Internet: Worldwide Information
in Seconds

Bolt, Beranek and Newman

In 1969, the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA, sent out a request for proposals to develops IMPs, or Interface Message Processors, that would act as connectors to send and receive data between computers at Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and other institutions around the country.

Several prominent companies including IBM, Digital, and Raytheon submitted proposals, but the relatively small consulting firm of Bolt, Beranek and Newman, located at Fresh Pond in Cambridge, won the contract.

The entrepreneurial attitudes of the BBN scientists made the company ideal for the ARPANET project. One of the six managers of the project team was Frank Heart. In the 1950s he had worked on the Whirlwind computer at MIT's Lincoln Lab. Heart had all kinds of ideas about how computers could be engineered to assist people, and he was known as a guy who got things done.

The teamwork at BBN led to the Internet in 1989. The World Wide Web added graphics and sound in 1993. Today this research has completely changed how we communicate in our daily lives.

  Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet
by Katie Hafner