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internet day

Can you imagine life without the internet? This invention has changed the way we work, the way we socialize and the way we shop. Some call it the most important invention in human history and today we celebrate Internet Day. It’s been observed since 2005 and the significance of October 29 is the anniversary of the first internet connection (more on that later). With the IoT becoming more prevalent and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt saying everyone on earth could be online by 2020, the Internet is truly worthy of this observance.

So Much History

The first message ever sent via the internet was “Login”. At its inception, the internet was defined as a remote connection between two computers. The first connection occurred when the UCLA science department sent that one word to the Stanford computer lab on October 29, 1969. The network used was called the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), created by the US Defense Department.

internet day
Website development exploded after 1996

After this initial message, and for many years, the internet was only used by universities, government agencies, and the scientific community. The World Wide Web* project was formally announced on August 6, 1991. Between 1996 and 2008, the number of websites exploded from 100,000 to over 162 million. You can have a look at the first website here. Did you know that Canada was actually at the forefront of PC design? Well, briefly. Here’s a short animation about the history of the world wide web.

*Let’s be sure to make the distinction between the world wide web and the internet. The Internet is a physical infrastructure consisting of thousands of interconnected ISP networks. The World Wide Web is the millions of websites running on the Internet.

Net Neutrality

South of the border, net neutrality has become a hot-button topic. But what is net neutrality? It’s the idea that the internet should remain free and open to all content and applications. Those who are in favor of net neutrality feel all internet data should be treated equally. No matter the source or application, all data should be available at equal cost and speed. The Canadian government, the CRTC and our Prime Minister all agree.

internet day
The fight is on for a free internet

Those in favor of regulating net neutrality feel there should be more rules. The providers of the internet, including cable companies, say they are furnishing a service and should be compensated. This means different companies could be charged different rates, which would likely mean rate and service changes for consumers. Think of it like ordering a cable package with different services and prices attached.

Net neutrality is a contentious issue with pros and cons. Canadian traffic that goes through the US could be impacted by any future regulations. Canadian services that want to access the US market could also be affected. The debate continues while we watch anxiously from this side of the border.

Internet Spam

We all know the term spam, but do you know its origin? First, you need to be familiar with the Monty Python skit that inspired the name. (We bet that even if you’d already seen the skit, you watched the video again.) There’s agreement that the use of the word comes from Monty Python, but there’s debate over when and where it was first used. Some say it referred to an accidentally posted duplicate message. Others say it was a word typed repeatedly and in all caps to shut people out of an online conversation. Whatever the case, the term stuck and today we use it to mean junk mail or any Stupid Pointless Annoying Message (SPAM).

The Dot-com Bubble

The commercialization of the internet created a lot of excitement among investors. In the 1990s, venture capitalists were throwing money at internet startups. Investors were looking for the next breakthrough dot-com company and they were willing to give a cash infusion to almost anything internet related. However, by the end of 2001, most publicly traded dot-com companies went under and all that money was gone. The stock market crash in 2001 reflected the burst bubble and the overvalued stocks.

The Future of the Internet is Video

A Cisco study predicts that by next year, 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be video. We like those odds! If you want your business to stand out online, video is a great way to increase customer awareness and conversions. Call us today for a free quote.

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