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Chapter 8. The Internet and the World Wide Web > Development of the Internet

Development of the Internet

The Internet grew out of a research network originally funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. Development of this network, known as the ARPANet after the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), began in 1969. Over time it grew slowly, as universities, defense agencies, and a few companies joined the network, mostly as participants in various research projects funded by ARPA. As the network grew, it was used for applications beyond research, such as electronic mail. With these other applications came increasing use by research groups working on other kinds of projects.

In the early 1980s, the current versions of the core Internet protocols, TCP and IP (which we discuss later), were introduced across the network. Shortly thereafter, as ARPA reduced its role in supporting the network, the term Internet came to be used as the name for the now global entity. The term Internet itself comes from the word internetwork—an interconnected set of networks. As we shall see, the Internet can grow with very little central control as networks are connected to each other.


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