XI - The Vision Spilling credits JCR Licklider with the vision that inspired the Internet developments. Spilling writes:
"Dr. Licklider, educated both in electrical engineering and
psychology, had the vision of 'an on-line community of people,' where
the computers should help people to communicate and provide support
for the human decision processes...."(Spilling, The Internet)(25)
The vision Licklider proposed was of an "intergalactic network". This was to be a human computer communications networking utility which would function like other utilities in that everyone would have access to it. However, this was to be global and to make it possible for governments, scientists and people around the world to communicate in a way that was unprecedented. Licklider's vision was of an on-line community of people. Computers would help humans to communicate with each other.
This vision inspired the early development of the Internet.(26) It is articulated in diverse forms through this formative period of the Internet's development. For example, an editorial in the ARPANET News in February, 1974 explains:
"Inherent in the concept of a resource sharing computer network is
the idea of a cooperative, collaborative working mode. This calls
for a very special 'place for people's heads' -- a special ability
to be cognizant of and concerned for the welfare of the whole. This
long-term objective and viewpoint requires a personal feeling of
responsibility for the welfare of the network instead of the
short-sightedness of acquisitive self-interest.... With the backing
of ARPA-IPT in this endeavor... the ARPANET shows every promise of
becoming the global tool for enhanced communication and
understanding between nations and their scientists and people that
was envisioned for it in its beginning."(27)
The ARPANET News editorial proposes that the ARPANET can be an international network. The researchers developing this worldwide networking system, though, recognized the need for something different from a centralized single network like the ARPANET. Networks like Cyclades in France, NPL in Great Britain, and the ARPANET in the US were under the control of different national governments and were developing in different technical ways suited to the needs of the political and administrative entities they belonged to. This was the problem posed for networking researchers of the early 1970s. An international collaboration made it possible to solve the problem of interconnecting dissimilar packet switching networks to make communication possible across their boundaries. Lundh also credits Engelbart with contributing to the vision of resource sharing.
While Licklider formulated the vision which inspired networking research, Lundh points to Kahn's role in providing an overall direction toward realizing this vision. Lundh writes that "more than anybody else Kahn was the person who formulated goals and guided development of the Internet technology during the most active development period." (Lundh, 16)
Kirstein concurs. He writes: "Others had much to do with protocol design and implementation detail, Kahn had the overall research goals and direction. He was personally responsible for formulating the programme, and for ensuring that they followed the right lines. Moreover, when other activities, like those of the PTTs
at the time, threatened some of the directions of the programme, it was Kahn who formulated activities that kept the programme on the right lines without alienating the PTTs too much. Thus when the British Post Office insisted on the use of IPSS (see earlier), Kahn asked BBN to organise things with relays at BBN in a way that would allow those channels to be used on the US side -- even though this had no real interest to him in true Internet research."(Kirstein, Email, October 8, 2002)
Kahn had worked on the BBN proposal to design the ARPANET. He was part of the BBN team to create the IMP subnetwork. He was the author of the original 1822 protocol specification for the interface between the IMPs and Hosts for the ARPANET. He also provided important leadership for the development of the Internet. In an article published in November, 1972, Kahn presents both human and computer interaction in information processing as a property of resource sharing networks. He writes:
"A principal motive underlying computer network development is to
provide a convenient and economic method for a wide variety of
resources to be shared. Such a network provides more than an
increased collection of hardware and software resources; it
affords the capability for computers as well as individuals to
interact in the exchange and processing of information."
(Kahn, “Resource Sharing”, 116)
Kahn describes how such networks encourage participation among users. This is a cooperative process that generates high levels of technical achievement. He writes:
"Computer networks provide a unique mechanism for increased
participation between individuals. Participation in research and
development using the distributed resources of a computer network
can lead to close cooperation between individuals who might
otherwise have little incentive to work together. This
interaction can further cross-fertilize the network community and
encourage even higher levels of achievement through technical
cooperation." (Kahn, “Resource Sharing”, 117)
In 1972, before the design of the TCP/IP protocol, Kahn proposed that "a communication system not preclude the possibility that separate... data networks may be accessed through it if all resources are to be mutually accessible." (Kahn, “ResourceSharing”, 120)(28)
The problem Kahn identified in his article on resource sharing networks is the need for a means to link the networks of different countries.(29)
Intimately tied to the problem of communicating across the boundaries of dissimilar packet switching networks, was the need to support a collaborative process to create a working protocol for an Internet. The requirements for this protocol were that it be as minimal as possible, asking only of the differing networks, what was necessary for internetworking communication. Also it was desirable to have the internetworking process implemented outside of the individual networks whenever possible (via gateways, which were later called routers). Then the networks, themselves, would require the least change, if there were to be a change in the protocol.
