Date: 01/01/1970

Connecting the Networks

1970 Donald Davies of the National Physical Laboratory (United Kingdom) proposed a national data network basedon packet-switching.The proposal was not taken up nationally, but by 1970 he had designed and built the Mark Ipacket-switched network to meet the needs of the multidisciplinary laboratory and prove the technology under operational conditions. By 1976 12 computers and 75 terminal devices were attached and more were added until the network was replaced in 1986.

1971 December The merit Network, With initial support from the State of Michigan and the National Science Foundation (NSF), the packet-switched network was first demonstrated in December 1971 when aninteractive host to host connection was made between the IBM mainframe computer systems at the University of Michigan in Ann Arborand Wayne State University inDetroit.

1972 The Merit network In October 1972 connections to the CDC mainframe at Michigan State University in East Lansing completed the trial. Over the next several years in addition to host to host interactive connections the network was enhanced to support terminal to host connections, host to host batch connections (remote job submission, remote printing, batch filetransfer), interactive file transfer, gateways to the Tymnet and Telenet public data networks, X.25 host attachments, gateways to X.25 data networks, Ethernet attached hosts, and eventually TCP/IP and additional public universities in Michigan join the network. All of this set the stage for Merit’s role in the NSFNET project starting in the mid-1980s.