1980S: ARPANET to Internet
- Internet History
- - Prelude 1950-65
- - - Paul Baran
- - ARPANET 1966-68
- - Birth of ARPANET 1969
- - ARPANET 1970s
- - - TCP/IP
- - Internet 1980s
- - - NSFNET
- - 1990s
- - - CIX
- - DNS
- - World Wide Web
- - VoIP
- - Backbone
- - Internet2
- - Reference
- - - NSFNET
- - 1990s
- - - CIX
- - DNS
- - World Wide Web
- - VoIP
- - Backbone
- - Internet2
- - Reference
- Wireless / Radio
- Common Carrier
- - Communications Act
- - Telecom Act
- - Hush a Phone
- - Computer Inquiries
- - Digital Tornado 1997
- - Steven Report 1998
- - Broadband
- - Universal Service
- - VoIP
- - Mergers
- - Network Neutrality
"Between the 1960's and the 1980s, computing technology underwent a dramatic transformation: the computer, originally conceived as an isolated calculating device, was reborn as a means of communication." Janet Abbate, Inventing the Internet
Derived from The Internet - From Modest Beginnings, NSF
Inspired by ARPANET's success, the Coordinated Experimental Research Program of the Computer Science Section of NSF's Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate started its own network in 1981. Called CSNET (Computer Science Network), the system provided Internet services, including electronic mail and connections to ARPANET. [Kahn, Role of Govt ("This allowed new research sites to be placed on the ARPANET at NSF's expense.")] While CSNET itself was just a starting point, it served well. "Its most important contribution was to bring together the U.S. computer science community and to create the environment that fostered the Internet," explains Larry Landweber, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and a CSNET principal investigator. In addition, CSNET was responsible for the first Internet gateways between the United States and many counxtries in Europe and Asia.
From the outset, NSF limited the amount of time it would support CSNET. By 1986, the network was to be self-supporting. This was a risky decision, because in 1981 the value of network services was not widely understood. The policy, which carried forward into subsequent NSF networking efforts, required bidders to think about commercialization from the very start. When the 1986 deadline arrived, more than 165 university, industrial, and government computer research groups belonged to CSNET. Usage charges plus membership fees ranged from $2,000 for small computer science departments to $30,000 for larger industrial members. With membership came customer support. See also [Cerf Com Com Nets] [Salus p 199] [Roberts, Net Chronology] [Kesan p 103] [CSTB Realizing the Info Future 238 1994]
Lyman Chapin, Chris Owens, Interconnection and Peering among Internet Service Providers: A Historical Perspective, An Interisle White Paper (2005) ("Eventually, disgruntled computer scientists (Led by Rick Adrion, David Farber, and Larry Landweber.) who could not connect to one of the government-controlled networks established CSNET for the (academic and industrial) computer science community.")
1981: CSNET and ARPANet peer. [ISOC]
- CSNET leads to NSFNET
- CSNET had links to over 170 university, industrial, and government research organizations and numerous gateways to networks in other countries. [CSTB Realizing the Info Future 238 1994]
1987: CSNET merged with BITNET [CSTB Realizing the Info Future 238 1994]
1989: CSNET and BITNET merge to form CREN. "CREN's mission is to support higher education and research organizations with strategic IT knowledge services and communication tools. " [CREN History]
1991: CSNET shut down, overshaddowed by NSFNET [Kesan p 103] [CSTB Realizing the Info Future 238 1994]
- Larry H. Landweber, CSNET: A Brief History (Sept. 22, 1991)
- Peter Denning, Anthony Hearn, C William Kern, History and Overview of CSNET, ACM SIGCOMM, March 1983
- Comer, D. E., "The Computer Science Research Network CSNET -- A History and Status Report," submitted to Communications of ACM, August 1982
- Landweber, L., and Solomon, M., "Use of Multiple Networks in CSNET," Proc. IEEE COMP- CON (February 1982).
- Landweber, L., Litzkow, L., Neuhengen, D., and Solomon, M., "Architecture of The CSNET Name Server," Proc. Symposium on Data Communications, ACM SIGCOMM (March 1983)
- Comer, D. E., and Korb, J. T., "CSNET Protocol Software: The IP-to-X.25 Interface," Proc. Sym- posium on Data Communications, ACM SIGCOMM (March 1983) .
