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Researcher Ulf Bilting connects Sweden to the internet

In the early summer of 1984, Ulf Bilting connects Sweden to the internet. He adds the first Swedish IP network – – which is the connected to the American Arpanet.

When did the internet come to Sweden?

When Ulf Bilting creates the connection to the internet, Sweden becomes one of the first countries outside the USA to be a part of the internet.

What Ulf does is set up the first Swedish IP network - - which is then connected to the American Arpanet (a research network that later became the internet). This enables computers connected to the Swedish network to communicate and share information with other connected computers, at this time mainly in the USA.

The whole thing begins at a conference a few years earlier, when Ulf Bilting gets in touch with some American scientists. They are interested in enabling non-military institutions to connect to the Arpanet. And they envision global possibilities with the network and ask Ulf if he wants the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg to be connected.

Ulf Bilting is curious about the internet and TCP/IP, but he and many of his colleagues believe that the national telephony company in Sweden and other countries will be in charge of the digital communications of the future, using the X.25 standard.

Still, be begins experimenting. There is an X.25 connection at Chalmers. What Ulf Bilting needs to do is develop a driver to handle IP packets within X.25, and to install it on to Chalmers mainframe computer. When it was done, there was no fanfare and nothing to mark the occation. It was just another day at work.

– Nobody was handing out balloons at the door, says Ulf Bilting in the interview with Internet museum, which you can see here (in Swedish only).