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Network Working Group R. Zakon Request for Comments: 2235 MITRE FYI: 32 November 1997 Category: Informational

                     Hobbes' Internet Timeline

Status of this Memo

 This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
 not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
 memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

 Copyright (C) Robert H. Zakon and The Internet Society (1997).
 All Rights Reserved.

1. Introduction

 This document presents a history of the Internet in timeline fashion,
 highlighting some of the key events and technologies which helped
 shape the Internet as we know it today.  A growth summary of the
 Internet and some associated technologies is also included.

2. Hobbes' Internet Timeline

 Excerpted from the author's copyrighted work of the same name.  The
 most current version of Hobbes' Internet Timeline is available at
  1. ——————————————————————–



   USSR launches Sputnik, first artificial earth satellite. In
   response, US forms the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA)
   within the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish US lead in
   science and technology applicable to the military (:amk:)
  1. ——————————————————————–


   Paul Baran, RAND: "On Distributed Communications Networks"
      - Packet-switching (PS) networks; no single outage point

Zakon Informational [Page 1] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997


   ARPA sponsors study on "cooperative network of time-sharing
      - TX-2 at MIT Lincoln Lab and Q-32 at System Development
        Corporation (Santa Monica, CA) are directly linked (without
        packet switches)


   ACM Symposium on Operating Principles
      - Plan presented for a packet-switching network
      - First design paper on ARPANET published by Lawrence G. Roberts
   National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Middlesex, England develops
   NPL Data Network under D. W. Davies


   PS-network presented to the Advanced Research Projects Agency


   ARPANET commissioned by DoD for research into networking
      - First node at UCLA, Network Measurements Center
        [SDS SIGMA 7, SEX] and soon after at:
           - Stanford Research Institute (SRI), NIC [SDS940/Genie]
           - UCSB, Culler-Fried Interactive Mathematics
             [IBM 360/75, OS/MVT]
           - Univ of Utah, Graphics [DEC PDP-10, Tenex]
      - use of Information Message Processors (IMP) [Honeywell 516
        mini computer with 12K of memory developed by Bolt Beranek
        and Newman, Inc. (BBN)
   First Request for Comment (RFC): "Host Software" by Steve Crocker
   Univ of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State Univ establish
   X.25-based Merit network for students, faculty, alumni (:sw1:)
  1. ——————————————————————–
   Store-and-forward networks
      - Used electronic mail technology and extended it to

Zakon Informational [Page 2] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997


   ALOHAnet developed by Norman Abrahamson, Univ of Hawaii (:sk2:)
      - connected to the ARPANET in 1972
   ARPANET hosts start using Network Control Protocol (NCP).


   15 nodes (23 hosts): UCLA, SRI, UCSB, Univ of Utah, BBN, MIT, RAND,
   SDC, Harvard, Lincoln Lab, Stanford, UIU(C), CWRU, CMU, NASA/Ames
   Ray Tomlinson of BBN invents email program to send messages across
   a distributed network. The original program was derived from two
   others: an intra-machine email program (SNDMSG) and an experimental
   file transfer program (CPYNET) (:amk:irh:)


   International Conference on Computer Communications with
   demonstration of ARPANET between 40 machines and the Terminal
   Interface Processor (TIP) organized by Bob Kahn.
   InterNetworking Working Group (INWG) created to address need for
   establishing agreed upon protocols. Chairman: Vinton Cerf.
   Telnet specification (RFC 318)


   First international connections to the ARPANET: University College
   of London (England) and Royal Radar Establishment (Norway)
   Bob Metcalfe's Harvard PhD Thesis outlines idea for Ethernet
   Bob Kahn poses Internet problem, starts internetting research
   program at ARPA. Vinton Cerf sketches gateway architecture in March
   on back of envelope in hotel lobby in San Francisco (:vgc:)
   Cerf and Kahn present basic Internet ideas at INWG in September at
   Univ of Sussex, Brighton, UK (:vgc:)
   File Transfer specification (RFC 454)


   Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish "A Protocol for Packet Network
   Intercommunication" which specified in detail the design of a
   Transmission Control Program (TCP). [IEEE Trans Comm] (:amk:)
   BBN opens Telenet, the first public packet data service (a
   commercial version of ARPANET) (:sk2:)

Zakon Informational [Page 3] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997


   Operational management of Internet transferred to DCA (now DISA)
   "Jargon File", by Raphael Finkel at SAIL, first released (:esr:)
   Shockwave Rider written by John Brunner (:pds:)


   Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom sends out an e-mail
   (various Net folks have e-mailed dates ranging from 1971 to 1978;
   1976 was the most submitted and the only found in print)
   UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy) developed at AT&T Bell Labs and
   distributed with UNIX one year later.