- The Internet- From Modest Beginnings, NSF
- Kesan, Jay P. and Shah, Rajiv C., Fool Us Once Shame on You - Fool Us Twice Shame on Us: What We Can Learn from the Privatizations of the Internet Backbone Network and the Domain Name System. As published in Washington University Law Quarterly, Vol. 79, P. 103, 2001
- Cerf 1995 "CSNET adopted TCP/IP, but developed a dial-up "Phone-mail" capability for electronic mail exchange among computers that were not on ARPANET, and pioneered the use of TCP/IP over the X.25 protocol standard that emerged from commercial packet switching efforts."
BITNET (Because its There Network) established between City University of New York and Yale [CREN History]
- EUnet starts [Salus p 183]
- France launches Minitel (It will be decommissioned 30 years later in 2012) [France's Minitel: 20 years Young, BBC News, May 14, 2003]
- BITNET connects with EARN [CREN History]
- Korea establishes networks based on TCP/IP [NSFNET Celebration (Blanchard)]
Pranksters, Pirates, and Pen Pals, TIME Magazine (May 3, 1982) ("In his pin-neat, Northern California bedroom, a bespectacled 16-year-old who calls himself Marc communicates with several hundred unauthorized "tourists" on a computer magic carpet called ARPANET. This $3.3 million computer network maintained by the Defense Department provides a link between key contractors, but ARPANET has become a pen pal club, dating service and electronic magazine for youngsters and other computer hitchhikers gifted enough to join what is in effect a huge, electronic message service.")
"In 1974 Western Union was awarded a contract by DCA to develop a packet switching network called AUTODIN II. AUTODIN I, which has been leased to the government since the 60s, uses a message forwarding scheme. In April 1982, DCA terminated the AUTODIN II effort and implemented the Defense Data Network using ARPANET technology. " John Roberts, The Defense Data Network BBN wins contract to build and operate the DDN. [BBN Timeline]
Dr. Barry Leiner at DARPA reorganizes and renames the ICCB as the Internet Activities Board (IAB). This will become the IETF. [Great Achievements] [Kessler] [Cerf 1160] [Kahn, Role of Govt]
See NCP to TCP/IP Transition Below - Started in 1981
ARPANet splits into MILNET (military) and ARPANet (research). [ISOC] [Salus p 183] [TIME 1983] [Roberts, Net Chronology] "If problems developed on the ARPANET, the MILNET could be disconnected quickly from it by unplugging the small number of gateways that connected them. In fact, these gateways were designed to limit the interactions between the two networks to the exchange of electronic mail, a further safety feature." [Kahn, Role of Govt] [NIST 1992 p 4 ("In response to an overload of traffic on the ARPANET, the Department of Defense in 1983 split off the operation of its military traffic into a separate network called MILNET [MARS89]. The two networks collectively formed what was referred to as the 'Internet.'")]
Description of the DDN ~1983 "The backbone network of the DDN consists of packet switching nodes (PSN). The PSN is a C/30-E minicomputer made by Bolt Beranek and Newman Communications Corporation (BBNCC). The PSNs are connected together by Inter Switch Trunks (IST). Currently there are 174 PSNs and 300 ISTs in the backbone network. Each PSN will have at least two IST circuits. A majority of the ISTs run at 56,000 bits per second; some run at 9,600 bits per second. The network currently supports over 2100 hosts. " John Roberts, The Defense Data NetworK (1987)
Federal Research Internet Coordinating Committee, FRICC established. Becomes Federal Networking Council. [Cerf 1160]
"The Federal Networking Council (FNC) was chartered by the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Computing, Information and Communications (CCIC) to act as a forum for networking collaborations among Federal agencies to meet their research, education, and operational mission goals and to bridge the gap between the advanced networking technologies being developed by research FNC agencies and the ultimate acquisition of mature version of these technologies from the commercial sector." [FNC Archive] the FNC has representatives from numerous Federal agencies - OMB, NSA, DISA, NOAA, DOE, DARPA, HHS, OSTP >, NIST >, EPA, USGS, GSA, NTIA, NASA, NSF > and Dept of Education; "advisory committee members come from the IAB, higher education, national research laboratories, computer and communications corporations, and private industry." [NIST 1992 p 8]
- European Academic and Research Network (EARN) established [Salus p 183]
- JANET (UK) established [Salus p 183]
- Japan UNIX Network (JUNET) established by Jun Murai [Salus p 183]
- MERIT migrates to TCP/IP and interconnections with ARPANET [Merit History]
- BBN establishes BBN Communications which builds communications infrastructures. [BBN Timeline]
Domain Name System designed.
