Amsterdam: Fostering Development of the Internet

Les Pays-Bas : le berceau du World Wide Web


The Dutch have were early innovators in the development of the World Wide Web. Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics, launched one of the first World Wide Web servers back in 1992. Nikhef is still at Science Park Amsterdam today, cross-connected by dark fiber to Equinix AM3, alongside many other crucial network nodes such as the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), one of the busiest Internet peering points in the world.

Le premier e-mail transatlantique

On 17 November 1988, the first transatlantic email was sent from Science Park Amsterdam. The message was transmitted from the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Sciences (CWI) to the American academic computer network NSFnet, the forerunner of today's Internet. Thus, what was arguably the first Internet connection between Europe and the United States was made.


Before that time, there were some European links with NSFnets predecessor, ARPAnet, which was closely linked to the U.S. Department of Defense and therefore private. The connection with NSFnet was one of the first steps toward the open Internet as we know it today.






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Passerelle numérique

Shortly after CWI was connected to the Internet, other academic and research institutions from the Netherlands and the rest of Europe followed. It wasn't until much later that commercial companies gained access. Consumers had to wait until 1993.


En tant que passerelle numérique vers les États-Unis, le CWI est devenu le principal Internet exchange européen. En 1996, l'institut l'a transféré vers l'Internet Exchange d'Amsterdam (AMS-IX), le Nikhef et SARA (désormais SURFsara). Aujourd'hui, AMS-IX demeure l'Internet exchange le plus important entre l'Europe et les États-Unis.

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