Vinton Cerf, now Internet Evangelist in Google, created the Internet along with Robert Kahn. Without the help of three Norwegians; Pål Spilling, Yngvar Lund and Dag Belsnes, they might never have succeeded. At Stanford University in California, you’ll see a plaque engraved with 33 names – people in the world that were most significant in the development of basic Internet technology.
Birth of Internet Commemorative plaque at Stanford The three Norwegians contribution was very important for TCP/IP technology that we developed, Cerf said to me when I met him in Oslo in 2007. It all started in the 1970s when there was several internal computer networks developed in U.S. (e.g. Arpanet) and UK. Cerf wanted to develop a technology for connecting networks together, so-called Inter-netting, so that data could be transferred between computers connected to arbitrary network. His group of students and researchers, including the Norwegians Day Belsnes and Pål Spilling, worked hard to develop this technology; both in data transporting and guarantee of that data received the right computer. This technology is what we call the TCP/IP protocol system.

Rosing – The IT Award Ceremony in Norway:
The Norwegian Computer Society (DND) is the host of this yearly Award event. Awards are given out in categories like “IT Security”, “Usability”, “Competence”, “Creativity”, “Best Net Service” e.g. to software companies, consultants, organization or others that have provided some special and good solutions within IT and the Internet. However, it is a distinction which ranks higher than all others, namely The Honorary Award and this year it was given to these three Norwegians:
Rosing IT Honorary Award 2010 by RennyBA
From left: Belsnes, Lund & Spilling – Right: M. Thorkildsen, IBM & President of DND

I had the honour and pleasure to have a nice chat with these three internet pioneers at the Award party tonight. Belsnes said he met Cerf at a conference in England in 1973, and went to Stanford in California the year after. The focus at that time was to establish a pairing between the different networks that were under development and the objective was to make a network connection from end to end. Spilling said it was a very inspiring team effort and their contributions were mainly measurements, calculations and simulations to determine which options best suited. In January 1983 the whole Internet consisting of about 400 machines using the transport control (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) standard to transfer data in the network between computers: Internet was created and with Norwegian help!

Vinton G. Cerf at Rosing Award ceremony in 2007:
Vinton G. Cerf and RennyBA Like I said, Cerf was here and I met him in 2007 when we had a nice chat too. I said I had heard Norway was the first country outside US who connected to the Arpanet, but he wasn’t sure if it was UK or Norway.
With a gray beard, mustache, his stylish suit and tie, it’s almost as you realize that he is not like any other American – besides being “the Internet’s father”. He was very nice talking to and although he was not physically present this year, it was kind of a full circle made when he sent a video greeting that was played tonight to congratulate the Norwegian winners.

You may read all about his visit and key note presentation in 2007 from my post: “Vinton G. Cerf at Norway’s IT Award Ceremony”.


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