   THEORYNET created by Larry Landweber at Univ of Wisconsin providing
   electronic mail to over 100 researchers in computer science (using
   a locally developed email system and TELENET for access to server).
   Mail specification (RFC 733)
   Tymshare launches Tymnet
   First demonstration of ARPANET/Packet Radio Net/SATNET operation of
   Internet protocols with BBN-supplied gateways in July (:vgc:)


   Meeting between Univ of Wisconsin, DARPA, NSF, and computer
   scientists from many universities to establish a Computer Science
   Department research computer network (organized by Larry Landweber)
   USENET established using UUCP between Duke and UNC by Tom Truscott,
   Jim Ellis, and Steve Bellovin. All original groups were under net.*
   First MUD, MUD1, by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw at U of Essex
   ARPA establishes the Internet Configuration Control Board (ICCB)
   Packet Radio Network (PRNET) experiment starts with DARPA funding.
   Most communications take place between mobile vans. ARPANET
   connection via SRI.
  1. ——————————————————————–

Zakon Informational [Page 4] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997



   BITNET, the "Because It's Time NETwork"
      - Started as a cooperative network at the City University of New
        York, with the first connection to Yale (:feg:)
      - Original acronym stood for 'There' instead of 'Time' in
        reference to the free NJE protocols provided with the IBM
      - Provides electronic mail and listserv servers to distribute
        information, as well as file transfers
   CSNET (Computer Science NETwork) built by a collaboration of
   computer scientists and Univ of Delaware, Purdue Univ, Univ of
   Wisconsin, RAND Corporation and BBN through seed money granted by
   NSF to provide networking services (especially email) to university
   scientists with no access to ARPANET. CSNET later becomes known as
   the Computer and Science Network. (:amk,lhl:)
   Minitel (Teletel) is deployed across France by France Telecom.
   True Names written by Vernor Vinge (:pds:)


   DCA and ARPA establish the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and
   Internet Protocol (IP), as the protocol suite, commonly known as
   TCP/IP, for ARPANET. (:vgc:)
      - This leads to one of the first definitions of an "internet" as
        a connected set of networks, specifically those using TCP/IP,
        and "Internet" as connected TCP/IP internets.
      - DoD declares TCP/IP suite to be standard for DoD (:vgc:)
   EUnet (European UNIX Network) is created by EUUG to provide email
   and USENET services. (:glg:)
      - original connections between the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden,
        and UK
   External Gateway Protocol (RFC 827) specification. EGP is used for
   gateways between networks.


   Name server developed at Univ of Wisconsin, no longer requiring
   users to know the exact path to other systems.
   Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP (1 January)
   CSNET / ARPANET gateway put in place

Zakon Informational [Page 5] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   ARPANET split into ARPANET and MILNET; the latter became integrated
   with the Defense Data Network created the previous year.
   Desktop workstations come into being, many with Berkeley UNIX which
   includes IP networking software.
   Networking needs switch from having a single, large time sharing
   computer connected to the Internet at each site, to instead
   connecting entire local networks.
   Internet Activities Board (IAB) established, replacing ICCB
   Berkeley releases 4.2BSD incorporating TCP/IP (:mpc:)
   EARN (European Academic and Research Network) established. Very
   similar to the way BITNET works with a gateway funded by IBM.
   FidoNet developed by Tom Jennings.