Military Standard Internet Protocol MIL-STD-1777 (DOD DISA Aug 12, 1983) This standard establishes criteria for the Internet Protocol (IP) which supports the interconnection of communication subnetworks Status: Canceled " This document specifies the Internet Protocol (IP) which supports the interconnection of communication subnetworks. The document includes an introduction to IP with a model of operation, a definition of services provided to users, and a description of the architectural and environmental requirements. The protocol services interfaces and mechanisms are specified using an abstract state machine model."
- Domain Name System initiated. See DNS History
- AT&T divestiture takes place, creating a more competitive long distance market
- IBM funds BITNET network information center [CREN History]
- OSI model published [Salus p 39]
- NSF sets up Office of Advanced Scientific Computing (this office would build NSFNET) [Salus p 199]
- RFC 896 - "Congestion Control in IP/TCP", John Nagle, 6 January, 1984 See Jacobson 1988
Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh
NYSERnet established [NYSERnet History]
NSF gave DARPA $4 million to install ARPANET nodes at 40 colleges and universities; Steve Wolff remembers, however,
that “DARPA had just turned over management and operation of the ARPANET to the Defense Communications Agency, and the bureaucracy was such that it took until 1990 to get all the nodes in place. By that time the T1 NSFNET backbone service had been in use for two years, and the connections to the 56 Kbps ARPANET were redundant. As DARPA decommissioned the ARPANET during 1990, some of its nodes were actually installed and de-installed in the same week.” [NSFNET Final Report p 15]
National Research Council, Transport Protocols for Department of Defense Data Networks: Report to the Department of Defense and the National Bureau of Standards Committee on Computer-Computer Communication Protocols, Board on Telecommunications and Computer Applications Commission on Eng. and Technical Systems, National Academy Press, 1985.
White House, Science Council (WHSC) Committee on Research in Very High Performance Computing, Research in Very High Performance Computing, November 1985.
Bjarne Stroustrup releases The C++ Programming Language.
|The NSFNET Begins. See the NSFNET history on a separate page.|
- NSF grants NYSERnet $1.2 m for a state wide network. [NYSERnet History]
- NSF grants SURAnet funding for a regional network; SURAnet was sold to a private company in 1995. [About SURA (date of NSF grant is described as "mid 80s")]
- NSF Funds MIDNET.
- MFEnet and HEPnet combined to create ESnet, a network dedicated to the energy research community. Goes online in 1988.[ESNet History]
- BARRNET founded. [Srinagesh 126]
June 24: Al Gore introduces Supercomputer Network Study Act
IAB is reorganized, forming subsidiary groups: The Internet Research Task Force, the Internet Research Steering Group, and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) [Kessler] IETF meets for first time January in San Diego [IETF Tao] The IETF was a DOD function; when the NSFNet came along, the civilians had to gain entrance to the DOD IETF.
Another difficulty around that time was that control of the Internet evolution was pretty much with the United States Department of Defense, via groups such as their Internet Engineering Task Force. To address those concerns, Scott Brim and I met with people in the Pentagon to convince the DoD to at least open up the IETF to a larger community, specifically the NSFNET and its associated regional networks. To our surprise, one meeting was all it took, and they agreed, which lead to a rapid expansion of the IETF with a lot of involvement from many constituents over time. [Braun]
Robert Kahn leaves DARPA to form CNRI [Kahn] CNRI acted, among other things, as the secretariat of the IETF.
