The exploration stage of China's Internet

Updated: Dec 25, 2018 en.internet.cn Print
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The Internet was born in the United States in 1969 and evolved continuously, attracting great attention from the people all around the world. Since the birth of the Internet, some countries and regions in North America, Europe and Asia have accessed to the Internet one after another; China, the country with the largest population in the world, also looked forward to experiencing the international Internet that represents information civilization. Due to historical and political reasons, China encountered enormous resistance and experienced many twists and turns in the process of bringing in the emerging technology and new civilized achievement after the reform and opening up. Fortunately, it has ultimately succeeded in embracing the Internet. It took eight years from the launching of the academic network project of China in 1986 to the approval of China's fully functional access to the global Internet by international organizations and agencies including those in the United States, and the process was as difficult as the Eight Years' War of Resistance.

However, the historical trend is irresistible and the progress towards the era of information civilization represents the general trend. Thanks to their meticulous preparations and unremitting efforts, China's scientists and technologists, under the strong support of friendly people from foreign countries, have finally approached step by step the Internet, the greatest invention of the 20th century that can bring people unlimited imagination. In 1986, China initiated its academic network project and accessed remotely the host node in Geneva via a satellite link; in 1987, China sent its first email via the Internet of Italy and Germany; in 1990, China's top level domain .cn was registered; in 1993, the Institute of High Energy Physics under Chinese Academy of Sciences gained access to the energy network of the United States by leasing a satellite link of the country; at the beginning of 1994, China's request to access the Internet to the US National Science Foundation (NSF) was agreed by the US side, marking the start of the Internet era of China. The success of China's access to the Internet is a result of the hard work and efforts of numerous scientists, engineers, foreign friends, friendly international organizations and governmental decision-making departments. On one hand, the situation that the Internet was inaccessible to certain countries and disallowed access and use to a greater extent in the early stage due to political reasons has been broken; on the other hand, due to the high technical threshold and extremely limited resources of the Internet during the initial period, the Internet was only accessible to a few of scientists, technologists and researchers, and its use was confined to scientific researches and academic exchanges.

The good news was that China attached great importance to the introduction and development of the Internet, made active preparations for the development of Internet infrastructures, and had gradually built some high-level special science & technology network and campus networks, for example, the backbone network of NCFC (National Computing and Networking Facility of China), campus networks of Tsinghua University and Peking University as well as CASNET had been completed at the end of 1992. The above efforts had made full preparations for China's fully functional access to the global Internet in the aspects of technology and public opinion environment, and the important moment for China's network to integrate into the worldwide information Internet has finally arrived.

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