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Timeline: Internet, Federal Govt, and Communications
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105 Paper Invented
1454 Gutenberg press with movable type created
1636 Harvard University, the first institution of higher learning in the United States, founded [Harvard Guide]
1690 Unlicensed newspaper Publick Occurrences publishes in Boston and is suppressed [Alliance Community Media]
1704 Boston News-Letter published, first successful colonial newspaper [Alliance Community Media]
1741 American Magazine, first magazine published in America
1742 Benjamin Franklin publishes first American magazine with advertisements, General Magazine [Media Timeline ]
1747 Sir. William Watson demonstrates the transmission of electricity along a metal wire. [PBS The Great Transatlantic Cable]
1752 Benjamin Franklin's Electricity Experiments [PBS The Great Transatlantic Cable]
1776 Thomas Paine publishes "Common Sense"
1791 US Bill of Rights, First Amendment
1801 Jacquard invents punch-card wood loom [Media Timeline ]
1820 Electromagnetism discovered [Alliance Community Media ]
1831 Joseph Henry builds telegraph [Wikipedia]
1835 Morse invents Morse Code [Wikipedia]
1844 Samuel Morse demonstrates telegraph between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. [Griffiths, Hughes]
1846 NYC to Philadelphia telegraph line is opened and is profitable [Sterling p. 40]
1849 Antonio Meucci demonstrates the telephone in Cuba [Wikipedia]
1850 Telegraph line laid between England and France across the English Channel [Hughes ]

Reuters established [Media Timeline ]

The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company established [WU]

New York Times founded [Media Timeline ]

1856 The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company becomes Western Union [WU]
1857 Treaty of the Six Nations, establishing a telegraph service cartel, dividing country up into six sections and assigning each section to one firm. [Sterling p. 43]

Western Union completes first transcontinental line [WU]

Pony Express comes to an end [Media Timeline ]

1862 First cost to coast telegraph line completed [Sterling p 40]
1865 Telegraphic message transmitted by radio 18 miles [Alliance Community Media]

Western Union introduces stock ticker [WU] Western Union acquires US Telegraph and American Telegraph.

1867 First transatlantic submarine cable laid. [Hughes ]
1876 Bell patents telephone
1872 Western Electric Manufacturing Company established [Wikipedia]
1873 Western Union acquires Intl Ocean Telegraph Co
1876 Alexander Graham Bell transmits first telephone message "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." Bell and Elisha Gray patent telephone. [Alliance Community Media, AT&T ]
1877 American Bell established [AT&T]

First North American Telephone Exchange in New Haven, CT [AT&T]

SNET established.

1880 Bell Canada established [Media Timeline ]
1882 Bell Telephone acquires Western Electric Company [AT&T]

First long distance telephone call between NYC and Boston

IEEE Founded [IEEE History Center Voice]

1885 AT&T established [Media Timeline; AT&T ]
1887 Interstate Commerce Commission created to regulate railroads - The first independent regulatory agency
1889 First Pay Phone [Alliance Community Media]

Herman Hollerith develops first punch card machine

1891 Wireless Telegraphs begin to appear on ocean going vessels [FCC]

AT&T opens first long distance line between NY and Chicago Rate was $9 for 5 minutes [AT&T]


Bell telephone patents expire [AT&T]

Marconi successfully transmits radio signal 2 miles in Italy [Hughes]


Tabulating Machine Company established by Hollerith

Marconi gives first public demonstration of wireless telegraph [Alliance]

1898 US Congress imposes Excise Tax on telephone services as a part of the Spanish War Act of 1898.
1899 AT&T acquires American Bell [Alliance]
1900 Fessenden transmitts voice over radio. [FCC]

Marconi successfully transmits radio signal across Atlantic. [Hughes] [FCC]

Congress creates National Bureau of Standards (will become National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)) [ITL]

1906 Russian Boris Rosing invents first working TV [Hughes]
1908 AT&T Pres. Theodore Vail unveils his PR campaign, "One System, One Policy, Universal Service." [AT&T]

First short wave radio broadcasts [Alliance]


  • Copyright Act of 1909
  • 1910 Mann-Elkin Act brought interstate telecommunications within the jurisdiction of the the ICC . ICC initiates an investigation of AT&T

    Titanic sinks - its radio calls for help go unheard [Media Timeline] [Faulhaber] [FCC]

    Radio Act of 1912 gives Secretary of Commerce and Labor authority to issue radio licenses and control broadcasting [FCC]

    1913 Kingsbury agreement between US Government and AT&T. AT&T agreed to stop acquiring independent phone companies and to divest itself of Western Union [Lessig p 29]

    ASCAP founded [Media Timeline ]

    Calculating-Tabulating-Recording company (aka IBM) founded by Herman Hollerith [Griffiths]

    Federal Trade Commission created.

    Clayton Act enacted (Antitrust)

    1915 First Transcontinental telephone line, utilized vacuum tubes [AT&T]
    1917 US Enters World War I. USG nationalizes both radio service and telephone service.
    1918 USG nationalizes AT&T . AT&T is privatized again in 1919.

    CTR formed out of merger of Computing Scale Company, Tabulating Machine Company, and the Recording Company

    AT&T introduces first dial telephone. [AT&T]


    KDKA Pittsburgh broadcasts first regular programs [Media Timeline ]

    Hush-a-phone starts being made.


    ASCAP demands royalties from radio stations [Alliance]

    First Radio daily news. First Radio commercials. [Alliance]

    NIST builds first AC radio. [NIST Centennial]


    Disney opens Hollywood film studio [Media Timeline ]

    FTC initiates anti trust investigation of RCA, GE, Westinghouse, AT&T and United Fruit [Alliance]

    NIST radio station WWV goes online [NIST Centennial]


    Calculating-Tabulating-Recording company becomes IBM [Griffiths]

    Bell labs invents mobile phone. [Alliance]

    First presidential speech broadcast [Alliance]

    1926 NBC founded by GE [Media Timeline ]


  • Radio Act of 1927 creates the Federal Radio Commission, declares spectrum to be a public good
  • Industry

  • Philo Farnsworth successfully transmits first image [Hughes]
  • AT&T begins transatlantic service [AT&T]
  • 1928

    CBS created [Media Timeline ]

    Disney releases first Mickey Mouse cartoon [Media Timeline ]

    Olmstead v US (telephone calls not protected by 4th Amendment)


    Oct 29, Black Friday, the Stock Market crashes

    First telephone installed in White House [Alliance]

    Cathorade tube invented [Alliance]

    1930 AT&T becomes sanctioned telephony monopoly under Theodore Vail's vision of "one system, one policy, universal service." [Fraser]

    GE ordered to divest RCA and NBC [Media Timeline ]

    ITU established [Media Timeline ]

    1933 FM radio demonstrated [Alliance]

    Communications Act of 1934 establishes the Federal Communications Commission . Eugene Sykes (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]


    Eugene Sykes (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Anning Prall (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    1936 Publication of Alan Turin, On Computable Numbers, with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem [Media Timeline]

    Anning Prall (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Frank McNinch (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]


    First publicly broadcast football game, U Penn [Media Timeline ]

    War of the Worlds broadcast [Media Timeline ]

    Silicon Valley born in a garage by HP [Nerds]

    National Federation of Telephone Workers formed.