The TCP/IP protocol suite requires the agreement of the participating networks to certain gateway and operating system specifications in the host computers. Substantial collaborative scientific research and experimentation were required to develop the design and work out the implementation problems. Utilizing the SATNET research, IPTO and their research community, in collaboration with research groups in Norway and the UK, developed and then spread a robust and functional protocol design and implementation. Subsequently, German and Italian researchers joined the cooperative efforts. Meanwhile other researchers, particularly French researchers contributed in important ways. This created the basis for a global Internet.(30)
In his book The Future of Ideas, Lawrence Lessig advocates preserving the Internet's unique architecture and culture.(31) He proposes that it is the end-to-end principle of networking architecture and shared code that are critical aspects of the Internet. The end-to-end principle requires that the network not be changed to accommodate the uses of individual entities. Instead such uses are to be implemented at the ends of the Internet. This is an important principle for the development of resource sharing in packet switching networks. This is not, however, sufficient to make an Internet a reality. Neither is the sharing of programming code, though this, too, is desirable for Internet development and a desirable networking goal. The critical aspect of the Internet's development is the ability to develop an architecture that asks as little as possible of the collaborating networks and that treats each network as a peer of the other, rather than subordinating any network to any other. This architecture, called by Kahn "open architecture", is the critical principle of the Internet.(32)
This architecture means that each network wanting to interconnect and to communicate does not have to ask any other network for permission to join. This is one characteristic that leads Lessig and others to call the Internet a "commons". Also Internet standards are freely available to all interested. Therefore, any network can implement the TCP/IP protocol suite as part of a host operating system and connect with a gateway to other networks. This "open architecture" of the Internet facilitates its ability to spread around the globe. Networks do not have to change their nature or ownership to become part of the global Internet. The Internet welcomes the technical and political diversity and provides for communication accommodating this diversity.(33) Communication among those with differences is a generative process. It is in the interaction of diverse ideas that new ideas emerge. (Michael Hauben, “The Net and the Netizen”, in Hauben and Hauben, Netizens)(34)
XII - Conclusion The earliest development of the Internet and its protocol suite TCP/IP solved the problem of sharing resources across the boundaries of differing networks and peoples. This development took place during the 1970s. It demonstrates the generative capacity of a collaborative environment where the researchers from different nations are able to work together to create an ever evolving and developing Internet. This is one of the most significant developments of the 20th century. Will it be studied and continued? Lessig and others raise the possibility that it may all be lost. A precious heritage has been contributed by visionaries like Licklider and Engelbart, and research pioneers like Kahn and Cerf, Davies and Kirstein, Lundh and Spilling, and Pouzin and Zimmerman. Many netizens have participated to create this important advance for modern society.(35) Its loss would be a great setback to our modern world. A collaborative and resource sharing environment, similar to the one that nourished the Internet's earliest development, continues to be needed, if we are to generate the means for the Internet's ongoing evolution.
(1) There are several books that document aspects of Internet history, and others that document related developments that set the foundation for the Internet. These include Janet Abbate, Inventing the Internet, Cambridge, 1999; Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late, N.Y, 1996; Michael Hauben and Ronda Hauben,
Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet, Los Alamitos, 1997, John Naughton, A Brief History of the Future, N.Y., 1999, Arthur Norberg and Judy O'Neill, Transforming Computer Technology, Baltimore, MD, 1996; Howard Reingold, Tools for Thought, 1985 and reprinted 2000; Peter Salus, Casting the Net, Reading, MA, 1995; Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas, New York, 2001.
Vint Cerf observes that a lot has been left out of the current histories, and "that a lot of mistakes are made - the popular 'histories' being the worst. Even when principals write, we forget details or get them wrong." And that one of his biggest complaints is that many books focus mainly on the development of the ARPANET. (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
An example of such confusion, mistaking the development of the ARPANET for the development of the Internet, is in The Internet Galaxy, where Manuel Castells writes:
"The origins of the Internet are to be found in ARPANET....The openness of the ARPANET's architecture allowed the future Internet to survive its most daunting challenge....ARPANET's protocols were based on the diversity of networks." (pg 10, 26) (Oxford University Press, 2001)
(2) See Michael Hauben, "Social Forces Behind the Development of Usenet" in Hauben and Hauben, Netizens.
Draft version online at http://www.columbia.edu/hauben/netbook.
Also see Robert Kahn, "The Introduction of Packet Satellite Communication", PROC NTC, November 1979.
To make communication possible among differ entities, there is a need to have some common conventions or agreements. In computer networking technology these are called protocols. Describing the nature of communication in computer networking, Cerf and Kirstein write:
A fundamental aspect of interprocess communication is that
no communication can take place without some agreed upon
transmission medium (wire, shared memory, radio spectrum, etc.)
and they must use common conventions or agreed upon translation
methods in order to successfully exchange and interpret the data
they wish to communicate. One of the key elements in any network
intercommunication strategy is therefore how the required
commonality is to be obtained. In some cases, it is enough to
translate one protocol into another. In others, protocols can be
held in common among the communicating parties.
Vinton Cerf and Peter Kirstein "Issues
in Packet Network Interconnection"
Kahn describes the importance of recognizing the potential for resource sharing in computer networking development:
Computer networks provide a unique mechanism for increased
participation between individuals. Participation in research and
development using the distributed resources of a computer network
can lead to close cooperation between individuals who might
otherwise have little incentive to work together. This interaction
can further cross-fertilize the network community and encourage
even higher levels of achievement through technical cooperation.
