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16 May

Neither supported host-to-host communications; in the 1970s this was still the province of the research networks, and it would remain so for many years.

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; formerly ARPA) supported initiatives for ground-based and satellite-based packet networks.

Time-sharing systems allowed a computer’s resources to be shared in rapid succession with multiple users, cycling through the queue of users so quickly that the computer appeared dedicated to each user’s tasks despite the existence of many others accessing the system “simultaneously.” This led to the notion of sharing computer resources (called host computers or simply hosts) over an entire network.

Host-to-host interactions were envisioned, along with access to specialized resources (such as supercomputers and mass storage systems) and interactive access by remote users to the computational powers of time-sharing systems located elsewhere.

In 1974 Vinton Cerf, then at Stanford University in California, and this author, then at DARPA, collaborated on a paper that first described such a protocol and system architecture—namely, the transmission control protocol (TCP), which enabled different types of machines on networks all over the world to route and assemble data packets. By the early 1980s the “open architecture” of the TCP/IP approach was adopted and endorsed by many other researchers and eventually by technologists and businessmen around the world. While DARPA had played a seminal role in creating a small-scale version of the Internet among its researchers, NSF worked with DARPA to expand access to the entire scientific and academic community and to make TCP/IP the standard in all federally supported research networks.

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In order for the concept to work, a new protocol had to be designed and developed; indeed, a system architecture was also required. governmental bodies were heavily involved with networking, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).However, time-sharing systems were then still too large, unwieldy, and costly to be mobile or even to exist outside a climate-controlled computing environment.A strong motivation thus existed to connect the packet radio network to ARPANET in order to allow mobile users with simple terminals to access the time-sharing systems for which they had authorization.The ground-based packet radio system provided mobile access to computing resources, while the packet satellite network connected the United States with several European countries and enabled connections with widely dispersed and remote regions.With the introduction of packet radio, connecting a mobile terminal to a computer network became feasible.