Browse Prior Art Database

FYI on "What is the Internet?" (RFC1462)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002291D
Original Publication Date: 1993-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 9 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

E. Krol: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This FYI RFC answers the question, "What is the Internet?" and is produced by the User Services Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Containing a modified chapter from Ed Krol's 1992 book, "The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog," the paper covers the Internet's definition, history, administration, protocols, financing, and current issues such as growth, commercialization, and privatization.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 11% of the total text.

Network Working Group E. Krol

Request for Comments: 1462 University of Illinois

FYI: 20 E. Hoffman

Merit Network, Inc.

May 1993

FYI on "What is the Internet?"

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does

not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is

unlimited.

Abstract

This FYI RFC answers the question, "What is the Internet?" and is

produced by the User Services Working Group of the Internet

Engineering Task Force (IETF). Containing a modified chapter from Ed

Krol's 1992 book, "The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog," the

paper covers the Internet's definition, history, administration,

protocols, financing, and current issues such as growth,

commercialization, and privatization.

Introduction

A commonly asked question is "What is the Internet?" The reason such

a question gets asked so often is because there's no agreed upon

answer that neatly sums up the Internet. The Internet can be thought

about in relation to its common protocols, as a physical collection

of routers and circuits, as a set of shared resources, or even as an

attitude about interconnecting and intercommunication. Some common

definitions given in the past include:

* a network of networks based on the TCP/IP protocols,

* a community of people who use and develop those networks,

* a collection of resources that can be reached from those

networks.

Today's Internet is a global resource connecting millions of users

that began as an experiment over 20 years ago by the U.S. Department

of Defense. While the networks that make up the Internet are based on

a standard set of protocols (a mutually agreed upon method of

communication between parties), the Internet also has gateways to

networks and services that are based on other protocols.

To help answer the question more completely, the rest of this paper

contains an updated second chapter from "The Whole Internet User's

Guide and Catalog" by Ed Krol (1992) that gives a more thorough

explanation. (The excerpt is published through the gracious

permission of the publisher, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.)

The Internet (excerpt from "The Whole Internet User's Guide and

Catalog")

The Internet was born about 20 years ago, trying to connect together

a U.S. Defense Department network called the ARPAnet and various

other radio and satellite networks. The ARPAnet was an experimental

network designed to support military research--in particular,

research about how to build networks that could withstand partial

outages (like bomb attacks) and still function. (Think about this

when I describe how the network works; it may give you some insight

into the design of the...