Statistics [Medin Slide 4]
ARPANET/Milnet Internet Hosts 559 3082* TACS 126 - GATEWAYS 102 144* NETS - 515 NODES 194 - DOMAINS 158
Total Internet Hosts: 3082*
Total Networks: 515*
Total Internet Gateways: 144
MILNET Hosts: 448
ARPANET Hosts: 111
ARPANET TACS: 15
MILNET/ARPANET Gateways: 102
HOSTMASTER Mail: 898 Messages
* Includes MILNET, ARPNET
- OARNet established at the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
- UUNET founded by Rick Adams and Mike O'Dell [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1] "a product of DOD-funded seismic research facility" [Kahn, Role of Govt]
- PSINet formed. Spun off from NYSERNET. [Kahn, Role of Govt]
- NYSERnet goes online as the first, non-USG, TCP/IP network. [NYSERnet History] NYSERnet develops SGMP and SNMP, and serves as prime contractor for a DARPA funded National Networking Testbed.
- McAdams, Alan K., et al.; 1987. Market and Economic Impact Study: Initial Marketing Analysis (Final Report), NYSERNET
- Arizona State Public Information Network established [ASPIN]
- SURANET goes online. [SURA History] [NSFNET Legacy Slide 26] [Daily Press]
Interop conference starts. [Salus p 183]
J Reynolds, J Postel, The Request for Comments Reference Guide, NWG RFC 1000 (Aug. 1987) "This RFC Reference Guide is intended to provide a historical account by categorizing and summarizing of the Request for Comments numbers 1 through 999 issued between the years 1969-1987"
OSTP, A Research and Development Strategy for High Performance Computing (Nov. 1987)
National Research Council, Kleinrock, Kahn, Clark, release a National Academies of Science report entitled Toward a National Research Network with Congress. This report apparently influenced Sen. Al Gore.
Morris Worm ripped through the network. [Medin Slide 10 (first DDOS attack on Internet)]
Van Jacobson includes Congestion Control TCP in Berkeley UNIX. Introduction to Congestion Avoidance and Control, Van Jacobson and Michael J Karels, November
Computer networks have experienced an explosive growth over the past few years and with that growth have come severe congestion problems. For example, it is now common to see internet gateways drop 10% of the incoming packets because of local buffer overflows. Our investigation of some of these problems has shown that much of the cause lies in transport protocol implementations (not in the protocols themselves): The 'obvious' ways to implement a window-based transport protocol can result in exactly the wrong behavior in response to network congestion. We give examples of 'wrong' behavior and describe some simple algorithms that can be used to make right things happen. The algorithms are rooted in the idea of achieving network stability by forcing the transport connection to obey a 'packet conservation' principle. We show how the algorithms derive from this principle and what effect they have on traffic over congested networks.
In October of '86, the Internet had the first of what became a series of 'congestion collapses'. During this period, the data throughput from LBL to UC Berkeley (sites separated by 400 yards and two IMP hops) dropped from 32 Kbps to 40 bps. We were fascinated by this sudden factor-of-thousand drop in bandwidth and embarked on an investigation of why things had gotten so bad. In particular, we wondered if the 4.3BSD (Berkeley UNIX) TCP was misbehaving or if it could be tuned to work better under abysmal network conditions. The answer to both of these questions was "yes"...
See also Bartek Peter Wydrowski, Techniques in Internet Congestion Control February 2003 ("'The initial response to ARPANET's congestion collapse problem was to increase the capacity of the network. This helped temporarily, but the ARAPNET continued to suffer congestion collapses until a strategy to control the load of packets entering the network was developed. In 1988 Van Jackson enhanced the famous Transport control protocol (TCP)  so that the transmission rate was responsive to the level of network congestion. TCP was made to reduce the rate of transmission of hosts when it sensed the network load was nearing congestion collapse. Since the introduction of this enhanced TCP, congestion collapse did not reoccur.'")
ITU Melbourne World Administrative Telephone & Telegraph Conference - agreement that international data communications shall be kept outside of the legacy telecommunications regulatory settlement regime. Data was over private lines, something like Computer II.
McAdams, Alan K., et al.; 1988. Market and Economic Impact Study: Lessons from Four Networkers (Second Report), NYSERNET.
ESNET - High Performance Computing & Communications:
Toward a National Information Infrastructure, OSTP 1994
- CERFNet founded by Susan Estrada. "In June, 1988, a proposal was submitted by the San Diego Supercomputer Center and General Atomics to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the California Education and Research Federation Network (CERFnet). Thirty-four of the leading research and education centers in California participated in the proposal effort. In March, 1989, $2.8 million was awarded by the NSF to initiate CERFnet. The institutions contributed additional funds in membership fees, support personnel (such as training, consultation, and documentation), and maintenance of equipment needed to connect and support their CERFnet link. " [CERFnet]
- ESNet goes online providing service to the energy research community. [ESNet History]
- DOE's ESnet is a service-oriented production network that supports mission-oriented DOE science. It provides advanced Internet Protocol (IP) and ATM services to 30 DOE sites, including national laboratories, universities, and international partners. ESnet adopts and integrates leading-edge technologies to support DOE's mission applications and will continue to implement and enhance advanced interconnection and peering with NGI networks and other Federal research networks, as well as university networks and aggregation points (such as Gigapops) to support collaborations among DOE mission programs and university programs.
DOE conducts networking research, advanced network deployment, and advanced application support for more than 20,000 users of dozens of DOE experimental facilities and high performance computing resources. DOE's core network and network security research programs include high speed services to applications, routing and congestion control, differentiated services to applications, manageable security infrastructure and architecture, integration of services across autonomous systems and networks, network performance measurement and management, and infrastructure to support both mission science and networking R&D. [NITRD]
- Dept of Energy Deploys IP/DECNET [Medin Slide 7]
- NASA Aeronautics Network (AERONet) "provides computer networking facilities to the aerospace community. NASA centers are linked via high speed communications lines, and lower-speed tail circuits connect other members of the aerospace community to NASA. In addition, AERONet also provides Internet access with many other networks, thereby increasing national and international network connectivity. " [High Performance Computing & Communications: Toward a National Information Infrastructure OSTP 1994]
- NASA Science Internet (NSINET) established. "NSI coordinates and consolidates science user requirements for non-mission-critical computer networking. It further designs and implements its networks to provide the computer protocols and performances needed by the scientists. In the process of consolidating circuits, NSI uses multiprotocol and interprotocol networking technology and works to facilitate sharing of applications software and services. NSI also coordinates the integration of Code SC information systems as well as advanced applications, such as remote visualization, wide-band video, etc., into the network. Throughout its operations, NSI is responsible for providing efficient management of NASA data communications facilities and for assuring resource control and security."" [Fred Rounds, The NASA Science Internet, NASA 1991 (available through archive.org)]
- See also The Third Annual NASA Science Internet User Working Group Conference, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Management, Scientific and Technical Information Program, 1993
- NSIPO - NASA Science Internet Project Office
- ARPANET: CSTB, Realizing the Info Future p. 27 1994 "Beginning in 1988, ARPA support for the Internet was reduced, causing confusion among some sets of users and individuals involved in Internet operations. "
[NIST 1992 p 5]
- BITNET and CSNET merge to form CREN [CREN History][Salus p 199]
- New England Academic and Research Network (NEARNET) established by BBN; connects to ARPANet. [Salus p 203] [BBN Timeline]
