TCP/IP turns 25

From the Internet Society

“Two of the core protocols that define how data is transported over the Internet are now 25 years old. The Internet Protocol (IP) and the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), together known as TCP/IP, were formally standardized in September 1981 by the publication of RFC 791 and RFC 793.
Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn are widely credited with the design of TCP/IP, and many others involved in the ARPANET project made significant contributions.
The core of the documents was RFC 675, published in December 1974 by Cerf together with co-authors Carl Sunshine and Yogen Dalal. The subsequent sequence of documents leading up to RFC 791 and 793 benefited from the participation of many people including Dave Clark, Jon Postel, Bob Braden, Ray Tomlinson, Bill Plummer, and Jim Mathis, as well as other unnamed contributors to the definition and implementation of what became the Internet’s core protocols.”

But if you want to know more, check my story here, from, and particularly

” John Shoch, who worked with Robert Metcalfe on the Ethernet developments at Xerox Parc, and who is at great pains to stay out of debates about who started the Internet, has concluded that PUP (the Parc Universal Protocol) was the first complete, operational set of Internet protocols. Schoch was also involved in the development of TCP/IP at a later date. To quote Shoch,

“Starting around 1974, Xerox PARC designed and deployed an internet architecture called PUP; it was up and running on multiple machines and networks when TCP was just a design for byte stream protocols. Input from Xerox’ operational experience helped convince the TCP working group to add the IP packet layer!”

So it’s a bit like the anniversary of the IBM PC (see separate item in this blog). An important milestone, for sure, but the predecessors are often forgotten.


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