   Domain Name System (DNS) introduced.
   Number of hosts breaks 1,000
   JUNET (Japan Unix Network) established using UUCP.
   JANET (Joint Academic Network) established in the UK using the
   Coloured Book protocols; previously SERCnet.
   Moderated newsgroups introduced on USENET (mod.*)
   Neuromancer written by William Gibson


  Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (WELL) started
  Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at USC is given responsibility
  for DNS root management by DCA, and SRI for DNS NIC registrations is assigned on 15 March to become the first registered
  domain. Other firsts:,,,
  (April); (June);, .uk (July)
  100 years to the day of the last spike being driven on the cross-
  Canada railroad, the last Canadian university is connected to BITNET
  in a one year effort to have coast-to-coast connectivity. (:kf1:)

Zakon Informational [Page 6] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997


   NSFNET created (backbone speed of 56Kbps)
      - NSF establishes 5 super-computing centers to provide
        high-computing power for all (JVNC@Princeton, PSC@Pittsburgh,
        SDSC@UCSD, NCSA@UIUC, Theory Center@Cornell).
      - This allows an explosion of connections, especially from
   NSF-funded SDSCNET, JVNCNET, SURANET, and NYSERNET operational
   Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Research Task
   Force (IRTF) comes into existence under the IAB. First IETF meeting
   held in January at Linkabit in San Diego
   The first Freenet (Cleveland) comes on-line 16 July under the
   auspices of the Society for Public Access Computing (SoPAC). Later
   Freenet program management assumed by the National Public
   Telecomputing Network (NPTN) in 1989 (:sk2,rab:)
   Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) designed to enhance Usenet
   news performance over TCP/IP.
   Mail Exchanger (MX) records developed by Craig Partridge allow
   non-IP network hosts to have domain addresses.
   The great USENET name change; moderated newsgroups changed in 1987.
   BARRNET (Bay Area Regional Research Network) established using high
   speed links. Operational in 1987.


   NSF signs a cooperative agreement to manage the NSFNET backbone
   with Merit Network, Inc. (IBM and MCI involvement was through an
   agreement with Merit). Merit, IBM, and MCI later founded ANS.
   UUNET is founded with Usenix funds to provide commercial UUCP and
   Usenet access. Originally an experiment by Rick Adams and Mike
   Email link established between Germany and China using CSNET
   protocols, with the first message from China sent on 20 September.
   1000th RFC: "Request For Comments reference guide"
   Number of hosts breaks 10,000

Zakon Informational [Page 7] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   Number of BITNET hosts breaks 1,000


   2 November - Internet worm burrows through the Net, affecting
   ~6,000 of the 60,000 hosts on the Internet (:ph1:)
   CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) formed by DARPA in response
   to the needs exhibited during the Morris worm incident. The worm is
   the only advisory issued this year.
   DoD chooses to adopt OSI and sees use of TCP/IP as an interim. US
   Government OSI Profile (GOSIP) defines the set of protocols to be
   supported by Government purchased products (:gck:)
   Los Nettos network created with no federal funding, instead
   supported by regional members (founding: Caltech, TIS, UCLA, USC,
   NSFNET backbone upgraded to T1 (1.544Mbps)
   CERFnet (California Education and Research Federation network)
   founded by Susan Estrada.
   Internet Relay Chat (IRC) developed by Jarkko Oikarinen (:zby:)
   First Canadian regionals join NSFNET: ONet via Cornell, RISQ via
   Princeton, BCnet via Univ of Washington (:ec1:)
   FidoNet gets connected to the Net, enabling the exchange of e-mail
   and news (:tp1:)
   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Canada (CA), Denmark (DK), Finland
   (FI), France (FR), Iceland (IS), Norway (NO), Sweden (SE)


   Number of hosts breaks 100,000
   RIPE (Reseaux IP Europeens) formed (by European service providers)
   to ensure the necessary administrative and technical coordination
   to allow the operation of the pan-European IP Network. (:glg:)
   First relays between a commercial electronic mail carrier and the
   Internet: MCI Mail through the Corporation for the National
   Research Initiative (CNRI), and Compuserve through Ohio State Univ
   Corporation for Research and Education Networking (CREN) is formed
   by merging CSNET into BITNET

Zakon Informational [Page 8] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   AARNET - Australian Academic Research Network - set up by AVCC and
   CSIRO; introduced into service the following year (:gmc:)
   Cuckoo's Egg written by Clifford Stoll tells the real-life tale of
   a German cracker group who infiltrated numerous US facilities
   CERT advisories: 7
   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Australia (AU), Germany (DE),
   Israel (IL), Italy (IT), Japan (JP), Mexico (MX), Netherlands (NL),
   New Zealand (NZ), Puerto Rico (PR), United Kingdom (UK)
  1. ——————————————————————–