    AT&T demonstrates Picturephone [TCMHC]

    First FM radio station [Alliance]

    Frank McNinch (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; James Lawrence Fly (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]


    CBS demonstrates color TV [Media Timeline ]

    First remote job entry, George Stibitz demonstrated remote calculation via a teletype demonstrated between Dartmouth and Manhattan during meeting of the American Mathematical Society [Salus p 1]


    United States enters World War II

    FCC promulgates national TV ownership rules.

    1942 USG grants Hedy Lamarr a patent for "Secret Communications System," spread spectrum technology.

    Western Union pioneers first intercity microwave system [WU]

    First African American woman, Gloria Shepperson, is hired by Bell System


    IBM built the Harvard Mark I, first large scale electronic calculator, in order to calculate gun-firing tables [Griffiths]

    ENIAC created and used by US Army, at U Penn, to compute World War II ballistic firing tables

    Alan Turing leads British effort to build Colossus at Bletchley Park, breaks German code created by ENIGMA [Griffiths]

    FCC Mayflower Doctrine

    James Lawrence Fly (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Ewell Jett (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    Ewell Jett (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Paul Porter (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]


    Supreme Court upholds media ownership rules, finding that mergers that narrow dissemination of information are unconstitutional [Alliance]

    Vannevar Bush, As We May Think, Atlantic Monthly (July 1945)

    Vannevar Bush, Science - The Endless Frontier Report to the President


    "Formal dedication and dinner for ENIAC - The world's first operational electronic digital computer - developed by Army Ordinance to computer WWII ballistic firing tables." [CFP 2002 Calendar ]

    NIST establishes an automated electronic computing project. [NIST Centennial]

    AT&T introduces mobile telephone service. [AT&T]

    Paul Porter (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Charles Denny (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    Administrative Procedures Act enacted.


    ENIAC patent filed

    NIST builds computers for government agencies. [NIST Centennial]

    ITU becomes part of UN [Media Timeline]

    Transistor invented at Bell Labs [Hughes] [AT&T]

    McCarthy Red-fear era begins

    Communications Workers of America union formed.


  • Charles Denny (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Paul Walker (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • Paul Walker (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Wayne Coy (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 1948

    Cable television service begins [Cable]

    BBN Founded [BBN]

    1949 Pacifica radio goes on the air in Berkeley [Pacifica]

    NIST's Standards Eastern Automatic Computer (SEAC) goes online. "First operational, internally programmed digital computer in the United States. It served the government for more than 13 years, handling tasks such as Air Force planning, Social Security accounting, and checking of calculations for the design of the hydrogen bomb." [NIST Centennial]

    National Science Foundation established.

    1951 Remington-Rand built UNIVAC I computer, the first commercial computer, for US census [Griffiths] [Nerds] [ITL]

    USGovt sues IBM for antitrust [Media Timeline ]

    Wayne Coy (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Paul Walker (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]


    IBM ships its first electronic computer, the 700 series [Griffiths] [IBM]

    Paul Walker (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Rosel Hyde (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    1954 Rosel Hyde (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; George McConnaughey (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    First color television transmission of a US President, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower [Hughes]

    AT&T begins to develop T1 Digital Lines [Abbate p 16]


    Consent Decree between DOJ and AT&T : Prohibits AT&T through its manufacturing subsidiary Western Electric from making non telecommunications related computing equipment (in other words, AT&T could not compete with IBM!) [Lehr]

    DC Cir rules that you can attach a Hush-a-phone to an AT&T phone.

    FCC rules that cable television is not common carriage and therefore the FCC lacks jurisdiction over Cable. Frontier Broadcasting Company v. Collier, 24 FCC 251 [Cable]


    USSR launches Sputnik I (Oct 4) NIST modifies equipment so as to receive transmissions from Sputnik. [NIST Centennial]

    Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) formed. [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [DARPA]

    George McConnaughey (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; John Doerfer (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]


    NASA formed, transferring missile responsibility from ARPA to NASA (summer). [Griffiths] [Nerds]

    UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space established [Hughes]

    AT&T introduces first commercial modem. [AT&T]


    Publication of Man-Computer Symbiosis by JCR Licklider [PBS Nerds2.0.1]

    John Doerfer (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Frederick Ford (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    BBN leased Digital Equipment Corporations first PDP-1 computer with serial number 1 [BBN]


    Radical group blew up 4 microwave towers in Utah, cutting off communications to Western USA, and demonstrating the vulnerability of the US communications network. [Shabot] [Salus p 1, 5] See Images of damage, at AT&T Long Lines. These was a driving force in DOD's concern about the survivability of the US Communications network, and hiring Paul Baran.

    President Kennedy commits nation to landing a man on the moon. [NIST Centennial]


  • IBM introduces time sharing and remote access computers [Griffiths]
  • Commercial production of computer chip initiates [Griffiths]
  • Internet

  • Publication of Leonard Kleinrock, Information Flow in Large Communications Nets, RLE Quarterly Progress Report (July) [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [ACM] [Roberts]
  • FCC

  • FCC Chairman Newton Minow refers to TV as a "vast wasteland" [Alliance]
  • Frederick Ford (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Newton Minow (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • Legislation

  • Wire Act passed.
  • 1962


  • ARPA establishes Information Processing Techniques Office - IPTO; Licklider hired as director [TCMHC] [Roberts]
  • Publication of Licklider, JCR, and Clark, W, On-line Man-Computer Communication [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [ACM] [Roberts]
  • Publication of John Licklider, "Galatic Networks" [Griffiths] [TCMHC]
  • Publication of Paul Baran, Rand, On Distributed Communications Networks [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [Salus p 1]
  • Industry

  • BBN demonstrates computer time-sharing [BBN]
  • AT&T Deploys T1 Digital Lines for first time [Abbate p 16]
  • FCC

  • FCC withholds licenses of Pacifica stations KPFA, KPFB, and KPFK pending investigation into communist affiliations. [Pacifica] See First Amendment
  • FCC regulates cable television pursuant to ancillary jurisdiction.
  • Other

  • Cuban Missile Crisis (spread spectrum utlized by military)
  • 1963

    ARPA contracts with UCLA, MIT and BBN [TCMHC]

    BBN developes first voice modem, DataDail [BBN]

    MCI Founded


  • National Communications Systems established in response to telephone network failures during Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Newton Minow (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; E William Henry (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 1964


  • Paul Baran, Rand, On Distributed Communications Networks, IEEE Transactions on Systems [Roberts] [IP Baran]
  • JCR Licklider and Larry Roberts meet (November) [Roberts]
  • Industry

