50 years of the Internet

The first steps towards the Internet were made on 29 October 1969 when the first remote data packet was transmitted

On 29 October 1969, a computer of the University of California in Los Angeles first transmitted a long distance data packet, along a 650 km route to the Stanford Research Institute, in the Bay Area. At the time, the event did not attract much interest, but it changed the future of the world.

ARPANET was initially a tool of the American Ministry of Defence, but which would later give rise to the Internet, thanks to fundamental technologies and protocols such as TCP/IP.

Leonard Kleinrock was one of those pioneers who made the two computers communicate using packet-switched transmission and basic routers known as "Interface Message Processors."

Kleinrock's co-workers were Luigi Fratta, who is now a Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering professor, and the Italian computer scientist Mario Gerla.

Mario Gerla graduated in Electronic Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 1966 and moved to the United States in 1969, where he joined the team at UCLA working at ARPANET and obtaining his MSc and PhD.

In 1977, he returned to the University of California, where he worked for the rest of his life. He directed the Department of Computer Science between 2015 and 2018. Professor Gerla died on 9 February 2019, at the age of 75.

On 3 June 2019 Leonard Kleinrock visitedPolitecnico di Milano to remember Professor Gerla and talk about the Internet’s future.

We provide you with our exclusive interview with him: