Exact text by Vint Cerf, from private communication, September 6, 1999:


As to the invention of the Internet - plainly it is the work of many hands. Were it not for the independent invention packet switching by Len Kleinrock in 1961, Paul Baran in 1962 and Donald Davies in 1964 it isn't clear that Larry Roberts would have been persuaded to employ packet switching and high speed lines for the original ARPANET design.

The success of the ARPANET's implementation, thanks to the BBN team including Bob Kahn, Frank Heart, Dave Walden, Severo Ornstein, William Crowther, Ben Barker, Truett Thach among many others, led to experimentation in other media, notably packet satellite (a project initiated by Larry Roberts and continued by Bob Kahn and later fell on my watch), and packet radio (initiated by Bob Kahn and later managed by me, then Barry Leiner and others at ARPA).

The idea for interlinking these nets but keeping them distinct was Bob Kahn's and there was resistance (the alternative was to integrate every communication modality into ARPANET). Bob Kahn and I worked out the basic Internet architecture and principles including TCP in 1973. The details of TCP, however, benefitted from input from many sources. I had a team of graduate students at Stanford including Yogen Dalal, Carl Sunshine, Dick Karp, Jim Mathis, Judy Estrin, and Ron Crane, who were joined by visitors from outside the university: Gerard LeLann from IRIA, Dag Belsnes from University of Oslo, Kuninobu Tanno from Japan, and researchers at Xerox PARC including Bob Metcalfe, John Shoch, Larry Stewart. Strong protocol design inputs came from the Cyclades group at IRIA: Louis Pouzin, Hubert Zimmermann and Gerard LeLann. Also from Donald Davies' group at the National Physical Laboratory, notably Roger Scantlebury. At University College London (UCL) we had considerable participation from Peter Kirstein and his researchers including Peter Higginson, Steve Treadwell, Adrian Stokes, John Bennett, among others. From BBN, some key ideas were contributed by Ray Tomlinson and Bill Plummer and later, Steve Kent, Jack Haverty, and Virginia Strazisar. At MIT, Dave Clark, Noel Chiappa and David Reed contributed strongly. From USC Information Sciences Institute, Jon Postel and Bob Braden and Danny Cohen were key participants, with Dan Lynch playing a critical operational role as the preparation for roll-out of TCP/IP began in 1982, culminating in the Jan 1, 1983 deadline for conversion. (We didn't make it that precisely but a lot happened in the first few months of 1983.)

A major milestone occurred November 22, 1977 when the first three network Internet was demonstrated (packet radio, packet satellite and Internet).

And those were just the early years!

And I'm sure I have left out some important people.