The internet celebrates 30th anniversary milestone

Today is the 30th anniversary of the first internet transmission which occurred on 22 November 1977 using the back of a moving van to connect three networks - packet radio, satellite and ARPANET - via TCP in San Francisco.

To achieve the milestone - which showcased the talents of packet radio, the forbearer to today's wireless network connectivity such as Wi-Fi - engineers drove around the Bay Area in a van to enable a seamless flow of data between the vehicle and a gateway at SRI in Menlo Park, California and onwards to a host at the University of South California in Los Angeles, traversing London on its way to its destination.

"This is a special celebration of an historic demonstration that helped create the internet of today," said Marc Weber, co-founder of the Web History Centre, prior to an event it hosted to pay tribute to the achievement. "The Web History Centre is honored to mark this critical milestone in the development of the modern internet and wireless networking."

The 'internet van' as it has now been dubbed boasted data speeds of 100 to 400 kilobits per second.

When you think about the level of technological capability three decades ago and see how far things have evolved, it's easy to wonder where technology will eventually end up, according to Cisco's David Harney.

"In the next five or ten years, vastly increased internet speeds will transform the internet for everyone. If the right investment is made into improving the internet infrastructure in the UK, and in particular the connections to people's homes, speeds of 100Mb will not be far off, and this will open up the internet to a host of new uses and technologies," he said.

Harney added: "Technologies designed originally for businesses will become mainstream, meaning instead of speaking to friends and family on a shaky webcam, you'll be able to speak to them as if they were in the same room. As speeds increase, the possibilities are endless, and in many ways it is impossible to imagine what the internet will look like in 30 years time, after all, who would have predicted things like Facebook and Youtube would have existed 30 years ago?"

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.