- "CERFnet's high-speed backbone nodes were installed between May and June 1989 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, Irvine (UCI), the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The backbone was expanded to the University of California Office of the President in Oakland in November, 1989, and to San Jose in December, 1990. " [CERFnet] General Atomics aquires CERFNet. [Smart Computing]
- PSINet, a commercial network, is spun off from NYSERnet. [NYSERnet History]
- First commercial dial up ISP: World world.std.com [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [TheWorld]
- In 1993, to provide service, The World is using a Solbourne SPARCserver with 256 MB memory and 7 GB disk storage. The World has 5000 subscribers; leased 65 inbound telephone lines. [Srinagesh 124]
- Quantum releases America Online software
- Existing networks
- BARRNET - Bay Area Regional Research Network, (Palo Alto, CA) (connected to NSFNET)
- JVNCNET - John von Neumann Supercomputer Center Network (Princeton, NJ) (connected to NSFNET)
- MERIT - Merit Corporation (Ann Arbor, MI) (connected to NSFNET)
- MIDNET - Midwestern States Network (Lincoln, NE) (connected to NSFNET)
- NCSANET - NAtional Center for Supercomputing Applications Network (Champaign, IL) (connected to NSFNET)
- NORTHWESTNET - Northwestern States Network (Seattle, WA) (connected to NSFNET)
- NYSERNET - New York State Education and Research NEtwork (Ithaca, NY) (connected to NSFNET) (See PSINet)
- PSCNET - Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center NEtwork (Pittsburgh, PA) (connected to NSFNET)
- SDSCNET - San Diego Supercomputer Center Network (San Diego, CA) (connected to NSFNET)
- SESQUINET - Sesquicentennial Network (Houston, TX) (connected to NSFNET)
- SURANET - Southeastern Universities Research Association Network (College Park, MD) (connected to NSFNET)
- USAN - National Center for Atmospheric Research Satellite NEtwork (Boulder, CO) (connected to NSFNET)
- WESTNET - Southwestern States Network (Salt Lake City, UT) (connected to NSFNET
Federal Internet eXchange (FIX) established
UCLA holds "Act One" conference celebrating 20 years of the ARPANet
IAB consolidates its growing responsibilities into two groups: the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Research Task Force. [Kahn, Role of Govt]
IETF RFC 1118, Hitchhikers Guide to the Internet (Sept 1989)
World Wide Web developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN [Griffiths] [W3C]
© Cybertelecom ::
NCP to TCP/IP (IPv4) Transition
1980 - A Fateful Decision
The ARPANet had migrated to the NCP network protocol in 1970. However, this network protocol had its limitations. It assumed end to end connectivity between the communicating hosts and did not handle interconnecting different networks well. It also did not tolerate packet loss, coming to a halt if a packet was dropped on the floor.
Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf had designed TCP/IP to overcome these limitations. TCP/IP would permit interconnectivity between different networks. TCP would take on error control - permitting packets to be dropped on the floor as necessary. TCP could handle packet loss, resending missing packets as necessary.
With DCA managing the ARPANet now, it was decided that ARPANet would be integrated into the Defense Data Network (DDN). ARPANet would have to interconnect with different networks and in order to do so, ARPANet needed to migrate to the new TCP/IP. DCA announced in 1980 that ARPANet will migrate from NCP to TCP/IP (the second of three network protocol migrations), and that it would do so on a tight and non negotiable timetable. On Jan. 1, 1983, ARPANet would turn off NCP; if you wanted your packets to make it, the hosts had to be using TCP/IP. [Cerf 1160] (just for fun, contrast this to the Network Neutrality discussion and whether it is reasonable network management for routers to filter out specific traffic). [Great Achievements] [Netvalley]
The Internet would adopt the Internet Protocol version 4, believing that this would provide an inexaustible address space. As the inexaustible became exausted, the Internet has once again migrated logical protocols, migrating to IPv6.
RFC 760, DOD Standard: Internet Protocol (Jan. 1980) ("This document specifies the DoD Standard Internet Protocol.")
Protocol / standards / technology migrations are not always met with enthusiasm, especially when what exists is working. In addition, as seen in the sidebar, the Internet culture of consensus driven process had already developed. But this was a top-down DOD directive with a flag day deadline - resulting in a clash of cultures.
