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In 1973 the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA initiated a research program to investigate techniques and technologies for interlinking packet networks of various kinds The objective was to develop communication protocols which would allow networked computers to communicate transparently across multiple linked packet networks This was called the Internetting project and the system of networks which emerged from the research was known as the Internet The system of protocols which was developed over the course of this research effort became known as the TCPIP Protocol Suite after the two initial protocols developed Transmission Control Protocol TCP and Internet Protocol IP In 1986 the US National Science Foundation NSF initiated the development of the NSFNET which today provides a major backbone communication service for the Internet With its 45 megabit per second facilities the NSFNET carries on the order of 12 billion packets per month between the networks it links The National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA and the US Department of Energy contributed additional backbone facilities in the form of the NSINET and ESNET respectively In Europe major international backbones such as NORDUNET and others provide connectivity to over one hundred thousand computers on a large number of networks Commercial network providers in the US and Europe are beginning to offer Internet backbone and access support on a competitive basis to any interested parties Regional support for the Internet is provided by various consortium networks and local support is provided through each of the research and educational institutions Within the United States much of this support has come from the federal and state governments but a considerable contribution has been made by industry In Europe and elsewhere support arises from cooperative international efforts and through national research organizations During the course of its evolution particularly after 1989 the Internet system began to integrate support for other protocol suites into its basic networking fabric The present emphasis in the system is on
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