Commercialization of the Internet

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Commercialization of internet refers to managing or running online services principally for financial gain.

Early history (1988-1993)[edit]

The commercialization of the Internet began modestly with gateways between commercial services and the global Internet. Early examples include a relay between Compuserve and the NSFNET in July 1989 at Ohio State University and a commercial Internet e-mail exchange in the UK in 1988.[1]

UUNET was the first company to sell commercial TCP/IP, first to government-approved corporations in November 1988[2] and then actively to the public starting in January 1990, albeit only to the NSFNET backbone with their approval. [2]

Barry Shein's The World STD was selling dial-up Internet on a legally questionable basis starting in late 1989 or early 1990,[3] and then on an approved basis by 1992. He claims to be[citation needed] and is generally recognized[citation needed] as the first to ever think of selling dial-up Internet access for money.

Internet becomes a true commercial medium (1994-present)[edit]

Although the Internet infrastructure was mostly privately owned by 1993, the lack of security in the protocols made doing business and obtaining capital for commercial projects on the Internet difficult[citation needed]. Additionally, the legality of Internet business was still somewhat grey, though increasingly tolerated, which prevented large amounts of investment money from entering the medium. This changed with the NSFNET selling its assets in 1995 and the December 1994 release of Netscape Navigator, whose HTTPS secure protocol permitted relatively safe transfer of credit and debit card information.

This along with the advent of user-friendly Web browsers and ISP portals such as America Online, along with the disbanding of the NSFNET in 1995 is what led to the corporate Internet and the dot com boom of the late 1990s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Banks, Michael (24 October 2012). On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders. Apress. pp. 181–. ISBN 978-1-4302-5074-6.
  2. ^ a b "Interesting People: re: A Ridiculous Failure of Critical Infrastructure".
  3. ^ "Barry Shein Founded the First Dialup ISP (Video) - Slashdot".