  • INTELSAT established [Hughes]
  • IBM releases System 360 mainframe [TCMHC]
  • SABRE air travel computer network goes online for air travel reservations
  • Tymshare Founded [CHM]
  • 1965


  • ARPA funds first wide-area network built by Larry Roberts and Thomas Marill [TCMHC]
  • ARPA funded JOSS system goes online [TCMHC]
  • Industry

  • Gordon Moore sets forth Moore's lawPDF [CW]
  • DEC releases PDP-8 minicomputer [TCMHC] [IBM]
  • "AT&T installs the world's first electronic telephone switch (special purpose computer) in a local telephone exchange, Succasunna, NJ." [AT&T]
  • Government

  • "The Brooks Act of 1965 gave the National Bureau of Standards (NBS)—now the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)—responsibilities for developing automatic data processing standards and guidelines pertaining to federal computer systems." [2009 Review]
  • 1966

    Larry Roberts joins ARPA IPTO, becoming chief scientist [TCMHC]

    Merit (Michigan Educational Research Information Triad) established. [Merit History]


  • FCC initiates Computer Inquiry I.
  • E William Henry (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Rosel Hyde (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 1967


  • ARPA creates ARPANET plans. [TCMHC]
  • Larry Roberts, Multiple Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication, Proceedings of the ACM Gatlinburg Conference (October) [ACM] [Roberts]
  • Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

    Jef Raskin writes PhD thesis on GUI

    Katz v US (4th Amendment applies to people, not places; therefore 4th Amendment applies to private telephone calls)



  • ARPA RFP for construction of first four IMPs on ARPANet (August) [PBS Nerds2.0.1][Roberts]
  • ARPA awards contract to BBN for development of ARPANET IMPs (December) [TCMHC][Roberts]
  • FCC releases Carterphone decision (CPE)

    National Bureau of Standards approved and released FIPS 1, Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) [ITL] "All computers procured by the federal government after mid-1969 had to be capable of using ASCII, which was originally developed by an industry standards committee chaired by a NIST staff member." [NIST Centennial]


  • AT&T introduces 911 service [AT&T]
  • Steve Jobs meets Steve Wozniak
  • MCI established
  • Intel established by Moore, Robert Noyce, and Andy Grove [CW] [Intel]
  • 1969


  • Compuserve Founded
  • Intel releases the 1101, first metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) static RAM chip and the 3101 Schotiky bipolar RAM chip [CW] [Intel]
  • FCC approves MCI's 1963 application for operations.

  • Steve Croker, RFC 0001: Host Software released (April 7) [TCMHC] [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [ACM]
  • First IMP installed at UCLA (Len Kleinrock) (Sept 1) [Roberts] [BBN]
  • Second IMP installed at SRI (Doug Engelbart); First communication over ARPANet between computers at UCLA and Stanford. (10:30 pm) (Oct 29) [Griffiths] [Living History] [Engelbart]
  • Third IMP installed at UCSB (Nov 1)[Roberts]
  • Fourth IMP installed at Uni Utah (Dec 1) [Roberts] [Griffiths]
  • Network Working Group formed (RFC 10) [TCMHC]
  • NSF grants $400,000 to MERIT for "Development of a Prototype Network of Computer Services for Self-Instruction and Teaching" [Merit History]


  • Rosel Hyde (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Dean Burch (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • FCC Approves MCI's application to offer service
  • National Bureau of Standards establishes Center for Computer Science and Technology [ITL]



  • ARPANet adopts NCP [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Network Working Group completes the Network Control Protocol (NCP), network protocol for ARPANet (implementation of NCP completed 1971-72) (December) [TCMHC] [ACM]
  • Alohanet goes online [Nerds]
  • Jon Postel, somewhere around this time, volunteers to manage the networks names and numbers, what will become the IANA function, conducted at ISI UCLA with DARPA funding
  • Industry

  • AT&T develops UNIX [TCMHC] [AT&T]
  • EEOC charges AT&T with discrimination.
  • XEROX PARC opens [Parc]
  • 1971


  • Telnet protocol released by NWG [TCMHC]
  • 23 Host Computers on ARPANet [Griffiths] 15 Nodes on ARPANet [Nerds]
  • First email sent on ARPANet by Ray Tomlinson "testing 1-2-3" sent to himself [Griffiths Email] [BBN]
  • BBN establishes first Network Operations Center (NOC) [BBN]
  • First Amemdment / Media

  • June 13 NY Times publishes the Pentagon Papers [USC Annenberg]
  • Industry

  • Intel releases first microprocesspor, 4004; Intel issues IPO [CW] [Intel]
  • FCC

  • FCC Computer I order
  • 1972


  • Release of Jon Postel and Abhay Bhushan, RFC 354, FTP Protocol Specification [Roberts] [Nerds]
  • Robert Kahn, Communications Principles for Operating Systems, Internal BBN Memo [ACM]
  • ARPANet Publicly Demonstrated at International Conference on Computer Communications [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Ray Tomlinson (BBN) writes email program for ARPANet, adopting use of @ sign [TCMHC] [ACM]
  • AT&T declines ARPA's offer to take over the ARPANet.
  • Internetworking Working Group organized [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Industry

  • Steve Jobs gets a job at Atari
  • AT&T developers C [TCMHC]
  • HBO Starts in New York City . See Cable
  • MCI initiates service, publicly traded.
  • 1973


  • BBN Encrypts first message over ARPANet [BBN]
  • Bob Kahn joins DARPA [TCMHC]
  • Release of RFC 454: FTP [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • DARPA contracts with Stanford, BBN, and University College of London for work on TCP [TCMHC]
  • Kahn and Cerf present paper on TCP at International Network Working Group meeting [TCMHC]
  • Larry Roberts leaves DARPA, Joins Telenet, first commercial packet switched network; Telenet files application with FCC seeking permission under Title II to operate a communications network
  • Licklider returns to ARPA IPTO as director
  • Xerox Parc invents distributed computing. Alto personal computer becomes operational. Ethernet invented. [Parc]

    Bob Metcalfe competes PhD thesis on Ethernet [PBS Nerds2.0.1]

    FCC authorizes MCI to offer foreign exchange service.



  • Licklider returns to DARPA [TCMHC]
  • Publication of Kahn and Cerf, A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection, IEEE Transactions on Communications Technology (May) [TCMHC] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • 62 hosts on ARPANet [Nerds p 376]
  • Industry

  • Telenet opened by Larry Roberts [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [BBN] FCC approves of Telenet's application to become a common carrier
  • Western Union launches Western I, first domestic communications satellite [WU]
  • MCI and DOJ bring antitrust suits against AT&T
  • Intel releases 8080 microprocessor [Intel]
  • MCI launches Execunet. In 1975 FCC will order MCI to cease Execunet operations. FCC's order will be overturned in 1978.
  • Dean Burch (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Dick Wiley (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]



  • Administration of ARPANet transferred from DARPA to Defense Communications Agency (aka DISA) [TCMHC] [Nerds p 376]
  • Industry

  • Microsoft founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Gates and Allen develop Altair Basic. [CW]
  • HBO begins service [Cable]
  • Sprint launches first public data network [Sprint]
  • Xerox Parc demonstrates GUI [Parc]
  • FCC

  • George Carlin's Seven Dirty Words routine on Pacifica Radio ("Seven Dirty Words" is currently the name of the Federal Communication Bar Association's ultimate frisbee team) [Pacifica]
  • FCC adopts Part 68 rules, permitting CPE attachments to the telephone network.
  • 1976


  • Vint Cerf joins ARPA (July) [Nerds p 376]
  • DARPA supports work at UC Berkeley to incorporate TCP/IP into UNIX [TCMHC]
  • Queen Elizabeth sends an email.
  • FCC

  • Computer II Notice of Inquiry
  • Industry

  • HP turns down Wozniak's proposal for the Apple I computer
  • Commodore turns down Wozniak's proposal for the Apple II computer
  • Wozniak and Jobs begin to produce Apple computers out of a garage. [IBM]
  • Tymnet established as a subsidiary of Tymshare. Offers FCC Tarriffed computer network services. [CHM]
  • Legislation

  • Copyright Act of 1976
  • 1977


  • "First TCP Operation over ARPANet" (October) [Roberts]
  • 111 Hosts on ARPAnet [Nerds p 377]
  • Tymnet launched [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • BBN developes first Internet routers [BBN]
  • USENET established [IBM]
  • Industry

  • Apple introduces APPLE II [TCMHC]
  • Apple founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Jan 3)
  • Tandy introduces TRS-80 [TCMHC]
  • AT&T installs first fiber optic cable in commercial communications [AT&T]
  • Dick Wiley (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Charles Ferris (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]

    National Bureau of Standards approves FIPS 46, Data Encryption Standard (DES) [ITL]



  • Potentially the first SPAM on the Net, a commercial announcement by DEC promoting the DECSYSTEM 2020 (May 1) [Reaction to the DEC Spam of 1978]
  • Vint Cerf, Jon Postel, Danny Cohen, TCP split into TCP/IP (March) [Roberts]
  • Industry

  • Last manual, non dial, telephone retired [AT&T]
  • Intel releases 8086 microprocessor [CW] [Intel]
  • 1979


  • Compuserve offers email and tech support for PC users
  • USENET established [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • USPS attempts to outlaw private email service, retaining message delivery business for itself; this effort is thwarted by the FCC and the US Postal Commissionm.
  • FCC

  • FCC Grants GTE's application to acquire Telenet
  • FCC asserts jurisdiction over USPS E-COM electronic mail service, and concludes that email is common carriage.
  • FCC Chair Ferris recruits S. J. Lukasik to be FCC Chief Scientist in the Office of Science & Technology (currently the Office of Engineering and Technology); Lukasik was Chief of ARPA from 1971 to 1973. Lukasik meets Michael Marcus at a meeting in Chicago; they had met previously when Marcus administered ARPA R&D projects in nuclear test detection. Lukasik offers Marcus job at FCC. [M Marcus 2008] [Lukasik 1982]
  • National Bureau of Standards approves FIPS 60, I/O Channel Interface [ITL]



  • TCP/IP "adopted as a defense standard in 1980, enabling the defense community to begin sharing the DARPA Internet technology base" [ACM]
  • Industry

  • Apple goes public
  • IBM chooses DOS for use in its PCs [TCMHC]
  • FCC

  • FCC Computer II Decision
  • 1981



  • DARPA Internet Working Group releases RFC 801 setting forth plan to migrate network to TCP/IP [TCMHC]
  • 213 nodes on ARPAnet [Nerds p 377]
  • NSF grant goes to establish CSNET (Computer Science Network) - uses TCP/IP in CSNET [PBS Nerds2.0.1] CSNet established by City University NSF starts CSNET New York [Griffiths]
  • BITNET established [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • David Clark, Jerome Saltzer, and David Reed, End-to-end architecture
  • IETF RFC 799, Internet Name Domains
  • Industry

  • IBM selects Intel 8088 microprocessor chip for its PC [CW] [Intel]
  • Osborne releases portable computer [TCMHC]
  • Judiciary

  • Federal appeals court rules that it is illegal to sell the betamax VCR. [Home Recording Rights Coalition]
  • FCC

  • FCC Releases Spread Spectrum NOI.
  • Charles Ferris (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Robert E Lee (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • Robert E Lee (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Mark Fowler (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 1982


  • Judge Green approves of the Modified Final Judgment providing for divestiture of AT&T
  • Stephen Lukasik departs from the position of FCC Chief Scientist (had been Chief of ARPA from 1971 to 1975).
  • Internet

  • TCP/IP adopted as protocol suite for ARPANET [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Release of RFC 819, defining initial top level domain ARPA [Donelan]
  • Industry

  • USPS Introduces E-COM (messages originate electronically, are printed off at a post office, and delivered in hard copy form; this service would only last 3 years and reportedly lost significant money for USPS)
  • IBM introduces IBM PC
  • Time names computer as "Man of the Year"
  • Intel releases 286 processor [Intel]
  • 1983


  • ARPANet migrates from NCP to TCP/IP (Jan 1) [TCMHC] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • 562 hosts on ARPAnet [Nerds p 378]
  • ARPANet split into ARPANet and Milnet [Roberts]
  • General

  • Bill Gates announces windows, which will not be released for another 4 years.
  • DNS

  • DNS "designed by Jon Postel, Paul Mockapetris, and Craig Patridge" November [Roberts] [Nerds p 378]
  • DNS name server developed [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Industry

  • LLDS established
  • BBN Communications launched [BBN]
  • FCC

  • MTS and WATS Market Structure Order
  • FCC authorizes cellular mobile telephone service
  • 1984


  • Consent Decree with AT&T goes into effect. AT&T is broken up into AT&T long distance and the Bell Operating Companies. (Jan 1)
  • Internet

  • DNS introduced. [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1] Release of RFC 920,Domain Requirements (adds GOV, EDU, COM, MIL and ORG) (October)[Donelan]
  • AS1 assigned to BBN. There are 35 AS Numbers Assigned.[AS1] AS1 will be acquired by Level 3 in 2004.
  • NSF Launches its Supercomputing program
  • 1000 hosts on Internet 562 hosts on ARPAnet [Nerds p 378]
  • William Gibson in his book Neuromancer reportedly coins the term "cyberspace" [TCMHC]
  • Legislation

  • Cable Act of 1984
  • Industry

  • Prodigy Founded
  • Richard Stallman founds GNU Project [IBM]
  • Apple announces macintosh (Jan 24) [TCMHC]
  • IBM develops the 80286-based PC-AT running MS-DOS establishing the IBM PC standard [CW]
  • MCI installed Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable between NYC and WDC
  • Government

