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The early history of packet switching in the UK [History of Communications]

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In this issue of the History Column we bring you an article by Prof. Peter Kirstein, one of the original contributors to early packet switching. We are probably all familiar with the history of the Internet, beginning with its genesis in the American-developed ARPAnet of the late 1960s and early 1970s. We may be less familiar with the contributions of British researchers, as well as those in other countries such as France, at about the same period of time, who worked closely with American researchers as well as independently in developing the packet-switching technology so fundamental to the Internet. Prof. Kirstein recounts the early activities by British engineers, led by Donald Davies of the National Physical Laboratory, the British Post Office, those of his own group at University College London, and others as well. He also ties this work into ongoing activities in the United States at the time. In future History Columns we plan to have similar articles by U.S. packet-switching pioneers on their own early activities in the field. This series of articles on the genesis of the Internet should be of great interest to all communication engineers. We commend the article following to your attention.

Published in:

IEEE Communications Magazine  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 2 )