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<nettime> Controversy over the origins and nature of the Internet
Ronda Hauben on Mon, 27 Jan 2003 01:50:47 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Controversy over the origins and nature of the Internet

It was interesting that there was a controversy in the online news
media about whether it was appropriate to celebrate January 1, 2003
as the 20th anniversary of the birth of the Internet. At least in
the online media such controversies are possible, rather than a 
fixed determination as in much of the offline media's accounts 
of the Internet and its development. 

The following article appeared in Telepolis last week, in English and German.

It is a contribution to the discussion of the nature of the Internet
and the controversy over its essential aspects.

Excerpt from: http://www.heise.de/tp/english/inhalt/te/14017/1.html


>From Telepolis:

    Celebrating the Birthday of the Internet
January 1, 1983, the Cutover from NCP to TCP/IP 

    As the first of January, 2003 approached, several news accounts and 
posts appeared on the Internet heralding New Year's Day as the 20th 
birthday of the Internet. This was the anniversary of the cutover on 
the ARPANET from NCP (Network Control Protocol) to TCP/IP (Transmission 
Control Protocol/Internet Protocol).... The essence of the ARPANET, 
when NCP was its protocol, was the connection of computers. The essence 
of the Internet is the connection of networks, not of computers. While the 
transition to TCP/IP on the ARPANET may not appear to be a significant 
development, the cutover from NCP to TCP/IP was a necessary first step 
for the ARPANET hosts to participate in the Internet. The basis was now 
set for hosts on the ARPANET to connect via gateways to TCP/IP enabled 
hosts on other networks. 

   The change from one big packet switching network under the control of 
one administrative or political structure to an open architecture allowing 
for communication among dissimilar networks under diverse forms of political 
or administrative structures, is the change that has made it possible to 
have an international Internet today. 

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