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What is the Internet, Anyway? (RFC1935)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004240D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 15 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J. Quarterman & S. Carl-Mitchell: AUTHOR

Abstract

We often mention the Internet, and in the press you read about the Internet as the prototype of the Information Highway; as a research tool; as open for business; as not ready for prime time; as a place your children might communicate with (pick one) a. strangers, b. teachers, c. pornographers, d. other children, e. their parents; as bigger than Poland; as smaller than Chicago; as a place to surf; as the biggest hype since Woodstock; as a competitive business tool; as the newest thing since sliced bread.

This text was extracted from a ASCII document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 10% of the total text.

Network Working Group J. Quarterman

Request For Comments: 1935 S. Carl-Mitchell

Category: Informational TIC

April 1996

What is the Internet, Anyway?

Status of This Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo

does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of

this memo is unlimited.

Copyright (c) 1994 TIC

From Matrix News, 4(8), August 1994

Permission is hereby granted for redistribution of this article

provided that it is redistributed in its entirety, including

the copyright notice and this notice.

Contact: mids@tic.com, 512-451-7602, fax: 512-452-0127.

http://www.tic.com/mids, gopher://gopher.tic.com/11/matrix/news

A shorter version of this article appeared in MicroTimes.

Introduction

We often mention the Internet, and in the press you read about the

Internet as the prototype of the Information Highway; as a research

tool; as open for business; as not ready for prime time; as a place

your children might communicate with (pick one) a. strangers, b.

teachers, c. pornographers, d. other children, e. their parents; as

bigger than Poland; as smaller than Chicago; as a place to surf; as

the biggest hype since Woodstock; as a competitive business tool; as

the newest thing since sliced bread.

A recent New York Times article quoting one of us as to the current

size of the Internet has particularly stirred up quite a ruckus. The

exact figures attributed to John in the article are not the ones we

recommended for such use, but the main point of contention is whether

the Internet is, as the gist of the article said, smaller than many

other estimates have said. Clearly lots of people really want to

believe that the Internet is very large. Succeeding discussion has

shown that some want to believe that so much that they want to count

computers and people that are probably *going to be* connected some

time in the future, even if they are not actually connected now. We

prefer to talk about who is actually on the Internet and on other

networks now. We'll get back to the sizes of the various networks

later, but for now let's discuss a more basic issue that is at the

heart of much confusion and contention about sizes: what is the

Internet, anyway?

Starting at the Center

For real confusion, start trying to get agreement on what is part of

the Internet: NSFNET? CIX? Your company's interna...