Robert Kahn, “Resource Sharing Computer
(3) "The ARPA computer communication network, ARPANET ... has been in operation since 1970. The main part of it operates within the US, but it has two tentacles, one to Hawaii and one to Norway and England." (Spilling, Research Proposal to Nato, 1)
First Norway was connected to the ARPANET, and then Great Britain. Later even several Eastern European countries were involved with networking and knew of the ARPANET. (See IIASA Networking Proceedings, Laxenburg, Austria, 1975)
(4) Kirstein, commenting on the importance of the development of TCP/IP as the means to make an Internet possible writes:
"Kahn is largely right, in that the Arpanet community in the US
did not address these problems. The Europeans connected to the
Arpanet did. As early as 1974, mechanisms for connecting British
and French networks with the Arpanet were being explored. By 1978,
interconnection between the British Research Network and the
Arpanet had one link via SATNET and one via International Packet
Switched Service of the British Telecom and Telenet. The technology
used was not that of the final Internet: the motivation was there.
It was just that the protocol wars had not been settled."
He also comments, "This is the difference, the other mechanisms explored internetworking: they did not embrace the IP protocols."
(Kirstein, Email, October 3, 2002)
(5) See Ronda Hauben, "Developing the New Field of Computer Communications"
http://www.columbia.edu/rh120/other/computer-communications.txt and Ronda Hauben, "The Birth of the Internet: An Architectural Conception for Solving the Multiple Network Problem" http://www.columbia.edu/rh120/other/birth_internet.txt
Cyclades was the name for the network and the host computers, while Cigale, for the French word for grasshopper, was the packet switching subnetwork. In 2003, Louis Pouzin was awarded the Legion of Honor award by the French government for his networking contributions to the Internet’s development.
Offering a description of the difficult environment that made solving this problem even more challenging, Kirstein writes:
"By 1973, many PTTs were pursuing packet-switched networks which
led to the emergence of X.25 - which was, incidentally embraced by
Larry Roberts then at Telenet. This was meant to be, and actually was,
an Internet. All the protocol structure could have been built on top
of it. Indeed, in the British Coloured Books, embraced by the British
research network, this was done. The technology was packet switched, but
the interconnection was virtual circuit. This made it more difficult
to move to much higher speeds at the time. However many half truths
were prevalent in the '80s to state that X.25 could not exceed 1
Mbps - at a time that the British research network was operating at 8
Mbps." (Kirstein, Email, October 4, 2002)
(6) French researchers like Pouzin and others working on Cyclades, and US and other researchers involved with the development of the Internet participated in a number of meetings where they met and shared their research. For example, at a relatively early stage in the development of the research to create Cyclades, the director of the program, Louis Pouzin remembers a visit by Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf to his project on March 19, 1973. Also during that year, Pouzin lists an INFOTECH workshop and INWG meeting in London, Feb. 20-23, 1973, and INWG meeting in NYC on June 7-8, 1973. He lists a NATO summer school in Brighton at the Univ of Sussex in England on Sept 10-14, 1973, and an ACM Data Communications Symposium in Tampa, Nov. 13-15, 1973. (Pouzin, Email, April 28, 2003)
(7) Robert Kahn also explains how there was the need to have access to an experimental system in order to develop a Satellite packet switching network. "This is the context in which an experimental program on packet satellite technology was first raised with the British Post Office, with... Comsat and subsequently with the Norwegian Telecommunications Administration and the NDRE." Kahn, "The Introduction of Packet Satellite Communications", Sec 4.5.2.
Dave Mills describes the important negotiations with INTELSAT that Kahn managed to achieve to be able to use satellite for the SATNET program. Mills writes:
“I reviewed the common carrier documents for the satellite circuits. Bob
actually accomplished something nobody had done before. The war games
were played with the government telcos of six overseas countries and two
domestic US carriers. None of these guys could function relative to the
others.... What seemed to make it work was the participation of the military
and military research infrastructures of the US (DoD), UK (RSRE) and Norway (NDRE).
I don't know where Germany (DFVLR) or the Italians got their support. There was
considerable friction between the landline, earth station and satellite providers
- they came from very different cultural groups with rigid expectations for revenue.
Case in point was the INTELSAT tariff for SATNET. SATNET used a single
56-kbps SPADE satellite channel, but eventually seven earth stations
shared the channel. INTELSAT wanted to charge full capacity for each
earth station separately, even though only one uplink operated at a time.
Bob managed to negotiate more favorable terms, but then there was the
earth station operators, who wanted their fair share of the loot.
Example: INTELSAT charged the earth station operators about US$.05 per
connected minute for the satellite channel itself. You might remember
the cost of a call between the US and UK was US$2.40 at the time. Guess
who got the difference? For monthly cost to COMSAT for the INTELSAT
channel of US$2160, COMSAT charged DoD some US$29,000. But, that
included the SIMP depreciation used as the satellite interface. Similar
gouging occurred overseas.” (Mills, Email, April 19, 2003)
(8) The Tanum earth station built in 1970-71 made possible international telecom traffic between Sweden and the rest of the Nordic region.