  • "In 1984, Executive Order 12472 re-chartered the National Communication System (NCS) as those telecommunication assets owned or leased by the Federal government that can meet U.S. national security and emergency preparedness needs. The Department of Homeland Security inherited the NCS in 2003." [2009 Review]
  • 1985


  • " registered" (Mar. 15) [Donelan] BBN.COM is second commercial domain name registered [BBN]
  • "Berkeley releases BIND" (Apr 1) [Donelan]
  • NSFNET Established, using TCP/IP, AUP prohibited network use for purposes "not in support of research and education." Funded at $200 m 1986-95 [Griffiths] [ACM]
  • "DARPA/DCA implements RFC 920, 921 (U.S.C. §-ISI/SR-NIC)" [Donelan]
  • The WELL goes online at The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link [The Well]
  • October Richard Stallman establishes the Free Software Foundation [Free Software Foundation] [See Open]
  • Industry

  • Quantum Computer Services (AOL) incorporated, hires Steve Case [Vanity Fair]
  • GE reacquires NBC
  • MS releases Windows 1.0
  • Level3 Founded as Kiewit Diversified Group Inc. (KDG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc. (PKS). [Level3 History]
  • FCC

  • Computer Inquiry III Inquiry Released
  • FCC Releases Spread Spectrum Order, approving unlicensed Part 15 usage
  • 1986


  • Cleveland Freenet established (first freenet) (Jul 16) [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • IETF first meeting [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Network News Transfer Protocol introduced [IBM]
  • First 'netiquette' guide created [Griffiths Email]
  • NSFNET established [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • 5000 hosts on Internet 562 hosts on ARPAnet [Nerds p 379]
  • NSF signs cooperative agreement with for operation of NSFNET [TCMHC]
  • Al Gore introduces National Science Foundation Authorization Act, supporting computer network research [Wiggins]
  • Clifford Stoll of Berkeley, detecting a 75 cent accounting error, uncovers the allegedly Russian sponsored hacker "Hunter" who had been using the Berkeley systems to attack sensitive US information over the network. The investigation of the hacker led to the publication of "The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through The Maze of Computer Espionage (1989)
  • First Interop conference (for vendors implementing TCP/IP) [Roberts]
  • Industry

  • United Telecom becomes Sprint.
  • Sprint starts long distance service, with its "pin-drop" commercials [Sprint]
  • Other

  • Brain PC Virus detected (considered the first virus)
  • Law

  • ECPA signed into law (Oct 21)
  • FCC

  • FCC releases Computer III Order
  • 1987


  • NSF enters into a cooperative agreement with Merit Network, Inc for the operation of NSFNET [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • UUNET founded by Rick Adams and Mike O'Dell [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • IBM VM Christmas Card Trojan Worm released [CIAC]
  • Industry

  • DSL introduced
  • Sprint completes its 100% digital fiber network [Sprint]
  • UUNet Founded
  • Microsoft releases Windows 2.0 [IBM]
  • Intermedia Communications founded []
  • FCC

  • Mark Fowler (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Dennis Patrick (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • National Bureau of Standards approves FIPS 127, Database Language SQL [ITL]

    Computer Security Act (PL 100-235) formally assigned to National Bureau Standards responsibility for computer security for unclassified federal systems.



  • Morris Worm released (Nov 2) [PBS Nerds2.0.1] CERT established by DARPA in response to Morris worm [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • 2400 Baud Modem Virus Hoax released
  • Industry

  • First Interop conference (for vendors implementing TCP/IP) (1988)[TCMHC] [ACM]
  • Qwest founded as SP Construction. Lays fiber along all of its railroad ownings.
  • MFS Communications founded [Funding Universe]
  • Government

  • US Government releases procurement requirement that OSI must be supported in IT [TCMHC]
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology Act (PL 100-418) renamed the National Bureau of Standards to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
  • Legislation

  • Al Gore introduces National High-Performance Computer Technology Act of 1988 [Wiggins]
  • Internet

  • CSNET and BITNET merged to become Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN) [Living Internet]
  • Publication of Kahn, Towards a National Research Network [Wiggins]
  • IANA funded by DOD DARPA
  • Southern Pacific Telecom established to lay fiber along railroad lines. SP Telecom will become Qwest. Acquired by CenturyLink in 2011. [CenturyTel Timeline]
  • 1989



  • The Berne Convention Implementation Act
  • Industry

  • "AOL Service Launched for Macintosh and Apple II"
  • "Steve Case wins contest to rename the Quantum online service & America Online is born. The AOL service is launched including e-mail, games, special interest forums, plus a groundbreaking feature allowing AOL members to communicate in one-on-one, real tim [AOL]
  • PSINet founded
  • Internet

  • NSF, ARPA fund Gigabit Testbed by Kahn and Cerf at CNRI [TCMHC]
  • "Internet opened to commercial mail through MCI mail" [Roberts]
  • World Wide Web developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN [Griffiths] [W3C]
  • First commercial dial up ISP: World [PBS Nerds2.0.1] [TheWorld]
  • FCC

  • Dennis Patrick (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; Alfred Sikes (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 1990


  • ARPANet Terminated [Griffiths] [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Archie, first search engine, developed at McGill University [Griffiths]
  • FCC

  • FCC Computer III Order vacated and remanded ; FCC Computer III Remand Order
  • Industry

  • UUNet launches Alternet
  • 1991


  • Tim Berners-Lee WWW files made available on The Net via FTP (August) [W3C]
  • NSF assumes control of civilian Internet
  • NSF permits private and commercial access to NSFNET backbone [TCMHC]
  • NSF permits private / commercial+E24 access to NSFNET backbone [Griffiths]
  • Phil Zimmerman releases PGP [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Mark McCahill releases Gopher [Wiggins]
  • Trojan Room Coffee Pot goes online (first webcam)
  • Linus Torvalds posts Linux kernel to the Internet [Wired]
  • Industry

  • AOL releases DOS Version of AOL
  • Commercial Internet eXchange founded
  • FCC

  • BOCs permitted to fully enter the enhanced services market.
  • Legislation

  • "Gore Act" passed US High Performance Computing Act creating National Research and Education Network [TCMHC]
  • 1992


  • 50 websites world wide [Griffiths]
  • ISOC Formed
  • Mark Andreesen develops MOSAIC at University of Illinois
  • Industry

  • Microsoft releases Windows 3.1 [IBM]
  • Legislation

  • Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act
  • The Audio Home Recording Act
  • 1993


  • US National Information Infrastructure Act [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Industry

  • SouthWestern Bell becomes SBC.
  • FleetNet becomes Nextel.
  • Intel introduces the Pentium processor [CW] [Intel]
  • MFS builds first nationwide ATM network. [Funding Universe]
  • Internet

