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Arpanet finally becomes an international network - via Sweden

Until 1973 the Arpanet is strictly an American affair. But by making a connection with Norway (through Sweden) the network becomes international. The internet.

Arpanet is the name of the computer network which will become the foundation of what we now call the internet. In the first years only a few computers are connected, but the number of nodes grows in the USA at the beginning of the 1970's.

It's not until June 15, 1973, that the network becomes international. The first computer to be connected to the Arpanet from outside the US is Norwegian, and it is reached over satellite. What few people know is that Sweden played a part in this historical internet event. The first internet connection is routed through the ground station of Tanum in Bohuslän, Sweden, which then sends on the signal to Norway and Norsar (a research center founded together with the USA to detect earthquakes and nuclear explosions).

Why Norway is first

The reason why Norway is the first country to connect to the Arpanet is because of the the military connections established between Norwegians and Americans during the Cold War years. One month after the Norwegian connection, a British computer is added to the Arpanet.

The name "internet" is soon coined, as an abbreviation of  "internetworking". The creator of the two essential protocols TCP and IP (TCP/IP), Vint Cerf, writes "internet" in a text from 1974, and this is considered the birth year of the word.