Ancient history [Re: ipv4 and ipv6 Coexistence.]

Brian E Carpenter <> Wed, 26 February 2020 22:29 UTC

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Subject: Ancient history [Re: ipv4 and ipv6 Coexistence.]
To: Stewart Bryant <>, tom petch <>
Cc: John C Klensin <>, IETF Rinse Repeat <>, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <>
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From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2020 11:29:05 +1300
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On 26-Feb-20 23:28, Stewart Bryant wrote:
>> On 26 Feb 2020, at 09:56, tom petch < <>> wrote:
>> On 26/02/2020 09:35, Stewart Bryant wrote:
>>> Before my time, but was IPv4 designed before or after the Internet was released from the government to the public?

It was never really a government project; it was a DARPA-funded R&D project. And there are various good books about the early days. I happen to like "Where wizards stay up late" by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon, but there are others.

The TCP/IP split and IPv4 really date from about 1977, with the cutover date being 1/1/1983. I'm sure the spec was available before RFC791. It was still DARPA-funded then, of course.

>> Way before, if I understand your question aright.
>> I see the start of the public internet as April, 1995, when commercial activity, over and above applying for NSF grants, was permitted.  This enabled ISPs as we now know them.

There were commercial operators before then, including outside the USA. Also, .com originated before 1995, see RFC1591.

>> IPv4?  I date to RFC791, September 1981 although much of the technology was fixed before then.
>> Tom Petch
> My question was semi-rhetorical because I did not remember the exact timing, but I think this conforms my suspicion that the key technical decisions behind the Internet were made whilst it was under government control.

IMHO it was never under government control; it was R&D paid for by the US government, which is very different.

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