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Milestones:Birthplace of the Internet, 1969

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Birthplace of the Internet, 1969

At 10:30 p.m., 29 October 1969, the first ARPANET message was sent from this UCLA site to the Stanford Research Institute. Based on packet switching and dynamic resource allocation, the sharing of information digitally from this first node of ARPANET launched the Internet revolution.

The deployment of the ARPANET set in motion a train of developments that led to the Internet as we know it today.  The ARPANET was the first global packet-switching based network, and allowed remote network access to varied applications from multiple users among different computer platforms.  It also applied the concept of protocol layering to communications.  This development was the key to allowing a diverse set of users to operate over the telephone network of the time, which was optimized for voice and not suited to data traffic.  With the introduction of a highly-adaptive and robust technology for network access, the ARPANET formed the foundation of today's Internet.

The application of packet switching and demand access are fundamental differences between the Internet and previous circuit switching based networks.  It uses network resources by dynamically sharing them among many streams.  This leads to significantly improved efficiency and robustness of the network.  The layering scheme it introduces has allowed the development of flexible protocols, as well as the efficient communication between different computing platforms.

ARPANET differed from previous computer networks (e.g. SAGE) in that those networks were specialized constructions, designed to link specific machines of a similar type, whereas ARPANET was designed to allow machines to communicate efficiently irrespective of type.