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30 Years Ago Today, the Switch to TCP/IP Launched Today's Internet

Dan York

It was 30 years ago today, on January 1, 1983, that the ARPANET had a "flag day" when all connected systems switched from using the Network Control Protocol (NCP) to the protocols known as TCP/IP. This, then, gave rise to the network we now know as the Internet.

Two articles give some perspective on this milestone for the Internet:

30 Years of TCP – and IP on everything!
Internet Society Tech Matters Blog: Leslie Daigle writes about preparation for the day and changes since that time including the growth of IPv6

Marking the birth of the modern-day Internet
Official Google Blog: Vint Cerf tells the story of what happened on that momentous day

It is amazing to think that it was only 30 years ago that TCP/IP was switched on… and it will be fascinating to see what the next 30 years bring!

By Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies - and on staff of Internet Society. Dan is employed as a Senior Content Strategist with the Internet Society but opinions posted on CircleID are entirely his own. Visit the blog maintained by Dan York here.

Related topics: Internet Protocol, IPv6


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Time for something new Jean Guillon  –  Jan 01, 2013 3:43 PM PDT

As you say, Internet is 30 years old and was a first try. Time has come for a neutral organization to start a "second" Internet, secured, promoting brands, with no infringement, no porn or other crap, no spam, no cybersquatting, with a governing organization in control.

Users will have the opportunity to use both and choose.

Hmm. Aren't playboy and penthouse major brands? Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jan 01, 2013 7:39 PM PDT

The market cap of some porn brands is likely to be rather larger than quite a few brands in other sectors.

As for the rest of it, there's a bit of a barrier to it - critical mass.

No barrier at all, really. The Famous Brett Watson  –  Jan 02, 2013 2:21 AM PDT

Critical mass isn't a barrier. If you want a network defined by the absence of activity and content (no copyright infringement, no porn, no spam), you can succeed in as much time as it takes to set up a private network. I could have it ready for you by next week (except that I'm already booked up, sorry). It will want strong guarantees of identity, so I guess some kind of VPN is in order, but I don't see any serious difficulties from the technological perspective.

Getting people to actually use it might be difficult, especially considering the need to apply for a verified network ID, and also considering the complete and utter lack of incentive to join. Look on the bright side, though: if you achieved a critical mass, it would be almost impossible to maintain the no-spam, no-infringement, no-nonsense environment, even if you terminated access at the slightest whiff of trouble. Crowd control is just plain hard. So having large numbers of actual users isn't really in the interests of the network, unless you can make them passive, read-only entities, and leave the content generation to the network overlords. (It's hard to see why you'd need a "new" Internet to achieve that, though: you can already make your own websites as read-only as you like.)

My suggestion: let this neutral (read: "corporate-friendly") organisation go ahead and build the "second" Internet. I'm sure it will be a lovely walled garden of brands, unspoiled by the unwashed masses. I, for one, promise not to foul it up with my thinly-veiled sarcasm.

The governing body is wrong Jean Guillon  –  Jan 02, 2013 3:27 AM PDT

Private networks already exist but what matters is how they are governed. ICANN does - cannot - act when it would be necessary. Freedom of speech is not the problem I see in a better governed Internet, the problem I see is that ICANN can launch such a program as the new gTLD one and then, it cannot act if it does mistakes: there is no way back.

The entire wine industry is going to face this exact problem when (if?) .VIN and .WINE new gTLDs launch at a different times and with different rules. I had a kind feed-back that strings in different languages could launch separately. This has been discussed - and agreed - by the ICANN board. The wine industry never had it word to say.

The actual governance model does not allow to re-think such decision and because it is so complex to understand and follow the ICANN process, the solution offered to solve such a bad decision is...to pay for a procedure once it is too late.

This process to tolerate something like the new gTLD program (as it is today, I have no doubt it will be improved), spam, porn accessed by kids and other "terrible contents" cannot be called a governance.

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