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[ih] Baran and arbitrary reliability from arbitrarily unreliable components

Excerpts from Dave CROCKER on Wed, Mar 18, 2009 06:32:52PM -0700:
> I've found it useful to distinguish 3 major paradigm increments in the 
> history of the Internet's data-handling basics (separate from the history 
> of its apps):
>      Packet network -
>         Heterogeneous machines form a single network;
>         Common canonical formats and basic handling;
>         Arpanet, Irvine ring, Alohanet, Cyclades, et al.
>      Interconnected networks
>         Heterogeneous networks;
>         Meta-formats and independent administrations;
>         Arpa Internet
>      Interconnected services
>         Multiple backbones & regional operations - NSFnet Internet
> Paul and the suite of early contributors gave us that first insight.  My  
> understanding from my brother is that the mid-60s had a number of 
> focused, experimental efforts to explore this space, before the Arpanet 
> contract was finally let.
> (I tend to view that NSFNet step as having core technical impact that is  
> generally under-appreciated, since it sowed the seeds for the richly 
> competitive infrastructure, without which we might have a single-operator 
> backbone...)

Does this imply an opinion about, e.g., CSnet?  

I think NSFNet was not in itself the big step, rather it was the
unexpected creation of the regional networks as separate from the
backbone and in many ways more significant.