REPOST: Re: A new forum is up! Q: what means nntp

Alex Martelli aleax at
Fri Dec 28 17:38:42 CET 2001

"Cameron Laird" <claird at> wrote in message
news:E6BE2136ABF306B9.F6485048E0D07105.E913F194464E51CC at
> >based on UUCP, as I recall) well before the Internet was officially
> >inaugurated (1983, wasn't it?).
> I don't know what you mean by the "official inauguration"
> of the 'Net.

Pretty early on, in this document (part dated July 1980):

"""The ARPANET Network Control Program (NCP) will be replaced by two DOD
protocols, the DOD Standard Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and
the Internet Protocol (IP).  ARPANET FTP and TELNET protocols will
also be updated and standardized.  Planning for this transition is
still under development."""

A TCP-only experiment (no NCP) was (much later) announced for
October 1, 1982.

At the same time you see the announcement:


   SMTP will become the official network mail protocol.  All hosts with
   mail service should plan on implementing SMTP by 1 Jan. 1983 for
   sending and receiving network mail.  SMTP is completely separate from
   FTP, and is handled by a distinct server.  This is quite different in
   detail from the current mail-handling procedures.  Questions about

SMTP was clearly SPECIFIED earlier, but Jan 1, 1983, was when it
came into effect (note the mention that SMTP is separate from FTP:
earlier, mail was handled by an FTP extension; and this was still
"current mail-handling procedure" in late 1982, as we see).

On Dec 22, 1982, we then read:

The Defense Data Network Program Management Office (DDN-PMO) is
committed to the implementation of TCP/IP and related protocols
effective 1 Jan 1983.  Starting 00:01 (est) 1 Jan 1983 use of NCP will
not be permitted unless specific exception is granted by the DDN-PMO

The transition was made on Jan 1 1983, as planned, with TACs
supporting old NTP until Feb 1 1983.  University of Delaware
relayed mail between TCP and NTP hosts in the meantime (a few
hosts were only due to switch in May).

MILNET was announced (split from ARPANET) in March 1983.

Although the rest was still called "Experimental ARPANET",
given that it had switched to Internet Protocol and was
now separated from the Military part, it seems reasonable
to me to consider 1983 as the year of the official
inauguration of the Internet, no?


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