When Dave Mills joined the research effort in 1976, he explains that the NORSAR circuit was multiplexed with SDAC seismic data and ARPANET traffic. The biggest problem he writes, “was the unreliability of the Tanum-Kjeller microwave link.” (Mills, Email, April 19, 2003)
It is also helpful to know something about the creation of NORSAR to understand the collaborative relationship between NDRE and IPTO.
Lundh explains that NORSAR is the Seismic Observatory built in collaboration with ARPA in South Norway in the mid 1960s. "The initiative and most of the financing," he reports, "was made by ARPA's Nuclear Test Detection Office in an effort to build a foundation for (an) international nuclear test ban and to stop underground nuclear tests...."(Lund, Email, April 18, 2002)
This relationship was actually facilitated by a treaty between the US and Norwegian governments signed in 1968. The agreement was toward the construction of a large seismic array and research installation at Kjeller, Norway, just outside of Oslo. After notes were exchanged between the American Ambassador to Norway at the time, Margaret Jay Tibbets and the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs, John Lyng, an
agreement was reached which concerned:
"seismological research focused on development of methods and systems
for detection and identification of underground nuclear explosions.” See
The NORSAR (NORwegian Seismic ARay) website describes the conditions of the treaty:
"The agreement specified that the purpose of the installation was to be seismological research and experimentation primarily in the field of detection seismology. At the same time the agreement provided that the facility could be used for independent research at the direction of the Norwegian government. A framework for funding the construction and operation of the array facilities was also specified.
Cooperating agencies were authorized on both sides to conclude administrative agreements to carry out the details of the agreement. The cooperating agency for the United States has for more than 25 years been the Advanced Research Projects Agency, while for Norway the cooperating agency during construction of the NORSAR large-aperture array was the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment, while the
Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (NTNF)was chosen in 1970 as cooperating agency for the management of the facility....
NORSAR opened in 1969. Data gathered by it was transmitted to a data center in Virginia, the Seismic Data Analysis Center (SDAC). By 1970/71 the Nordic satellite station in Tanum, Sweden was opened to transmit the data via satellite. The transmission capacity of the satellite was 2.4 kb/s.
Cerf adds that "The ARPA office in charge of Nuclear Detection was called the Nuclear Monitoring Research Office. Col David C. Russell worked in that office before he succeeded Larry Roberts and J.C.R. Licklider as ARPA/IPTO director. On Russell's retirement from the US Army, Bob Kahn, who was then deputy director of the office, became office director of IPTO." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(9) With regard to funding the UCL research, eventually there was also "funding from IPTO on ARPANET and then tcp/ip experimentation. The funding mechanism involved the appropriate foreign security reviews, but was otherwise like any other funding." (Kahn, Email, July 22, 2002)
(10) It is generally believed that the transport of seismic data from Norway to the US was the reason for the Norwegian connection to the ARPANET. Lundh explains that this is a misunderstanding. It was interest in the research that IPTO was doing, not the desire to transport seismic data more efficiently between the US and Norway,
that was the motivating factor for NDRE to accept the invitation from IPTO to join the Internet research program.
(11) Lundh reports that his first contact with ARPA was in Fall, 1965 when he "was invited to Washington and to Billings Montana" on the occasion of the opening of the seismic array in Montana LSSA (Large Scale Seismic Array). Lundh's interest was, he explains, in "powerful computing methods, notably multicomputers." His contacts at ARPA were Harry Sonneman and Stephen Lukasik and occasionally Bob Frosh. (Lundh,
Email, April 18, 2002)
(12) Kirstein's paper was "On the Development of Computer and Data Networks in Europe", Proc. Int. Conf. on Computer Communications, Washington, 240-244, 1972.
Cerf describes some of those present at the ICCC'72. He lists Donald Davies from the UK, National Physical Laboratory, Remi Despres who was involved with the French Reseau Communication par Paquet (RCP, and later with X.25 networking), Larry Roberts and
Barry Wessler, from IPTO, Gesualdo LeMoli, an Italian network researcher; Kjell Samuelson from the Swedish Royal Institute, John Wedlake from British Telecom; Peter Kirstein from University College London; Louis Pouzin who led the Cyclades/Cigale packet network research program at the Institute Recherche d'Informatique et d'Automatique (IRIA, now INRIA, in France). Roger Scantlebury from NPL with Donald Davies may also have been there and Alex McKenzie from BBN probably was there. (Cerf, "How the Internet Came to Be")
Cerf writes that the IFWP later became the IFIP 6.1. with the help of Alex Curran who was the US representative to IFIP Technical Committee 6. Cerf also credits Keith Uncapher and Dick Tanaka with helping this affiliation to be carried out. (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(13) Spilling, however, writes, "Yngvar and I disagree a little on this point. I had the impression that Bob Kahn was looking for a good demonstration object, sort of on a global scale, to defend all the spending on developing the technology. The seismic detection facility NORSAR had to send seismic information across a leased line to the processing plant in Washington, D.C. And what could be a better
demonstration object, than to convey this information via packet switching
technology from Norway to the US From what I understood, Bob Kahn used this as an example of the usability of the technology – when NORSAR became connected -- toward his defence funding party."