  • CERN declares that WWW technology will be freely available [W3C] 150 websites world wide [Griffiths]
  • Marc Andreesen's Mosaic Browser released, alpha version while at at National Center for SuperComputing Applications, Illinois [W3C]
  • White House and UN go online [Nerds p 380]
  • NSF creates InterNIC. AT&T awarded contract for directory and database services, Network Solutions Inc awarded contract for DNS registration, General Atomics/CERFNet awarded contract for information services [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • IETF sets to work on IPv6
  • FCC

  • Alfred Sikes (Republican) resigns as FCC Chairman; James Quello (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • James Quello (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Reed Hundt (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 1994


  • W3C Founded [W3C]
  • "Sprint employee registers the domain name MCI.NET (first namejacking?)" [Donelan]
  • 3000 websites world wide [Griffiths]
  • "Good Times Virus" Hoax released [CIAC]
  • Paul Vixie founds ISC
  • Pizza Hut begins to accept pizza orders online. [Business Wire June 5, 2007]
  • Compuserv advertises its service as "the one computer information service you wont outgrow" which includes "our electronic mail service of up to 60 messages a month." Compuserv in 1994: You'll Never Outgrow 60 Emails Per Month, Consumerist Sept 5, 2014
  • FCC

  • FCC Computer III Vacated
  • Legislation

  • CALEA signed into law
  • "In 1994, through the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, the Department of State was delegated authority over foreign policy related to international communication and information policy." [2009 Review]
  • Industry

  • Mosaic founded by Marc Andreesen and Jim Clarke (becomes Netscape) [W3C] Netscape 1.0 released
  • "AOL links to Internet for first time" [AOL]
  • Yahoo! (known as Jerry and David's Guide to the WWW) is created [Yahoo!]
  • BBN Planet (ISP) formed [BBN]
  • Amazon incorporated (opens doors for business next year) [Amazon 2009]
  • 1995


  • Senator Exon introduces the Communications Decency Act (Feb 1)
  • The Digital Performance Right in Sound Record Act of 1995
  • Copyright Act of 1995
  • Internet

  • NSF contract with NSI amended, permits NSI to charge for DNS registration [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • 25,000 websites world wide [Griffiths]
  • April: NSF establishes very high speed Backbone Network Service vBNS [PBS Nerds2.0.1] "NSFNET Reverts back to a research network" [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Listserv funded [Griffiths Email]
  • MS releases Windows 95 with Internet Explorer
  • Internet Gambling starts.
  • Industry

  • Prodigy Founded [Griffiths Email]
  • Netscape IPO released [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • UUNet IPO [Funding Universe UUNet]
  • VocalTec introduces Internet telephony software
  • LLDS becomes WCOM.
  • Yahoo! incorporated [Yahoo!]
  • Bill Gates gives speach to Microsoft on Dec. 7, detailing Microsoft's new aggressive Internet strategy, including an attack on Netscape with the development of Internet Explorer
  • Craigslist launches [Craigslist]
  • Amazon opens doors for business [Amazon 2009]
  • Southern Pacific Telecom renamed as Qwest. [CenturyTel Timeline]
  • Time Warner launches Road Runner High Speed Online
  • Govt

  • NIST removes GOSIP procurement requirement.
  • 1996


  • Internet2 formed
  • Xanga, the first blog service, launched
  • Legislation

  • Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Feb. 8) (includes Communications Decency Act)
  • Child Pornography Prevention Act
  • E-FOIA Act
  • DNS

  • IAHC formed, releases proposed plan to establish 7 new top level domain names [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • Industry

  • "AOL publicly traded on NYSE for first time" [AOL]
  • Time Warner initiates Road Runner service. (a)Home initiated in San Francisco [Cable]
  • AT&T divests Lucent.
  • SBC acquires PacTel.
  • MFS acquires UUNet for $2B in stock. [Funding Universe UUNet]
  • WCOM acquires MFS for $12B in stock [Funding Universe UUNet]
  • Yahoo! IPO [Yahoo!]
  • Palm Pilot goes on the market [Pew]
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin launch BackRun, precursor to Google [Google Milestones]
  • FCC

  • ACTA files petition at FCC requesting that Internet telephony be regulated under title II (the FCC never closed this proceeding). Voice on the Network Coalition formed in response.
  • 1997


  • US Supreme Court unanimously strikes down Communications Decency Act as unconstitutional abridgement of free speech (Jun 26)
  • DNS

  • "Kashpureff corrupts DNS caches redirecting traffic." [Donelan]
  • ARIN established [PBS Nerds2.0.1]
  • NTIA Releases DNS RFC
  • IAHC gTLD-MOU released and signed
  • Intellectual Property

  • WIPO Copyright Treaty
  • Industry

  • WCOM acquires MFS.
  • WCOM / MCI Merger
  • UUNET Depeers Smaller Networks
  • Yahoo! Mail launches [Yahoo!]
  • GTE Acquires BBN [BBN]
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin develop new search engine and call it Google [Google]
  • Qwest goes public. [CenturyTel Timeline]
  • FCC

  • Reed Hundt (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; William Kennard (Democrat) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • FCC UNII Order (designating spectrum in 5 GHz range which will be used by WiFi)
  • OSP Working Paper 30: Digital Tornado: The Internet and Telecommunications Policy PDF
  • 1998


  • Jon Postel redirects Root away from NetSol and to IANA. White House calls and tells him to stop. [Donelan] [Wikipedia]
  • NTIA Releases Green Paper proposal on DNS
  • NTIA releases White Paper.
  • ICANN Formed, MOU signed with DOC.
  • Jon Postel passes away.
  • Intellectual Infrastructure Fund, collected by NSI, declared to be an unconstitutional tax.
  • Legislation

  • Children's Online Protection Act passed as part of omnibus budget bill
  • Children Online Privacy Protection Act passed
  • DMCA signed into law
  • FCC

  • FCC Steven's Report to Congress on VoIP.
  • FCC creates ERate program.
  • Initial Sec. 706 Petitions
  • OSP Working Paper 30: Internet Over Cable: Defining the Future In Terms of the Past PDF
  • Internet

  • "The Internet2 Abilene Network is announced at the White House with Vice President Al Gore, Vint Cerf, and others. The network is made possible through a partnership with Qwest Communications, Cisco Systems, and Nortel Networks." [Internet2 Timeline]
  • IPv6 Standard completed.
  • Industry

  • SBC acquires SNET.
  • Bell Atlantic acquires NYNEX.
  • MCI acquires WCOM for $40B. [Funding Universe UUNet]
  • WCOM acquires Compuserve
  • launched
  • Google opens its (garage) doors [Google]
  • Kiewit Diversified Group Inc. changed name to Level3 Communications, Inc. [Level3 History]
  • WebMD launches [Holson]
  • 1999


  • COPA declared unconstitutional by district court
  • History

  • CNN interview between Wolf Blitzer and Al Gore in which Gore stated "I took the initiative in creating the Internet." Gore was referring to his support of legislation to fund national information infrastructures such as NSFNET. This quote quickly became [Wiggins]
  • Larry Lessig's, CODE
  • Legislation

