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[′är·pə‚net] Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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(Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork) The research network funded by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) that was the precursor to the Internet. The project was conceived in 1966 by ARPA employee Robert Taylor, who wanted to share information among researchers at major universities.

The software was developed by Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), and Honeywell 516 minicomputers were the first hardware used as packet switches. ARPAnet was launched in 1969 at two University of California campuses, the Stanford Research Institute and the University of Utah.

In late 1972, the ARPAnet was demonstrated at the International Conference on Computers in Washington, DC. This was the first public demonstration of packet switching.

TCP/IP Was Added
Over the next decade, ARPAnet spawned other networks, and in 1983 with more than 300 computers connected, its protocols were changed to TCP/IP. In that same year, the unclassified military MILNET network was split off from ARPAnet.

It Became the Internet
As TCP/IP and gateway technologies matured, more disparate networks were connected, and the ARPAnet became known as "the Internet" and "the Net." Starting in 1987, the National Science Foundation began developing a high-speed backbone between its supercomputer centers. Intermediate networks of regional ARPAnet sites were formed to hook into the backbone, and commercial as well as non-profit network service providers were formed to handle the operations. Over time, other federal agencies and organizations formed backbones that linked in.

The Big Shift
In 1995, commercial Internet service providers took control of the major backbones, and the Internet grew exponentially. See Internet and packet switching.

Humble Beginnings
Scrawled on this paper in 1969 were the first four nodes of the ARPANET. Little did they realize these four nodes would grow to millions. (Image courtesy of The Computer History Museum,
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References in periodicals archive ?
What is perhaps most striking is that although the ARPANET's protocol architects embraced layering as a fundamental principle from the very beginning, the design they ultimately adopted did not adhere to any preconceived notion about how functions should be divided among the different layers.
Since that historic ARPANET event 40 years ago, SRI has continued to play a significant role in the evolution of computing, the Internet, and communications, including participating in the first use of the new internetworking protocol across three separate networks in 1977 and managing the Network Information Center, or NIC, for more than two decades.
Before 1973 the Arpanet, funded by the US government's Advanced Research Projects Agency, was an entirely US phenomenon and, at that time, had 20 nodes.
Sending and receiving messages via the ARPANET became possible and E-Mail as we know it was born along with the by-now universal @ symbol in addresses.
From ARPANET came technologies, protocols, and documentation standards used in the present Internet:
While all that was merrily bubbling away, more and more people in the know were demanding to be allowed to use a government funded system known variously as ARPANET, the Defense Data Network and, finally, the Internet.
From its roots as an acoustical design consulting firm, to the implementation and operation of the ARPANET - the forerunner of today's Internet - to the development of the first network email, which established the @ sign as an icon for the digital age, BBN Technologies provides the same technical expertise and innovation to both government and commercial customers today.
These projects led to an early computer network, called ARPANET, which morphed into the Internet when a military subnet split off from the more academic ARPANET in the early 1980s.
universities were hooked up in the first network, which was called ARPANET. Scientists built ARPANET with the intention of creating a network that would still be able to function efficiently if part of the network was damaged.
Little did they know back in 1967, when the Internet began as Arpanet, that transmitting information electronically would not only be popular, but would become the norm.