Lundh responds that:
"I believe Paal may well be right in his impression of Bob's motive
for inviting Norway. However, my reason for suggesting that NDRE accept the
invitation to actively collaborate and to actually undertake that
collaboration was my interest in resource sharing networking and its
manifold possibilities. That interest was first inspired by Bob Kahn and
Larry Roberts and the Washington, DC conference and demo in 1972. It was
further strengthened later by all that we learned and experienced during
the following years of collaboration." (Lundh, Email, October 15, 2002)
Cerf adds that "The original circuit was 2400 baud so the 9600 baud,
circuit, though shared, was faster for the data transport. Later
SATNET provided 64 kb/s service." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
Kirstein writes that "It (Seismic array technology or test detection-ed) was
ARPA's original reason for placing a TIP there. From the time Arpanet came on-stream in 1970, ARPA wanted to bring the NORSAR array to SDAC in Washington over Arpanet. This is what justified the bulk of the ARPA expenditure (from the Nuclear Monitoring Research Office - NMROP on the link in the early days.) I do not know when the extension...which did result from the extended IPTO interest in the NMRO activity, put actual expenditure in the IPTO budget.”(Kirstein, Email, October 8, 2002)
(14) Important developments in satellite technology in the 1960s and early 1970s led to the development of INTELSAT IV and made possible the SATNET packet switching network. Abramson and Kuo write:
"In 1970 the ARPA Network came into existence as a communications
network for the sharing of resources among a large number of computer
centers. The ARPANET and its resource sharing capabilities became
feasible because of the use of a new method of communication system
organization -- called packet switching.... In April 1965, the scope
and nature of human communication was irreversibly altered by the
communication satellite. Since that time the cost of information
transmission over long distances has decreased at a rate that makes
even the present decrease in information processing costs seem mild by
comparison. The cost per year of a single voice grade channel in
INTELSAT I was about $20,000 per year; that satellite had a capacity
of 24 such channels. The corresponding cost on INTELSAT IV, launched
in January 1971 was about $2,000 per year, and each INTELSAT IV has
about 5,000 channels...."
"By the beginning of 1973 the lower cost, higher channel capacity,
higher power, and small ground stations required by new communication
satellites had suggested the magnitude of the impact these
developments would make in computer-communication networks of the
future.... By the end of 1972, the worldwide satellite communication
net of INTELSAT had been completed...." (from Preface, Norman Abramson
and Franklin F. Kuo) Computer-Communications Networks edited by
Abramson and Kuo, 1973, Englewood Cliffs, N.Y., xvii.)
(15) For further elaboration see Ronda Hauben, "The Birth of the Internet" http://www.columbia.edu/rh120/other/birth_internet.txt and Ronda Hauben, "Open Architecture", in The Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History. Raul Rojas, Editor, Fitzroy Dearborn, Chicago, 2001, vol 2, pp. 652-653.
"This was Kahn's thinking, but there was also a practical consideration.
The basis of all the network itself between 1969 and 1974 was the IMP,
and this was firmly under the control of one division of BBN. With the
interest in the Packet Radio and SATNET, any attempt to connect them was delayed by the need to further develop the IMP to meet all its demands. This was one very important reason why Kahn proposed a "gateway" which could be programmed by others, freeing the programs from the stranglehold of one group. In practice the IMPs could now
be developed differently for the different network technologies. Moreover, an important development occurred. Shortly after, in 1975/76 when Dave Mills (then at COMSAT) programmed the “fuzzballs", to provide a cheaper and more lightweight alternative to the BBN implementation." (Kirstein, Email, July 3, 2002)
Cerf elaborates, "In this case, the fuzzballs were functioning as routers - handled IP switching as opposed to the IMPs. The apples-to-apples comparison would be between fuzzballs and the BBN Internet Gateways. I believe in fact the fuzzballs were providing all the functionality of the IMPs and the gateways by switching IP packets." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
Kirstein adds that the development of the application level relay "during this period was also a new form of interconnection" which "allowed all the British network developments to occur independently of the US ones, but traffic still to flow easily between the networks."
He explains that, "This was not an interconnection at the network level, but at the application protocol level (Telnet, FTP initially). This form of interconnection was new at the time, (and-ed) allowed the different networks to develop quite independently. In fact it was to exercise this new concept, that all the traffic between the UK and ARPANET was justified in the '70s and early '80s. Later in the '80s, this concept even allowed the US to develop Mockapetris' Domain Name
System, while the UK developed the 'Network Registration Service'."
"While these developments were quite different," Kirstein notes that, "the relay function allowed them to look to users as a single network.... Clearly application level relays are not adequate in performance or robustness, however, they played an important role prior to the world agreeing that IP was the way to go." (See the article by V.G. Cerf and P.T. Kirstein, "Issues in Packet Network Interconnection," Proc IEEE 66, 11, pp 1386-1408, November 1978. This is a special issue devoted to
packet internetworking issues.)
“In fact the original grant I had from ARPA was to connect in two
computers, the large IBM Computer at the Rutherford Laboratory near
Oxford and the CDC in London. Both were the centre of centralised
proprietary interactive and remote job entry networks. This connection
was made as one between two networks from the beginning. It looked to ARPANET
like a remote IBM device.”
