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Into the networked age
Before the Internet came about there were other solutions to the need for data exchange and computer networking.

At various stages, these solutions were hailed as 'the future'.
The growth of e-mail
The Internet delivered e-mail - that other great social and business phenomenon of the last few years.

Since the late 1990s e-mail has started to reach every area of our lives, transforming the way we organise our work and social time.

Up to 50 million people are using e-mail worldwide. Not all that many yet, but the number is still doubling every two years. The growth of e-mail traffic has been even more rapid. There were around 2,000 million e-mails sent during 1998. By 2001 the annual traffic had grown six fold to around 12 billion - and it's still increasing at about 50 per cent a year.
Development of the Internet
The Internet didn't just happen overnight - rather it was the end result of a search that had been in place since the late 1950s.

By the time the world started to get online in the mid 1990s, the Net had been almost 40 years in the making.

Take a look at our free and exciting secondary education learning resource for a more detailed history of the Internet.
fun and games

Can you beat our games? Explode equipment to see what's inside, hear the changing sounds of telecommunications, see how telecommunications designs have changed over time or send an e-postacard.

what's on

The UK's first permanent gallery dedicated to the history of information and communication technologies opens in the new Information Age gallery at London’s Science Museum.

audio history

Take a trip down memory lane with extracts of the interviews which have been recorded as part of the Connected Earth oral history programme.

featured story

100 years of automatic switching!
In 1912 the GPO installed Britain's first automatic telephone exchange in Epsom.

Discover the early days of the telephone...