The internet goes global

The world wide what?
The world wide what?

The internet as we know it had begun

Could we really imagine life without the web? It is used in almost everything we do today. Buying a laptop, ordering a pizza, reading the latest news, keeping up with friends far and wide – all can be achieved with a few clicks online. Its use has changed business, healthcare, education and even social interactions.

Yet the web we now know started with a single purpose – to exchange information between scientists based in universities and institutes around the world. British scientist Tim Berners-Lee is credited as inventing the modern internet while working at CERN.
A new approach to information management

Through his 'vague but exciting' Information Management: A Proposal, Tim Berners-Lee outlined the principal concepts and defined important terms behind the web. The document described a project called "WorldWideWeb" in which a "web" of "hypertext documents" could be viewed by “browsers”.

By the end of 1990, Tim Berners-Lee had the first Web server and browser up and running at CERN and had started working on the code for his Web server. He released his WWW software in March 1991, where the software became available to colleagues using CERN computers. A few months later, in August 1991, he announced the WorldWideWeb (WWW) project which aimed ”to allow links to be made to any information anywhere” and asked for collaborators to help spread the web to other areas. Interest in the project spread around the world and the internet as we know it had begun.
“The WorldWideWeb (WWW) project aims to allow links to be made to any information anywhere”
Tim Berners-Lee, 1991

Key facts

6 August 1991

Berners-Lee published a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the newsgroup alt.hypertext – releasing his browser to the general public.


The first server outside Europe was installed in December 1991 at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in Palo Alto, California.


website in 1991 to 1 billion by 2014.


was the first abbreviation for the World Wide Web.

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