   ARPANET ceases to exist
   Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is founded by Mitch Kapor
   Archie released by Peter Deutsch, Alan Emtage, and Bill Heelan at
   Hytelnet released by Peter Scott (Univ of Saskatchewan)
   The World comes on-line (, becoming the first
   commercial provider of Internet dial-up access
   ISO Development Environment (ISODE) developed to provide an
   approach for OSI migration for the DoD. ISODE software allows OSI
   application to operate over TCP/IP (:gck:)
   CA*net formed by 10 regional networks as national Canadian backbone
   with direct connection to NSFNET (:ec1:)
   The first remotely operated machine to be hooked up to the
   Internet, the Internet Toaster, (controlled via SNMP) makes its
   debut at Interop.
   CERT advisories: 12, reports: 130
   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Argentina (AR), Austria (AT),
   Belgium (BE), Brazil (BR), Chile (CL), Greece (GR), India (IN),
   Ireland (IE), Korea (KR), Spain (ES), Switzerland (CH)

Zakon Informational [Page 9] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997


   Commercial Internet eXchange (CIX) Association, Inc. formed by
   General Atomics (CERFnet), Performance Systems International, Inc.
   (PSInet), and UUNET Technologies, Inc. (AlterNet), after NSF lifts
   restrictions on the commercial use of the Net (:glg:)
   Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS), invented by Brewster Kahle,
   released by Thinking Machines Corporation
   Gopher released by Paul Lindner and Mark P. McCahill from the Univ
   of Minnessota
   World-Wide Web (WWW) released by CERN; Tim Berners-Lee developer
   PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) released by Philip Zimmerman (:ad1:)
   US High Performance Computing Act (Gore 1) establishes the National
   Research and Education Network (NREN)
   NSFNET backbone upgraded to T3 (44.736Mbps)
   NSFNET traffic passes 1 trillion bytes/month and 10 billion
   Defense Data Network NIC contract awarded by DISA to Government
   Systems Inc. who takes over from SRI in May
   Start of JANET IP Service (JIPS) which signalled the changeover
   from Coloured Book software to TCP/IP within the UK academic
   network. IP was initially 'tunnelled' within X.25. (:gst:)
   CERT advisories: 23
   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Croatia (HR), Czech Repulic (CZ),
   Hong Kong (HK), Hungary (HU), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Singapore
   (SG), South Africa (ZA), Taiwan (TW), Tunisia (TN)


   Internet Society (ISOC) is chartered
   Number of hosts breaks 1,000,000
   First MBONE audio multicast (March) and video multicast (November)
   RIPE Network Coordination Center (NCC) created in April to provide
   address registration and coordination services to the European
   Internet community (:dk1:)

Zakon Informational [Page 10] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   IAB reconstituted as the Internet Architecture Board and becomes
   part of the Internet Society
   Veronica, a gopherspace search tool, is released by Univ of Nevada
   World Bank comes on-line
   Japan's first ISP, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), is formed by
   Koichi Suzuki
   The term "Surfing the Internet" is coined by Jean Armour Polly
   Internet Hunt started by Rick Gates
   CERT advisories: 21, reports: 800
   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Antarctica (AQ), Cameroon (CM),
   Cyprus (CY), Ecuador (EC), Estonia (EE), Kuwait (KW), Latvia (LV),
   Luxembourg (LU), Malaysia (MY), Slovakia (SK), Slovenia (SI),
   Thailand (TH), Venezuela (VE)


   InterNIC created by NSF to provide specific Internet services:
      - directory and database services (AT&T)
      - registration services (Network Solutions Inc.)
      - information services (General Atomics/CERFnet)
   US White House comes on-line (
      - President Bill Clinton:
      - Vice-President Al Gore:
   Worms of a new kind find their way around the Net - WWW Worms (W4),
   joined by Spiders, Wanderers, Crawlers, and Snakes ...
   Internet Talk Radio begins broadcasting (:sk2:)
   United Nations (UN) comes on-line (:vgc:)
   US National Information Infrastructure Act
   Businesses and media really take notice of the Internet
   Mosaic takes the Internet by storm; WWW proliferates at a 341,634%
   annual growth rate of service traffic. Gopher's growth is 997%.
   CERT advisories: 18, reports: 1300

Zakon Informational [Page 11] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Bulgaria (BG), Costa Rica (CR),
   Egypt (EG), Fiji (FJ), Ghana (GH), Guam (GU), Indonesia (ID),
   Kazakhstan (KZ), Kenya (KE), Liechtenstein (LI), Peru (PE), Romania
   (RO), Russian Federation (RU), Turkey (TR), Ukraine (UA), UAE (AE),
   US Virgin Islands (VI)


