The first connections between computers, were made through a specific lines, in which the information traveled ordenate from one computer to another.
In the 60’s, over cold war, the ARPA agency, based on the research done by France and UK, They start building up a network of military and research computers, in order to send data through different routes. For this purpose, they split the data into small units, sending it through different routes, so which these could be received randomly, out of order. These units are called data packets and networks of this type, are known as packet switching networks.
This system was interesting for the military porposes considering the posibility of an intermediate center transmision destruction. By having multiple way of comunication would be never interrupted. In 1969 is switched on the first network of this kind, ARPANET, that connecting 4 universities.
The maturity of the system
The following years, ARPANET were extending through the United States, always in the military and research fields. In addition the transmission systems were extended, the testing with satellite communications make it slowly to get new developments. Ray Tomlinson invented the email in 1972, in 1974 Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf designed the protocol that will be known as TCP/IP, currently used. In 1973, ARPANET begins to internationalize, making the first foreign connection with London.
Besides ARPANET, began to create, arround worldwide, new networks between individuals or companies: Telefónica , in 1973, starts in Spain, the first packet switching network in Europe by the initiative of the banks and they desing the Internet network in Spain; France Telecom installs Minitel, in France, similar to Teletext. In 1988, was create in Spain,the IRIS, a network of universities and national research. Around 80’s, in the United States began to create new scientific networks such as CSNet o BitNet.
In the 80’s were developed the BBS (Bulletin Board Systems), computers, which were accessed through the phone line to leave messages for other users, share programs, etc. One of the most successful programs for BBS’s interface was Fido, created by Tom Jennings, who create FidoNet, the first international network of personal computers.
Internet at home
Since 1990, date on which ARPANET network was eliminated, and develope by Tim Berners-Lee’s about World Wide Web (WWW). Over the las 10 years the number of Internet users had grown from 50.000 to 5 millions arround the world. It has been made possible by the great effort of the telecommunications companies, which saw internet as a great business on their hands. They developed systems based on optical fiber and dedicated lines of data, such as ISDN , modem cable or ADSL, after awhile that lines and data use independent channels. Although these systems have been imposed unevenly in the Western Countries. Gradually, the home users would have a quick, cheap and permanent acces to Internet. However, we must not forget the long distance between the developed and underdeveloped countries will bring this revolution: according to the UN, in 1999 less than 15% of world population represented over 88% of Internet users.