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The National Physical Laboratory Network (NPL Network or NPL Data Communications Network) was a "computer network operated by a team from the "National Physical Laboratory in England. Following a "pilot experiment during 1967,[1][2][3][4] elements of the first version of the network, Mark I, became operational during 1969 then fully operational in 1970, and the Mark II version operated from 1973 until 1986.[5][6][7] The NPL network, followed by "ARPANET in the United States, were the first two computer networks that implemented "packet switching,[8][9] and were interconnected in the early 1970s.


History of the network[edit]

The network was proposed by "Donald Davies, who was later was appointed to head of the NPL Division of Computer Science, as Proposal for the Development of a National Communications Service for On-line Data Processing at NPL during 1965, during 1966 he headed a team which produced a design for the network.[10] The next year (1967) a written version of the proposal entitled NPL Data Network was presented by Roger Scantlebury at a conference at "Gatlinburg of the proceedings of the "Association for Computing Machinery, which described how equipment ("nodes) used to transmit "signals ("packets) would be connected by electrical links to re-transmit the signals between and to the nodes, and "interface computers would be used to link node networks to so-called "time-sharing computers and other "users. The interface computers would transmit "multiplex signals between networks, and nodes would "switch transmissions while connected to electrical circuitry functioning at a rate of processing amounting to mega-bits.[5][6][11][12][13][14] In Scantlebury's report following the conference, he noted "It would appear that the ideas in the NPL paper at the moment are more advanced than any proposed in the USA".[15][16]

Packet switching[edit]

The first theoretical foundation of "packet switching was the work of "Paul Baran, in which data was transmitted in small chunks and routed independently by a method similar to "store-and-forward techniques between intermediate networking nodes. Davies independently arrived at the same model in 1965 and named it packet switching.[17][18] Packet switching was used to produce an experimental network using a "Honeywell 516 node. According to Zakon, NPL under Davies was the earliest organisation that created a packet-switching network.[5][19][15][20]

Later developments[edit]

The NPL network was later interconnected with other networks, including the "ARPANET in 1973.[5][21] The NPL network used a line speed of 768 kbit/s in 1967.[3][4] Influenced by this, the proposed line speed for ARPANET was upgraded from 2.4 kbit/s to 50 kbit/s and a similar packet format adopted.[22][23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Elliott, Geoffrey (2004). Global business information technology : an integrated systems approach. Financial Times Prentice Hall. p. 425. "ISBN "9780321270122. 
  2. ^ Winston, Brian (2002). Media,Technology and Society: A History: From the Telegraph to the Internet. Routledge. p. 327. "ISBN "1134766327. 
  3. ^ a b K.G. Coffman & A.M. Odlyzco. Optical Fiber Telecommunications IV-B: Systems and Impairments. published by "Academic Press 22 May 2002, 1022 pages, Optics and Photonics, "ISBN "0080513190, (edited by I. Kaminow & T. Li). Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  4. ^ a b "The History of the Internet". The History of Computing Project. 19 March 2001. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d C. Hempstead, W. Worthington. Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Technology. "Routledge 8 Aug 2005, 992 pages, (edited by C. Hempstead, W. Worthington),. Retrieved 2015-08-15. (source: Gatlinburg, ... Association for Computing Machinery)
  6. ^ a b A Hey, G Pápay. The Computing Universe: A Journey through a Revolution. published by "Cambridge University Press 8 Dec 2014, 424 pages, "ISBN "0521766451. Retrieved 2015-08-16. (source: Roger Scantlebury - p.201)
  7. ^ "UK National Physical Laboratory (NPL) & Donald Davies". Living Internet. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  8. ^ Roberts, Lawrence G. (November 1978). "The Evolution of Packet Switching". Retrieved 9 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "Donald Davies". ; "Donald Davies". 
  10. ^ Pelkey, James (2007), "NPL Network and Donald Davies 1966 - 1971", Entrepreneurial Capitalism and Innovation: A History of Computer Communications 1968-1988, retrieved 13 April 2016 
  11. ^ B. Steil, Council on Foreign Relations. Technological Innovation and Economic Performance. published by "Princeton University Press 1 Jan 2002, 476 pages,"ISBN "0691090912. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  12. ^ Oxford Dictionaries - word definition - relay & word definition - node published by "Oxford University Press [Retrieved 2015-08-16]
  13. ^ J. Everard - VIRTUAL STATES (p.14) published by "Routledge 28 Feb 2013 (reprint), 176 pages, "ISBN "1134692757 [Retrieved 2015-08-16](source: NPL Data Network)
  14. ^ F.E. Froehlich, A. Kent. The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications: Volume 1 - Access Charges in the U.S.A. to Basics of Digital Communications (p.344). published by "CRC Press 14 Nov 1990, 552 pages, "ISBN "0824729005, Volume 1 of Encyclopedia of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  15. ^ a b J. Gillies, R. Cailliau (2000). How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web. Oxford University Press. pp. 23–25. "ISBN "0192862073. (source: head of the NPL Division of Computer Science)
  16. ^ "Oral-History:Donald Davies & Derek Barber". Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  17. ^ Scantlebury, Roger (25 June 2013). "Internet pioneers airbrushed from history". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Packets of data were the key...". NPL. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  19. ^ T. Vickers. Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine: The Master Codebreaker's Struggle to Build the Modern Computer. published by "OUP Oxford 14 Apr 2005, 576 pages, (edited by B. J. Copeland), "ISBN "0191625868. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  20. ^ R.H. Zakon. The Internet Encyclopedia, G – O. published by "John Wiley & Sons 2004, 840 pages,(ed. by H. Bidgoli), "ISBN "0471689963, Volume 2 of The Internet Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  21. ^ M. Ziewitz & I. Brown (2013). Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet. "Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 7. "ISBN "1849805040. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  22. ^ Abbate, Jane (2000). Inventing the Internet. MIT Press. p. 38. "ISBN "0262261332. 
  23. ^ "Brief History of the Internet". Internet Society. Retrieved April 9, 2016. 
  24. ^ Roberts, Dr. Lawrence G. (May 1995). "The ARPANET & Computer Networks". Retrieved 13 April 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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