(Higginson, PL, PT Kirstein and AV Stokes: "The Problems Connecting
Hosts into ARPANET via Front-end Computers", Workshop on Distributed
Computer Systems, Darmstadt (1974). Lloyd, D and PT Kirstein: "Alternative
Approaches to the Interconnection of Computer Networks", London, Proc
European Comp. Conf. on Communications Networks, London, Online, 499-515 (1975))
This was not an Internet design; this was connections at an application
level, and hence not very rugged. However, this mechanism continued
for the next 15 years, while the British NREN became quite sophisticated,
including packet switching, their version of the Domain Name Service
(Name Registration Scheme), FTP, Telnet, mail, etc. By 1990, while the
links to the Internet had long gone IP, the hosts on the British networks
were running a totally different set of protocols. While history (and
the analysis we made at the time) showed this was not the best, rugged
or fast way to go, it allowed both interconnectivity and independent
development of protocol structures to co-exist until all the bugs had been
resolved in the Internet protocols, and also commercial products to be
produced by new firms such as Cisco." (Kirstein, Email, Oct 3, 2002)
(16) The Brighton INWG meeting took place just after the NATO Advanced Institute. Though the original protocol was called TCP, it later was split into two parts and from then on called TCP/IP. When the paper describing the philosophy and design for TCP was officially published in May, 1974, the authors, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, wrote:
“The authors wish to thank a number of colleagues for helpful comments during early discussions of international network protocols especially R. Metcalfe, R. Scantlebury, D. Walden, H. Zimmerman. D. Davies and L. Pouzin who constructively
commented on the creative destruction of associations."(p 643) (See also, Ronda
Hauben, "A Protocol for Packet Network Intercommunication", in The Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History. Raul Rojas, Editor, Fitzroy Dearborn, Chicago, 2001, vol 2, pp. 652-653.)
16a)Describing the process of creating a protocol specification, or Request for Comment (RFC), Mills writes, “One of the principal drivers in the standardization effort was the published TCP and IP standards, which were issues both as RFCs and Military Specifications (MILSPEC). Bob considered this a major coup. Later, DoD policy saluted COTS (Commercial Off the Shelf) and told the agencies to avoid MILSPEC. Nobody at the time happened to notice that TCP and IP were MILSPECs.
There is a lot more to the formal specification issues. The RFCs were designed principally as instructions to system programmers on how to implement the protocol and as such should not be considered formal standard specifications. Later at great expense and contractor involvement (SDC) a formal specification was in fact prepared. I was consultant on that project, which did in fact do the right thing. So far
as I know, the document is rusting in a dark place.” (Mills, Email, April 28, 2003)
(17) Remembering the meeting in Brighton, UK in September 1973, Lundh writes that he first met Dag Belsnes at it. Lundh writes that "it was clear to me then that Dag knew much more than I did about protocol details."
Describing his introduction to networking research, Belsnes writes that he had "started working with data communication in 1970 at the University of Oslo. The university was (connected) by a CDC Cyber computer together with some other research institutions (among them, the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, where Yngvar was working) and the computer was to be located about 25 km away from the university campus. I headed a team," he writes, "that implemented a network system to connect this remote (system-ed) at the university (a CDC 3300, Nord computer (a mini-computer of the Norwegian company Norsk Data) and later a DEC 10.) The design of the local
university network was highly influenced by what we could read about ARPA and Cyclades networks." (Belsnes, Email, June 17, 2002) Explaining Belsnes’ contribution, Cerf writes: "Actually Dag worked out the need for a 5-way handshake to assure that old duplicate packets would not be confused for new ones. We concluded this was too much
overhead and chose a three way handshake with a timeout mechanism to 'clear the net' of old packets from a given connection. I considered Dag's work to provide a very solid ground for the TCP - as did Ray Tomlinson, Yogen Dalal who worked on the 3-way version and Carl Sunshine who did correctness proofs for this version." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
Also Kuninobu Tanno (from Tohoku University) from Japan was part of the Stanford seminars Cerf held to explore "how to get host computers to communicate across multiple packet networks without knowing the network technology underneath." (Cerf, "How the Internet Came to Be")
(18) See the diagram from the "Uses of the ARPA Network via the University College London Node" by Peter T Kirstein and Sylvia B. Kenny, IIASA Conference on Networks, Laxenburg, Austria, 1975, p. 54 Lundh calls Kjeller "the little townlet where some research establishments reside, some 20 km NE of OSLO."