   ARPANET/Internet celebrates 25th anniversary
   Communities begin to be wired up directly to the Internet
   (Lexington and Cambridge, MA, USA)
   US Senate and House provide information servers
   Shopping malls arrive on the Internet
   First cyberstation, RT-FM, broadcasts from Interop in Las Vegas
   The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) suggests
   that GOSIP should incorporate TCP/IP and drop the "OSI-only"
   requirement (:gck:)
   Arizona law firm of Canter & Siegel "spams" the Internet with email
   advertising green card lottery services; Net citizens flame back
   NSFNET traffic passes 10 trillion bytes/month
   Yes, it's true - you can now order pizza from the Hut online
   WWW edges out telnet to become 2nd most popular service on the Net
   (behind ftp-data) based on % of packets and bytes traffic
   distribution on NSFNET
   Japanese Prime Minister on-line
   UK's HM Treasury on-line
   New Zealand's Info Tech Prime Minister on-line
   First Virtual, the first cyberbank, open up for business
   Radio stations start rockin' (rebroadcasting) round the clock on
   the Net: WXYC at Univ of NC, WJHK at Univ of KS-Lawrence, KUGS at
   Western WA Univ
   Trans-European Research and Education Network Association (TERENA)
   is formed by the merger of RARE and EARN, with representatives from
   38 countries as well as CERN and ECMWF. TERERNA's aim is to

Zakon Informational [Page 12] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   "promote and participate in the development of a high quality
   international information and telecommunications infrastructure for
   the benefit of research and education"
   CERT advisories: 15, reports: 2300
   Countries connecting to NSFNET: Algeria (DZ), Armenia (AM), Bermuda
   (BM), Burkina Faso (BF), China (CN), Colombia (CO), Jamaica (JM),
   Lebanon (LB), Lithuania (LT), Macau (MO), Morocco (MA), New
   Caledonia, Nicaragua (NI), Niger (NE), Panama (PA), Philippines
   (PH), Senegal (SN), Sri Lanka (LK), Swaziland (SZ), Uruguay (UY),
   Uzbekistan (UZ)


   NSFNET reverts back to a research network. Main US backbone traffic
   now routed through interconnected network providers
   The new NSFNET is born as NSF establishes the very high speed
   Backbone Network Service (vBNS) linking super-computing centers:
   Hong Kong police disconnect all but 1 of the colony's Internet
   providers in search of a hacker. 10,000 people are left without Net
   access. (:api:)
   RealAudio, an audio streaming technology, lets the Net hear in near
   Radio HK, the first 24 hr., Internet-only radio station starts
   WWW surpasses ftp-data in March as the service with greatest
   traffic on NSFNet based on packet count, and in April based on byte
   Traditional online dial-up systems (Compuserve, America Online,
   Prodigy) begin to provide Internet access
   A number of Net related companies go public, with Netscape leading
   the pack with the 3rd largest ever NASDAQ IPO share value (9
   Thousands in Minneapolis-St. Paul (USA) lose Net access after
   transients start a bonfire under a bridge at the Univ of MN causing
   fiber-optic cables to melt (30 July)

Zakon Informational [Page 13] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   Registration of domain names is no longer free. Beginning 14
   September, a $50 annual fee has been imposed, which up until now
   was subsidized by NSF. NSF continues to pay for .edu registration,
   and on an interim basis for .gov
   The Vatican comes on-line
   The Canadian Government comes on-line
   The first official Internet wiretap was successful in helping the
   Secret Service and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) aprehend three
   individuals who were illegally manufacturing and selling cell phone
   cloning equipment and electronic devices
   Operation Home Front connects, for the first time, soldiers in the
   field with their families back home via the Internet.
   Richard White becomes the first person to be declared a munition,
   under the USA's arms export control laws, because of an RSA file
   security encryption program emblazoned on his arm (:wired496:)
   CERT advisories: 18, reports: 2412
   Country domains registered: Ethiopia (ET), Cote d'Ivoire (CI), Cook
   Islands (CK) Cayman Islands (KY), Anguilla (AI), Gibraltar (GI),
   Vatican (VA), Kiribati (KI), Kyrgyzstan (KG), Madagascar (MG),
   Mauritius (MU), Micronesia (FM), Monaco (MC), Mongolia (MN), Nepal
   (NP), Nigeria (NG), Western Samoa (WS), San Marino (SM), Tanzania
   (TZ), Tonga (TO), Uganda (UG), Vanuatu (VU)
   Technologies of the Year: WWW, Search engines Emerging
   Technologies: Mobile code (JAVA, JAVAscript), Virtual environments
   (VRML), Collaborative tools


