eco Association Congratulates the Internet on Its 49th Birthday

  • 29.10.2018 is World Internet Day
  • With the Internet, email began its triumphal ascent in the 1990s

Today, the Internet celebrates its 49th birthday. For the first time on 29th October 1969, scientists transmitted data between two computers – from Los Angeles to Stanford Research Institute. More and more universities and research institutes became involved in this research project, the motivating origins of which were military. The commercial triumph took place in the early 1990s with the Internet and email.

“No other 20th century invention has transformed the economy, society, and our daily lives as much as the Internet has,” says Alexander Rabe, Managing Director of eco – Association of the Internet Industry. According to the ARD/ZDF Online Study 2018, 63.3 million people aged 14 and over in the German-speaking population are online this year, which is equivalent to 90.3 percent of the population.

At the beginning, the Internet was neither very attractive nor user-friendly. During the first data transmission 49 years ago, one of the two computers crashed after two letters. It was standards such as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) which first enabled the breakthrough of the Internet as we know it today.

With the Internet, email took off

With the Internet, email also began its triumphal ascent as a means of communication. In Germany, eco Honorary President Professor Michael Rotert received the first email in Germany on 3rd August 1984 at the University of Karlsruhe (TH). On this day, he received a welcome greeting to CSNET, a forerunner of the Internet, which also served to confirm the faultless functionality of his mail server. “Michael, this is your official welcome to CSNET. We are glad to have you aboard,” it said.

3rd August 1984 also marked the beginning of the Internet's ascent in Germany. “It was clear to us that communication would now be much faster, especially at the international level,” says Professor Rotert. But nobody could envisage at the time just how email would one day become a mass medium and achieve today's significance. Today, 280 billion emails are sent every day by people all over the world. 1


1. Study by technology market research company The Radicati Group

eco Association Congratulates the Internet on Its 49th Birthday 1