  • Anti Cybersquatter Protection Act passed.
  • DNS

  • ISI UCLA transfers IANA to ICANN
  • IANA officially announced IPv6 allocations July 14
  • Cybercrime

  • David Smith enters guilty plea for disseminating the Melissa virus.
  • Intellectual Property

  • DeCSSS program created.
  • Netscape releases source code and declares it open
  • Napster Created [Pew]
  • Industry

  • AOL acquired Netscape [AOL]
  • AT&T / TCI Merger (FCC rejects Open Access Arguments)
  • DOCSIS 1.0 Issued by Cablelabs
  • Google removes "Beta" from its website [Google]
  • Cogent starts operations [Cogent]
  • PSINet buys naming rights to the Baltimore Ravens football stadium
  • Qwest acquires US West
  • VoIP

  • Packetcable VoIP service initiated in Union, NJ. Charter initiates VoIP service in Fitchburg, WI [Cable]
  • FCC

  • First Sec. 706 Report
  • FCC concludes that ISP-bound telephone traffic does not fit under Reciprocal Compensation regime
  • OSP Working Paper 31: The FCC and the Unregulation of the InternetPDF
  • Literature

  • Lawrence Lessig, CODE and Other Laws of Cyberspace (Basic Books 1999). Code is Law.
  • 2000


  • Universal City Studios, Inc. V. Reimerdes, 11 FSupp2d 294 (2000)
  • Internet

  • First Internet election, Arizona democratic primary (Mar 1)
  • COPA Commission released its final report (Oct 20)
  • ITU adopted Recommendation D.50 (ICAIS); USG took a reservation
  • DNS

  • "Internet2 backbone network deploys IPv6" (May 16)
  • Industry

  • Verizon acquires GTE (and BBN) and spins off Genuity. [BBN]
  • Qwest acquires USWest and becomes a BOC.
  • WCOM/ Sprint merger rejected by DOJ and EU
  • Data traffic exceeds voice traffic on AT&T network for first time [AT&T]
  • USG Descrambles GPS; established [Groundspeak]
  • Sprint MCI merger blocked
  • Salon Magazine launches online [Markoff]
  • FCC

  • FCC concludes that "broadband" is 200 kbps.
  • FCC Initiates Cable Open Access proceeding
  • FCC Releases Second Sec. 706 Report.
  • FCC Rejects Internet Ventures Petition
  • OSP Working Paper 32: The Digital Handshake: Connecting Internet BackbonesPDF
  • OSP Working Paper 33: Bill and Keep at the Central Office As the Efficient Interconnection RegimePDF
  • OSP Working Paper 34: A Competitively Neutral Approach to Network InterconnectionPDF
  • 2001

    Dot-Com Bubble bursts


  • AOLTW Merger Completed [AOL]
  • Apple Introduces iPod and iTunes
  • AT&T divests AT&T Wireless
  • AT&T / MediaOne Merger
  • DOCSIS 2.0 Released by Cablelabs
  • Google acquires (USENET archive) [Google]
  • PSINet declares bankruptcy
  • Wikipedia Goes Online
  • Cogent acquires Netrail. [Funding Universe]
  • Sprint/MCI merger falls through.
  • WCOM acquires Intermedia Communications / Digex on condition that it sells off Intermedia Backbone
  • Cybersecurity

  • Sept 11 Attack on WTC
  • Patriot Act passed
  • Legislation

  • Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Act passed.
  • USG

  • Bush Administration takes offline
  • FCC

  • NPRM Intercarrier Compensation
  • NPRM Triennial Review
  • William Kennard (Democrat) resigns as FCC Chairman; Michael Powell (Republican) is named as FCC Chairman [FCC]
  • 2002


  • Supreme Court strikes down the Child Pornography Prevention Act, making illegal virtual kiddie porn, as unconstitutional
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the Children's Internet Protection Act, as it applies to libraries, is facially unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment.
  • GulfPower v FCC, (S.Ct) (ruling FCC can set pole attachment rates for Internet over Cable)
  • Industry

  • SBC Acquires Ameritech.
  • Level3 Acquires Genuity.
  • Vonage initiates service
  • Google News launches [Google]
  • PSINet acquired by Cogent
  • BBN builds first network protected by quantum cryptography [BBN]
  • WCOM divests of Intermedia Backbone, selling it to Allegiance Telecom.
  • FCC

  • Third Sec. 706 Report
  • FCC concludes that Internet over Cable is an information service.
  • Internet over DSL proceeding released
  • OSP Working Paper 35: Horizontal Concentration in the Cable Television Industry: An Experimental AnalysisPDF
  • OSP Working Paper 36: The Potential Relevance to the United States of the European Union's Newly Adopted Regulatory Framework for TelecommunicationsPDF
  • OSP Working Paper 37: Broadcast Television: Survivor in a Sea of Competition
  • OSP Working Paper 38: A Proposal for a Rapid Transition to Market Allocation of SpectrumPDF
  • 2003


  • FCC Internet over Cable Order Reversed in 9th Cir.
  • FCC

  • FCC releases its Triennial Review Order.
  • OSP Working Paper 39: Unlicensed and Unshackled: A Joint OSP-OET White Paper On Unlicensed Devices and Their Regulatory Issues
  • OSP Working Paper 40: Dynamic Pricing and Investment from Static Proxy ModelsPDF
  • Legislation

  • CAN SPAM Act signed into law
  • DNS

  • World Summit on the Information Society
  • Industry

  • acquired by Google; Google introduces AdSense [Google]
  • Intel releases Centrino processor with wireless capability built in [Intel]
  • February Level3 acquired Genuity [Level3 History]
  • Cybersecurity

  • DOD acknowledges its Total Information Awareness spying plan.
  • 2004


  • SBC acquires AT&T Wireless
  • WCOM renames itself MCI
  • Google launches GMail [Google]
  • Verizon divests BBN, which becomes an independent company again. [BBN]
  • Allegiance Telecom, in bankruptcy, is sold to XO
  • Judicial

  • United States Telecom Ass’n v. FCC (USTA II) Triennial Review
  • FCC

  • Chairman Powell announces Four Freedoms (Network Neutrality).
  • IP Enabled Services NPRM.
  • Pulver Free World Dialup ruled not a telecom service
  • FCC preempts MN Decision that Vonage is a Telecom Service
  • FCC concludes that Internet over Powerlines is an information service.
  • Fourth Sec. 706 Report.
  • Fiber to the Home Order
  • Sec. 251 Interim Order and NPRM and Order on Remand
  • 2005


  • WGIG releases its report on Internet governance.
  • FCC

  • Internet over DSL order, declaring it an information service.
  • Broadband Principals (network neutrality).
  • Madison River enters into a consent decree to stop blocking Vonage service.
  • Michael Powell Resigns as FCC Chairman; Kevin Martin is named as FCC Chairman
  • FNPRM Unified Intercarrier Compensation Regime
  • FCC Releases SBC / AT&T Merger Order Nov. 17.
  • Industry

  • Nextel / Sprint Merger.
  • Verizon / MCI Merger.
  • SBC acquires AT&T; renames itself AT&T
  • MCI drops the brand name UUNet
  • Yahoo and MS announce interoperable IM [Yahoo!]
  • YouTube founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen , and Jawed Karim, former employees of Paypal. Youtube is launched in December.
  • Level3 acquired WilTel [Level3 History]
  • BT acquires Infonet. [The Register]
  • Judicial

  • In FCC v. Brandx, the Supreme Court affirms that the FCC can categorize Internet over cable as an information service.
  • Texas Attorney General files suit against Vonage re 911 service
  • General

  • Hurricane Katrina knocks huge portions of the communications networks offline.
  • 2006


  • FCC imposes CALEA, Universal Service and 911 obligations on VoIP.
  • Industry

  • Western Union sends its last telegram
  • Broadwing acquired by Level3
  • AT&T / Bell South Merger
  • Google launches free wifi net in Mountain View, CA [Google]
  • Google acquires YouTube in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $1.65 billion [Google]
  • Twitter is born. First Tweet: "Inviting Coworkers" [Guardian]
  • Cybercrime

  • US Sen ate ratifies International Cybercrime Treaty.
  • Legislation

  • Patriot Act renewed
  • Industry

  • Level3 acquired Progress Telecom, ICG, TelCove and Looking Glass Networks [Level3 History]
  • 2007


  • CPNI Order imposes privacy obligations on VoIP.
  • Broadband Practices (Network Neutrality) Inquiry.
  • Fifth Sec. 706 Inquiry.
  • Internet over Wireless is an Information Service.
  • Rural Telemedicine Universal Service Pilot initiated
  • Industry

  • Level3 acquired Broadwing, the Content Delivery Network (CDN) services business of SAVVIS, Inc. and Servecast. [Level3 History]
  • 2008


  • FCC Initiates Investigation of Comcast Blocking BitTorrent
  • 700 MHz Auction
  • 2009


  • Kevin Martin Resigns as FCC Chairman; Michael Copps is named as Acting FCC Chairman (in the first all hands meeting, as he walked to the podium but before he had said a word, Acting Chairman Copps received a standing ovation from the FCC staff)
  • Julius Genachowski is named as FCC Chairman
  • USG

  • GSA releases FAR requiring IPv6 compliant products be included in all new IT acquisitions using Internet Protocol
  • Industry

  • CenturyLink acquires Embarq, changes its name from CenturyTel to CenturyLink [CenturyTel Timeline]
  • Time Warner spins off AOL, undoing the 2001 merger. [TW]
  • 2010


  • March 16: FCC Issues Broadband Plan
  • December 23: FCC Votes on Network Neutrality Proceeding
  • More People get their new online than from traditional print newspapers
  • 2011


  • Jan 18 FCC Approves NBC/Comcast Merger
  • DOJ and FCC block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile
  • Releases Intercarrier Compensation / Universal Service Reform order
  • FCC Network Neutrality rules go into effect
  • Internet

  • Feb. 3: IANA/ICANN hands out last IPv4 block
  • Sept: Internet Governance Forum Nairobi
  • Steve Jobs, co founder of Apple Computer, dies.
  • Stuxnet Worm attacks Iranian nuclear site
  • Industry

  • Level3 acquired Global Crossing [Level3 History]
  • Centurylink acquired Qwest.
  • 2012
  • June 30: France terminates Minitel
  • 2013


  • Ch. Genachowski resigns
  • Mignon Clyburn named acting Chair
  • Thomas Wheeler named FCC Chair
  • 2014


  • Jan 14. DC. Cir. Court overturns Ch. Genachowski's Open Internet rules.
  • FCC Releases PSTN Transition item.
  • Left column colors track FCC Chairs. Red for Republicans; Blue for Democrats.


  • Radio Pioneers & Core Technologies, FCC History
  • Fraser, Telecommunications Competition Arrives: Is Universal Service Out of Order, 15 Fall Cal. Reg. L. Rep. 1, 2-3 (1995).
  • Google Corporate Information: Milestones
  • Richard T Griffiths, The Origins and Growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web (October 2001)
  • Richard T Griffiths, History of Electronic Mail, (October 2001)
  • Richard T. Griffiths, Chapter Two: From ARPAnet to WWW, The History of the Internet
  • Geoaching > About Groundspeak
  • Hobbe's Internet timeline
  • Laura M. Holson, Healtheon Is Expected to Join Forces With Internet Provider, N.Y. Times , May 15, 1999, at C14
  • Hughes Network Poster.
  • IBM
  • History Making Components
  • iLounge, Instant Expert History of the IPOD
  • Intel Museum Worldwide
  • Internet Pioneers: Paul Baran
  • ISOC's collection of Internet histories.
  • William Lehr, Economic Case for Voluntary Structural Separation, TPRC 2003
  • Larry Lessig, Future of Ideas at 29 (2001)
  • Living History
  • DARPA, Living Internet
  • ARPANET, Living Internet
  • CSNET, Living Internet
  • Dr SJ Lukasik, Chief Scientist, FCC, New Directions in Consumer Electronics: The Regulator's View, IEEE (June 9, 1982)
  • Michael Marcus, WiFi and Bluetooth: The Path from Carter and Reagan era Faith in Deregulation to Widespread Products Impacting Our World, PPT, Unleashing Unlicensed: How WiFi Got Its Regulatory Grove, An IEP Conference at GMU (April 4, 2008)
  • Media Timeline
  • John Markoff, With a Debut, a Test of On-Line Publishing, N.Y. Times , Nov. 13, 1995, at D7
  • A Brief History of Microsoft on the Web, Microsoft
  • Nerds 2.0.1 : A Brief History of the Internet by Stephen Segaller (TV Books 1998)
  • NIST
  • ITL History Timeline
  • Celebrating our Centennial (2001)
  • Pacifica Radio Timeline
  • PBS Nerds 2.0.1 Timeline
  • President's Working Group on Unlawful Conduct on the Internet, The Electronic Frontier: The Challenge of Unlawful Conduct Involving the Use of the Internet (March 2000) .
  • Lawrence Roberts Home Page: Internet Chronology 1960-2001
  • Peter H Salus, Casting the Net (Addison-Wesley Publishing Company 1995)
  • Michael Shabot, Medicine on the Internet, Baylor University Medical Center (2001)
  • Sprint History
  • Sterling, Bernt, Weiss, Shaping American Telecommunications, p. 43 (2006)
  • TCMHC: Internet History 1962-1992
  • A Little History of the World Wide Web, W3C (2000)
  • Timeline of communications technology, Wikipedia
  • Western Union Company History
  • Richard Wiggins, Al Gore and the Creation of the Internet, First Monday (Oct 1, 2000)
  • Xerox Parc Official History
  • Yahoo! Company Timeline
  • Wikipedia Year by Year
  • © Cybertelecom ::