Cerf explains that the TIPs were just part of the ARPANET "we did not yet have gateways/routers running IP." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(19) Lundh also writes:
"Later, I believe, around 1981-82 when I could no longer get even the small support needed at NDRE, Paal left NDRE (with my blessings) and took the equipment with him to the neighboring institute ("TF"), the research establishment of the Norwegian Telecom Administration. They are located at Kjeller also, just across the street from NDRE and next to NORSAR. Paal was alone there being interested in Internetworking. NTA did not believe in the Internet until about 1995 -- similarly to most telecom operators....I think only one person at TF gave Paal some help during those years. Going back some years again, a few months after Paal joined me he also got another friend of his (Aage Stensby) over from his old group at NDRE, having become 'similarly
superfluous' there. However, Paal was the main contributor without any doubt. Later on I was able to recruit a few more people to the networking effort....The most active ones were Oyvind Hvinden and Finn Arve Aagesen. Both (were) very good people....Finn Arve is an unusually able person and made a great contribution during the short time he was with us...." (Lundh, Email, June 12, 2002)
(20) Kirstein disagrees about the prohibition of commercial sites, though not of commercial traffic. He writes that the UCL connection was to the public telecom and consequently was accessible to both commercial and academic sites. There was broad usage of the network in the UK and hence there was much interest in it. As Kirstein explains, "A management committee, which included the British Post Office, had to approve all sites connected and their use. From the late '70s, applications included quasi-commercial usage where one site was a British contractor to a US Agency, and the other the US Agency or another such US contractor -- usually in relation to R & D projects. When requested by the US such usage was normally approved; we were only concerned that the experimental nature of the interconnection would not lead to any legal responsibilities to the user entities. In the UK we connected the TIP to the Public Telephone network immediately (by September 1973, and to the British
research networks (from late 1973)." (Kirstein, Email, October 8, 2002.) "I should add," he writes, that “the British Post Office was part of the management committee which was told all that we were doing. For this reason they tolerated activities they might otherwise have forbidden; they were clearly contrary to their monopoly." (Kirstein, Email, Oct. 3, 2002)
(21) Spilling continues:
"The control program therefore must be an integral part of the programs in the Host computers wishing to participate in internetwork connections. The device interconnecting the two networks is called a Gateway.... The Gateway is connected to the two networks. Net 1 and Net 2, in the same way as normal Host computers, and therefore looks like a Host to both networks. When Host 1 wishes to exchange data with Host 2, it forms an internet packet according to the TCP format and encloses it in the format required by Net 1, for communications in that network. This action...is called 'wrapping.' The internet packet is then transported to the
Gateway where it is unwrapped from the Net 1 format and is re-wrapped in the format for Net 2 for transmission across the net to Host 2. This process can easily be extended through an arbitrary number of networks and gateways. This form of data exchange between Host 1 and Host 2 looks to all intermediate networks like normal host-host
communications, thus the local networks are not aware of any internetwork
activities. This is taken care of by the TCP's in Host 1 and Host 2 and by the Gateway."(Spilling, Proposal to Nato, pg 5)
Cerf explains the process using the term "encapsulation":
"We adopted very early the idea of encapsulating IP packets in the packets of
connected networks - the gateways would remove the IP packets from the
carrying packet format and re-encapsulated it in the next networks packet
structure. Of course, before we split IP from TCP, it was just TCP packets
that were encapsulated." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(22) See Spilling, "Final Report," for a description of how the SATNET program was initially developed using the ARPANET and gradually separated apart from the ARPANET. The SIMPs were the Satellite IMPs created for interfaces for SATNET. He writes:
"The purpose of the Packet Satellite Program is to develop a general-purpose satellite network based upon the packet-switching principles... In order to utilize as much as possible the facilities available in ARPANET, the initial satellite network was an integral part of ARPANET.... During the program period, the SIMPs were developed to a stage where they could be separated from the ARPANET, so that the SIMP programs could be optimised for the satellite environment.... As mentioned, the SIMPs initially were logically a part of ARPANET and therefore had to obey the ARPANET IMP-IMP protocol. This was done in order to utilize the ARPANET techniques in
maintaining and controlling the satellite part of the network from the Network Control Center (NCC) at BBN. Gradually the SIMP programs were evolved to such a level that SATNET could be separated from ARPANET, and its operation fine tuned to the satellite environment. The separation made it necessary to develop an interface both for host
access to SATNET and for access to and from other nets...."
(23) See list of the PSPWG notes in Spilling, “Final Report”.
(24) Kirstein writes, "Certainly by 1979, the SATNET project as a development project had been largely completed. There was a major meeting in Washington, with a session on SATNET. I know that UCL participated in it....At that meeting we used packet voice to present part of the proceedings from London in Washington. I am sure that
CNUCE (Pisa, Italy) and DFVLR (Munich, Germany) were well and truly aboard by them. Equally clearly the SATNET route had become an operational entity by around 1983, using TCP/IP. Shortly after that the academic parties in Italy and Germany dropped out. The Defence parts never played any important role in network development in
Germany, Italy or the UK. See also Kirstein, PT, et al. "SATNET Applications Activities", Proc. Nat. Telecom. Conf. Washington, 45.1.1-45.1.7(1979). (Kirstein, Email, October 3, 2002)
Cerf adds that "In fact, we formed a coordination board - the International
Coordination Board (ICB) that included NDRE, UCL, the German DFVLR and the Italian CNUCE as well as DARPA to coordinate the international efforts." (Cerf, Email, April 13, 2003)
(25) In "The Internet- A Cuckoo in the Telecom Service Nest An Evolution in
Packet Switching" Spilling gives as an example of such a decision process --
the command and control processes of the Department of Defense.