   Internet phones catch the attention of US telecommunication
   companies who ask the US Congress to ban the technology (which has
   been around for years)
   The controversial US Communications Decency Act (CDA) becomes law
   in the US in order to prohibit distribution of indecent materials
   over the Net. A few months later a three-judge panel imposes an
   injunction against its enforcement. Supreme Court unanimously rules
   most of it unconstitutional in 1997.
   9,272 organizations find themselves unlisted after the InterNIC
   drops their name service as a result of not having paid their
   domain name fee

Zakon Informational [Page 14] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   Various ISPs suffer extended service outages, bringing into
   question whether they will be able to handle the growing number of
   users. AOL (19 hours), Netcom (13 hours), AT&T WorldNet (28 hours -
   email only)
   New Yorks' Public Access Networks Corp (PANIX) is shut down after
   repeated SYN attacks by a cracker using methods outlined in a
   hacker magazine (2600)
   Various US Government sites are hacked into and their content
   changed, including CIA, Department of Justice, Air Force
   MCI upgrades Internet backbone adding ~13,000 ports, bringing the
   effective speed from 155Mbps to 622Mbps.
   The Internet Ad Hoc Committee announces plans to add 7 new generic
   Top Level Domains (gTLD): .firm, .store, .web, .arts, .rec, .info,
   registrars worldwide.
   A malicious cancelbot is released on USENET wiping out more than
   25,000 messages.
   The WWW browser war, fought primarily between Netscape and
   Microsoft, has rushed in a new age in software development, whereby
   new releases are made quarterly with the help of Internet users
   eager to test upcoming (beta) versions.
   Restrictions on Internet use around the world:
      - China: requires users and ISPs to register with the police
      - Germany: cuts off access to some newsgroups carried on
      - Saudi Arabia: confines Internet access to universities and
      - Singapore: requires political and religious content providers
        to register with the state
      - New Zealand: classifies computer disks as "publications" that
        can be censored and seized
      - source: Human Rights Watch
   vBNS additions: Baylor College of Medicine, Georgia Tech, Iowa
   State Univ, Ohio State Univ, Old Dominion Univ, Univ of CA, Univ of
   CO, Univ of Chicago, Univ of IL, Univ of MN, Univ of PA, Univ of
   TX, Rice Univ
   CERT advisories: 27, reports: 2573

Zakon Informational [Page 15] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   Country domains registered: Qatar (QA), Vientiane (LA), Djibouti
   (DJ), Niger (NE), Central African Republic (CF), Mauretania (MF),
   Oman (OM), Norfolk Island (NF), Tuvalu (TV), French Polynesia (PF),
   Syria (SY), Aruba (AW), Cambodia (KH), French Guiana (GF), Eritrea
   (ER), Cape Verde (CV), Burundi (BI), Benin (BJ) Bosnia-Hercegovina
   (BA), Andorra (AD), Guadeloupe (GP), Guernsey (GG), Isle of Man
   (IM), Jersey (JE), Lao (LA), Maldives (MV), Marshall Islands (MH),
   Mauritania (MR), Northern Mariana Islands (MP), Rwanda (RW), Togo
   (TG), Yemen (YE), Zaire (ZR)
   Technologies of the Year: Search engines, JAVA, Internet Phone
   Emerging Technologies: Virtual environments (VRML), Collaborative
   tools, Internet appliance (Network Computer)


