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[ih] infrastructure history [was: who invented the Internet]

On 7/26/2012 9:44 AM, John R. Levine wrote:
>> Looking at the details of research, development and operations for
>> packet-switching and interworking, represented in today's Internet, I
>> believe there was primarily government funding until the latter '80s,
>> when commercialization started.  I believe the three notable
>> exceptions were PARC's ethernet, Digital's routing work, and the
>> interplay between PARC and ARPA reserarch folk.
> I was more thinking of big help in that it was built largely by
> non-government organizations out of non-government parts, albeit paid
> for by government money.

Well, that phrasing gets some objective details correct but, I think, 
still understates government's role.  (Mind you, as a resident of 
Silicon Valley, I consider private initiative a major religion; but it's 
not the /only/ religion...)

In the case of Arpanet and NSFNet, the criticial infrastructure efforts 
were government initiatives, not just in terms of funding but in terms 
of strategic, tactical and many technical formulations.

Just to beat this into the ground, while I was at UCLA, I seem to recall 
hearing that Larry Roberts (head of ARPA's IPTO that directed Arpanet 
work) was driving the substance of the modeling work every bit as much 
as Kleinrock, et al.  (As I understand it, this was and probably still 
is a common characteristic of ARPA program management, since it tends to 
hire technical folk.)

The organizational model for NSFNet -- including its forcing a move 
towards non-government sustain able funding -- were definitely 
government work, including the "market research" of the model with the 
predecessor effort, CSNet.

I can imagine that the details of TCP/IP and internetworking conform 
more to the model of "non-government initiative benefiting from 
government funding" but I don't know enough of the particulars.

  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking