981 really fueled the explosion of the networking marketplace. No longer were people dependent on a mainframe for applications, file storage, processing, or printing. The PC gave users incredible freedom and power.
The Internet 1970’s – 1980’s
The 70’s and 80’s saw the beginnings of the Internet. The Internet as we know it today began as the ARPANET — The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network – built by a division of the Department of Defense essentially in the mid ‘60’s through grant-funded research by universities and companies. The first actual packet-switched network was built by BBN. It was used by universities and the federal government to exchange information and research. Many local area networks connected to the ARPANET with TCP/IP. TCP/IP was developed in 1974 and stands for Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol. The ARPANET was shut down in 1990 due to newer network technology and the need for greater bandwidth on the backbone.
In the late ‘70’s the NSFNET, the National Science Foundation Network was developed. This network relied on super computers in San Diego; Boulder; Champaign; Pittsburgh; Ithaca; and Princeton. Each of these six super computers had a microcomputer tied to it which spoke TCP/IP. The microcomputer really handled all of the access to the backbone of the Internet. Essentially this network was overloaded from the word “go”.
Further developments in networking lead to the design of the ANSNET — Advanced Networks and Services Network. ANSNET was a joint effort by MCI, Merit and IBM specifically for commercial purposes.
This large network was sold to AOL in 1995. The National Science Foundation then awarded contracts to four major network access providers: Pacific Bell in San Francisco, Ameritech in Chicago, MFS in Washington DC and Sprint in New York City. By the mid ‘80’s the collection of networks began to be known as the “Internet” in university circles. TCP/IP remains the glue that holds it together.
In January 1992 the Internet Society was formed – a misleading name since the Internet is really a place of anarchy. It is controlled by those who have the fastest lines and can give customers the greatest service today.
The primary Internet-related applications used today include: Email, News retrieval, Remote Login, File Transfer and World Wide Web access and development.
1990’s Globle Internetworking
With the growth and development of the Internet came the need for speed – and bandwidth. Companies want to take advantage of the ability to move information around the world quickly. This information comes in the form of voice, data and video – large files which increase the demands on the network. In the future, global internetworking will provide an environment for emerging applications that will require even greater amounts of bandwidth. If you doubt the future of global internetworking consider this – the Internet is doubling in size about every 11 months.