   2000th RFC: "Internet Official Protocol Standards"
   71,618 mailing lists registered at Liszt, a mailing list directory
   The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) is established to
   handle administration and registration of IP numbers to the
   geographical areas currently handled by Network Solutions
   (InterNIC), starting March 1998.
   Early in the morning of 17 July, human error at Network Solutions
   causes the DNS table for .com and .net domains to become corrupted,
   making millions of systems unreachable.
   Longest hostname registered with InterNIC:
   101,803 Name Servers in whois database
   CERT advisories thus far: 23
   Country domains registered: Falkland Islands (FK), East Timor (TP),
   Congo (CG), Christmas Island (CX), Gambia (GM), Guinea-Bissau (GW),
   Haiti (HT), Iraq (IQ), Lybia (LY), Malawi (MW), Martinique (MQ),
   Montserrat (MS), Myanmar (MM), French Reunion Island (RE),
   Seychelles (SC), Sierra Leone (SL), Sudan (SD), Turkmenistan (TM),
   Turks and Caicos Islands (TC), British Virgin Islands (VG)
   Technologies of the Year: Push, Multicasting Emerging Technologies:
   Push, Streaming Media [:twc:]
  1. ——————————————————————–

Zakon Informational [Page 16] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997


Internet growth:

 Date       Hosts       |     Date       Hosts     Networks   Domains
 -----    ---------     +     -----    ---------   --------  ---------
  1969            4     |     07/89      130,000        650      3,900
 04/71           23     |     10/89      159,000        837
 06/74           62     |     10/90      313,000      2,063      9,300
 03/77          111     |     01/91      376,000      2,338
 08/81          213     |     07/91      535,000      3,086     16,000
 05/82          235     |     10/91      617,000      3,556     18,000
 08/83          562     |     01/92      727,000      4,526
 10/84        1,024     |     04/92      890,000      5,291     20,000
 10/85        1,961     |     07/92      992,000      6,569     16,300
 02/86        2,308     |     10/92    1,136,000      7,505     18,100
 11/86        5,089     |     01/93    1,313,000      8,258     21,000
 12/87       28,174     |     04/93    1,486,000      9,722     22,000
 07/88       33,000     |     07/93    1,776,000     13,767     26,000
 10/88       56,000     |     10/93    2,056,000     16,533     28,000
 01/89       80,000     |     01/94    2,217,000     20,539     30,000
                        |     07/94    3,212,000     25,210     46,000
                        |     10/94    3,864,000     37,022     56,000
                        |     01/95    4,852,000     39,410     71,000
                        |     07/95    6,642,000     61,538    120,000
                        |     01/96    9,472,000     93,671    240,000
                        |     07/96   12,881,000    134,365    488,000
                        |     01/97   16,146,000               828,000
                        |     07/97   19,540,000             1,301,000

Worldwide Networks Growth: (I)nternet (B)ITNET (U)UCP (F)IDONET (O)SI

         ____# Countries____                       ____# Countries____
 Date     I   B   U   F   O                Date     I   B   U   F   O
 -----   --- --- --- --- ---               -----   --- --- --- --- ---
 09/91    31  47  79  49                   02/94    62  51 125  88  31
 12/91    33  46  78  53                   07/94    75  52 129  89  31
 02/92    38  46  92  63                   11/94    81  51 133  95  --
 04/92    40  47  90  66  25               02/95    86  48 141  98  --
 08/92    49  46  89  67  26               06/95    96  47 144  99  --
 01/93    50  50 101  72  31               06/96   134  -- 146 108  --
 04/93    56  51 107  79  31               07/97   171  -- 147 108  --
 08/93    59  51 117  84  31

Zakon Informational [Page 17] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

WWW Growth:

 Date     Sites     |   Date     Sites     |   Date     Sites
 -----  ----------  +   -----  ----------  +   -----  ----------
 06/93         130  |   08/96     342,081  |   04/97   1,002,612
 12/93         623  |   09/96     397,281  |   05/97   1,044,163
 06/94       2,738  |   10/96     462,047  |   06/97   1,117,255
 12/94      10,022  |   11/96     525,906  |   07/97   1,203,096
 06/95      23,500  |   12/96     603,367  |   08/97   1,269,800
 01/96     100,000  |   01/97     646,162  |   09/97   1,364,714
 06/96     252,000  |   02/97     739,688  |
 07/96     299,403  |   03/97     883,149  |

USENET Growth:

Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups | Date Sites ~MB ~Posts Groups —- —– — —— —— + —- ——- — —— —— 1979 3 2 3 | 1987 5,200 2 957 259 1980 15 10 | 1988 7,800 4 1933 381 1981 150 0.05 20 | 1990 33,000 10 4,500 1,300 1982 400 35 | 1991 40,000 25 10,000 1,851 1983 600 120 | 1992 63,000 42 17,556 4,302 1984 900 225 | 1993 110,000 70 32,325 8,279 1985 1,300 1.0 375 | 1994 180,000 157 72,755 10,696 1986 2,200 2.0 946 241 | 1995 330,000 586 131,614

    ~ approximate: MB - megabytes per day, Posts - articles per day

3. Sources

   Hobbes' Internet Timeline was compiled from a number of sources,
   with some of the stand-outs being:
   Cerf, Vinton (as told to Bernard Aboba). "How the Internet Came to
   Be." This article appears in "The Online User's Encyclopedia," by
   Bernard Aboba.  Addison-Wesley, 1993.
   Hardy, Henry. "The History of the Net."  Master's Thesis, School of
   Communications, Grand Valley State University.
   Hardy, Ian.  "The Evolution of ARPANET email." History Thesis, UC

Zakon Informational [Page 18] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

   Hauben, Ronda and Michael. "The Netizens and the Wonderful World of
   the Net."
   Kulikowski, Stan II. "A Timeline of Network History." (author's
   email below)
   Quarterman, John. "The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing
   Systems Worldwide."  Bedford, MA: Digital Press. 1990
   "ARPANET, the Defense Data Network, and Internet".  Encyclopedia of
   Communications, Volume 1.  Editors: Fritz Froehlich, Allen Kent.
   New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1991
   Internet growth summary compiled from:
     - zone program reports maintained by Mark Lottor at:
     - connectivity table maintained by Larry Landweber at:
   WWW growth summary compiled from:
     - Web growth summary page by Matthew Gray of MIT:

     - Netcraft at
   USENET growth summary compiled from Quarterman and Hauben sources
   above, and news.lists postings.  Lots of historical USENET postings
   also provided by Tom Fitzgerald (
   Related Timelines:
     - DNS:"
     - JAVA:
     - BBN:
   Additional books of interest:
     - "Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet"
          Katie Hafner & Matthew Lyon
     - "Architects of the Web: 1,000 Days That Built the Future of
          Business", Robert H. Reid
     - "Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the
          Internet", Michael Hauben et al

Zakon Informational [Page 19] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

4. Acknowledgements

   Contributors to Hobbes' Internet Timeline have their initials next
   to the contributed items in the form (:zzz:) and are:
   ad1 - Arnaud Dufour (
   amk - Alex McKenzie (
   dk1 - Daniel Karrenberg (
   ec1 - Eric Carroll (
   esr - Eric S. Raymond (
   feg - Farrell E. Gerbode (
   gck - Gary C. Kessler (
   glg - Gail L. Grant (
   gmc - Grant McCall (
   gst - Graham Thomas (
   irh - Ian R Hardy (
   jap - Jean Armour Polly (
   jg1 - Jim Gaynor (
   kf1 - Ken Fockler (
   lhl - Larry H. Landweber (
   mpc - Mellisa P. Chase (
   pb1 - Paul Burchard (
   pds - Peter da Silva (
   ph1 - Peter Hoffman (
   rab - Roger A. Bielefeld (
   sc1 - Susan Calcari (
   sk2 - Stan Kulikowski (stankuli@uwf.bitnet) - see sources section
   sw1 - Stephen Wolff (
   tp1 - Tim Pozar (
   twc - Thomas W. Creedon - K'o Wei Li (
   vgc - Vinton Cerf ( - see sources section
   wz1 - W. Zorn (
   zby - Zenel Batagelj (

5. Security Considerations

   Security issues are not discussed in this document, though
   references are made to security events which have taken place.

Zakon Informational [Page 20] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

6. Author's Address

   Robert H. Zakon
   Internet Evangelist
   The MITRE Corporation
   1820 Dolley Madison Blvd
   McLean, Virginia, USA 22102
   Phone: (703) 883-7790

7. Disclaimer

   The views expressed in this document are the author's and are not
   intended to represent in any way The MITRE Corporation or its
   opinions on this subject matter.

Zakon Informational [Page 21] RFC 2235 Hobbes' Internet Timeline November 1997

8. Full Copyright Statement

 Copyright (C) Robert H. Zakon and The Internet Society (1997).
 All Rights Reserved.
 This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
 others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
 or assist in its implmentation may be prepared, copied, published and
 distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind,
 provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
 included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
 document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
 the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
 Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
 developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
 copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
 followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
 The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
 revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.
 This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

Zakon Informational [Page 22]

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