(26) See Michael Hauben, "The Vision of Interactive Computing and the Future" and Ronda Hauben, "The Birth and Development of the ARPANET" in Netizens and Ronda Hauben, "Licklider" in Encyclopedia of Computers and Computer History. Often, in funding proposals, it seems that only computer resource sharing is referred to rather than human communication facilitated by computers. See for example Ronda Hauben, Chapter 1, in Cyberhypes(in German).
(27) ARPANET News, February 1974, Editorial, pp. 2-3.
(28) These statements of a vision for a communications system identified a goal for the development process and thus made it possible to evaluate whether the actual development makes progress toward this goal or not.
(29) Several articles provide an overview to document this international
collaborative research process. Such a process, was essential to develop both a prototype and then the Internet. See for example: Kahn, Robert E., "The Introduction of Packet Satellite Communications," in Proc NTC, November, 1979, pp. 45.1.1-45.1.6.
Lundh, Yngvar, "Yngvar Lundh: Computers and Communication – Early development of
Computing and Internet Technology - a Groundbreaking part of Technical History". ` in Telektronikk Vol 97 No 2/3 2001, pp. 3-19.
Paal Spilling, "Research Proposal presented to NATO, Scientific
Affairs Division by Norwegian Defence Research Establishment also on
behalf of University College London and Stanford University,
California concerning A Study of the Transmission Control Program, a
Novel Program for Internetwork Computer Communications." 2 December
(30) Also the packet radio network (PRNET) program made important contributions to the creation of the Internet. See Kahn, Robert E., "The Organization of Computer Resources into a Packet Radio Network", IEEE Transactions on Communications, Vol Com-25, No. 1, January 1977, pp. 169-178.
(31) Lessig writes, "The environment of the Internet is now changing. Features of the architecture -- both legal and technical that created this environment of free creativity are now being changed. They are being changed in ways that will reintroduce the very barriers that the Internet originally removed." (Lessig, p. 16)
(32) Considering the international collaborative process needed to develop "open architecture" as the foundation for the Internet, it is interesting that Lessig describes architecture as referring "to both the Internet's technical protocols (e.g. TCP/IP) and its entrenched structures of governance and social patterns of usage that themselves are not easily changeable, at least not without coordinated action by many parties." (from Lawrence Lessig and Paul Resnick, "Zoning Internet Speech," Michigan Law Review, 98 (1999):395, quoted as footnote 34 in Lawrence Lessig,
The Future of Ideas, Random House, NY, 2001, p 276.)
(33) See Kirstein and Cerf's explanation of the conventions needed to make communication possible in their November 1978 article.
(34) Describing the work of Licklider and Taylor in their article "The Computer as a Communication Device", Michael Hauben writes:
“Their concept of the sharing of both computing and human
resources together matches the modern Net. The networking of
various human connections quickly forms, changes its goals,
disbands and reforms into new collaborations. The fluidity of such
group dynamics leads to a quickening of the creation of new ideas.
Groups can form to discuss an idea, focus in or broaden out and
reform to fit the new ideas that have been worked out." from "The Net
and Netizens: The Impact the Net has on People's Lives”, Chapter 1 in Netizens.
(35) Michael Hauben, “Preface”, Netizens.
(36) Peter Kirstein writes: "UCL was the first to introduce the Internet protocols as their sole way of communicating with the ARPANET in 1981. This was not to be pioneering. We changed computers and the new ones did not support NCP." (Kirstein, Email, October 3, 2002.)
ARPANET News, October 1973.
ARPANET News, February 1974. Issue 12 NIC 21646,
Cerf, Vinton, "Final Report of the Stanford University TCP
Project," IEN 151, 1 April 1980.
Cerf, Vinton, "How the Internet Came to Be: as told to Bernard Aboba," in
The Online User's Encyclopedia by Bernard Aboba, Addison-Wesley,
Cerf, V.G. and P.T. Kirstein, "Issues in Packet Network Interconnection,"
Cerf, V. and R. Kahn, "Towards Protocols for Internetwork
Communication," IFIP/TC6.1, NIC 18764, INWG 39, Sept 13, 1973.
Cerf, V. and R. Kahn, "A Protocol for Packet Network
Intercommunication", IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol
com-22, No. 5, May 1974.
Davies Donald W., "Early Thoughts on Computer Communications", n.d.
Hannemyr, Gisle (1999) Begynnelsen på en historie om Internett; i Nettsamfunn,
(red., Braa Hetland og Liestøl) Tano-Aschehoug, Oslo, 1999, pp. 11-27.
Hauben, Michael, "The Social Forces Behind the Development of Usenet,"
Hauben, Michael, "The Vision of Interactive Computing and the Future,"
Hauben, Michael and Ronda Hauben, Netizens: On the History and
Impact of Usenet and the Internet, IEEE Computer Society Press,
Los Alamitos, 1997.
Hauben, Ronda. "The Birth of the Internet: An Architectural Conception
for Solving the Multiple Network Problem."
Hauben, Ronda, "Developing the New Field of Computer Communications"