Vint Cerf, Final Report of the Stanford University TCP Project , IEN 151 (April 1, 1980)
Vint Cerf, Comments on NCP/TCP Service Transition Strategy, NWG RFC 773 (Oct. 1980)
"At no time was the controversy [with regard to the editoral function of the RFCs] worse than it was when DoD adopted TCP/IP as its official host-to-host protocols for communications networks. In March 1982, a military directive was issued by the Under Secretary of Defense, Richard DeLauer. It simply stated that the use of TCP and IP was mandatory for DoD communications networks. Bear in mind that a military directive is not something you discuss - the time for discussion is long over when one is issued. Rather a military directive is something you DO. The ARPANET and its successor, the Defense Data Network, were military networks, so the gauntlet was down and the race was on to prove whether the new technology could do the job on a real operational network. You have no idea what chaos and controversy that little 2-page directive caused on the network. (But that's a story for another time.) However, that directive, along with RFCs 791 and 793 (IP and TCP) gave the RFCs as a group of technical documents stature and recognition throughout the world. (And yes, TCP/IP certainly did do the job!) " [Jake Feinler, RFC 2555]
1981 - The Transition Plan
March 1981: Major Joseph Haughney announces ARPANet will migrate to TCP/IP on Jan. 1, 1983
In 1981, Jon Postel released RFC 801, the TCP/TCP Transition Plan that detailed a one year phase over of network assets from NCP to TCP starting in 1981. During this time, ARPANet Hosts would operate in Dual Stack mode, operating both NCP and TCP/IP.
RFC 791, Internet Protocol: DARPA Internet Program Protocol Specification , (Sept 1981) ("This document specifies the DoD Standard Internet Protocol. This document is based on six earlier editions of the ARPA Internet Protocol Specification, and the present text draws heavily from them.")
J Postel, RFC 801, NCP/TCP Transition Plan (Nov. 1981) ("The Department of Defense has recently adopted the internet concept and the IP and TCP protocols in particular as DoD wide standards for all DoD packet networks, and will be transitioning to this architecture over the next several years. All new DoD packet networks will be using these protocols exclusively. The goal is to make a complete switch over from the NCP to IP/TCP by 1 January 1983."
October 1, 1981 ARPANET did not forward NCP traffic
1982 - One Year Transition
Jon Postel, Vint Cert, and others press forward. An awareness raising campaign was engaged in which included newsletters, emails, discussions, and sometimes more drastic measures. Vint Cerf and Jon Postel turn off the NCP "network channel numbers on the ARPANET IMP's for a full day in mid 1982, so that only sites using TCP/IP could still operate" as a way of encouraging folk to prepare for the TCP/IP transition. [Living Internet TCP/IP] This was repeated in the Fall.
Those that were persuaded that the transition would in fact occured dedicated all of their resources to it. Everything would have to be written for the new protocol. Staff would have to be trained. Equipment would have to be updated. Problems would have to be debugged. This would normally take more time then the technical staffs were given - resulting in the commitment to all-transition all-the-time.
Others were not as persuaded. Bob Kahn recounts that up to the very last day he would receive emails asking whether the transition was actually going to occur - or asking what the real date of the transition was. When the transition transpired, ......
1983 - ARPANet Becomes the Internet
On January 1, 1983, ARPANET migrated to IP. Other large networks followed suit and likewise migrated to IP. NCP was turned off. [Netvalle] [ISOC] [Salus p 183] [Waldrop 85]
From the ARPANET to the Internet A Study of the ARPANET TCP/IP Digest and of the Role of Online Communication in the Transition from the ARPANET to the Internet by Ronda Hauben ~
"With the great switchover to TCP/IP, the ARPANET became the Internet." - Peter Salus [Salus p 188]
The transition was an enormous effort and was met with significant resistance and reticence. Adjectives used to describe the transition include "traumatic" and "disruptive." [Slaton and Abbate] (one participant recalled) "the transition from NCP to TCP was done in a great rush, occupying virtually everyone's time 100^ in the year 1982 . . . In was a major painful ordeal." [Slaton and Abbate]
Not every believe the transition was actually going to occur - or were prepared. "When the cutoff date arrived, only about half the sites had actually implemented a working version of TCP/IP." [Abbate p 141]
Many people hold the opinion that without the directives from DCA, the migration to IPv4 would never have been achieved voluntarily.
- Bboard Thread about Changing the Arpanet Protocol from NCP to TCP/IP
- Ronda Hauben, From the ARPANET to the Internet: A Study of the ARPANET TCP/IP Digest and of the Role of Online Communication in the Transition from the ARPANET to the Internet
- Email from Jack Haverty to IH mailing list , NCP to TCP/IP Transition (April 27, 2009) (recounting transition)