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Is The Internet A Pisces?

Why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? How old is the internet?

Sometimes simple questions have complicated answers. You’re on your own for the first two, but we’re happy to be of assistance answering the third! The internet, that vast network of networks we love so dearly, probably seems like a relatively recent invention. Al Gore, the 1990s, the information superhighway…that about covers it, right?

Wrong!

By some accounts, the internet has been around for the last 50 years! Just depends on who you ask, and what exactly you mean by internet...

October 29, 1969

A Department of Defense project creates something called ARPANET - a network of computers that is capable of sharing data packets - and sends their first message from one computer to another. The technology of the internet is born!

March 12, 1989

Tim Berners-Lee presents "Information Management: A Proposal" at CERN, which described an information-sharing system that would make data accessible from any computer. This was the model for the the internet as we know it today, built upon the technology of ARPANET hardware and software. A beautiful brainchild is brought into existence. (If you’re curious about who invented the internet, Berners-Lee is a name you’ll definitely want to follow up on.)

November 12, 1990

Tim Berners-Lee coins the term "World Wide Web" (For all you etymology nerds out there, this is where the magic happens; on this day, one of the most popular synonyms for the internet gets the breath of life.)

December 25, 1990

WorldWideWeb software is actively functional and in use at CERN. On this day in history, we could surf the web on the world's first browser. To many people, this browsing function is integral to the official birth of the internet.

August 6, 1991

Regular folks outside CERN get access to the web as a public internet service for the first time ever! The democratic potential of the internet is seen and celebrated, making this another appealing official birthday for one and all.

These are some of the most compelling potential birthdays of the internet, but in no way do they represent an exhaustive list. The internet is sprawling, complex, beautiful, and most importantly…a work-in-progress! It’s always evolving, growing, and changing. If you take away anything from this birthday breakdown, it should be the understanding that dozens and dozens of people over many years were responsible for helping out. After all, it takes a village.