One of the interesting parts of President Obama’s speech in Roanoke was his explanation that government research created the Internet. Here are his words.
Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The key development to the Internet was the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Network(ARPANET) in 1969. The primary objective of the project was to allow Defense Department researchers at remote locations access the limited number of large powerful computers. The only users were Defense Department researchers. The reason the government “created” the Internet was to make better weapons. It took almost twenty years before the Internet was opened up for businesses and the public and the Defense Department stopped subsidizing the Internet. Since the Internet was “free” it probably directly led to the demise of two private network competitors, Tymnet and Compuserve. If the government’s plan was for businesses to make money off of the Internet it was a remarkably slow and confused plan with lots of collateral damage in the business community.