29th October - International Internet Day

Every year on October 29, the world celebrates International Internet Day. This day commemorates a watershed moment in telecommunications and technology history that forever changed the world we live in.

In 1969, the first electronic message was sent between two computers. At the time, the Internet was called ARPANET or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. A student from the UCLA’s (University of California, Los Angeles) computer sent a message to Bill Duvall at Stanford Research Institute, marking the first-ever internet usage.

There are other important days and dates of national and international importance, integral from the UPSC prelims and other government exams.

Critical Moments for the International Internet Day

On October 29, 1969 – Charley Kline, a student programmer at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), sent the first-ever electronic message, “LO,” to another researcher at Stanford Research Institute. The first man – Neil Armstrong – stepped on the Moon just two months ago!

On October 29, 2005 – The first International Internet Day was commemorated for the watershed moment in telecommunications and technology.

Some key points to consider are discussed below:

International Internet Day, 2021 in India

As part of the 2021 International Internet Day celebrations, RailTel, a telecom infrastructure supplier, has developed the PM WANI (PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) software to help people connect to public wifi networks more efficiently.

The Centre for Development of Telematics is now testing the PM WANI app (CDT).

About the PM Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM WANI)

  • The Government of India launched the PM WANI (Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface) Scheme to promote broadband internet adoption across the country.
  • The initiative seeks to deploy Wi-Fi hotspots on a broad scale to increase connectivity options and boost digital access.
  • The proposal envisions local Kirana and neighborhood stores establishing public Wi-Fi networks and access points via public data offices (PDOs), which would be set up.

Note: RailTel has developed and deployed PM-WANI solutions across its Wi-Fi network at 6063 train stations as a registered Public Data Office Aggregator (PDOA) under the PM-WANI initiative.

Also, refer to the following links:

Birth of Internet

In the 1960s, the Internet (now colloquially written in lowercase ‘internet’) was created for government researchers to communicate information.

Computers in the ‘60s were enormous and required space as big as a large room. So, naturally, to access data stored on them, the user had to either reach the computer’s location or have magnetic computer tapes physically transported through mail.

The 1960s was also a time of prolific political instabilities between the then superpowers – the US and Soviet Union. The Cold War saw dramatic escalations during that time, which was a critical driving force for the Internet.

Moreover, the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite prompted the US Defense Department to investigate a robust information system that could function even after a potential nuclear blast.

The ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) was formed due to this, and it eventually grew into what we now know as the Internet. ARPANET was a huge success, but it was only open to a few academic and research institutions with Defense Department contracts. As a result, new networks were later formed to facilitate information sharing.

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