On this day, 30 years ago, the World Wide Web was born. A seemingly complex invention that would go on to open the Internet up to billions of people, creating opportunity in ways we could never imagine.

As we celebrate the anniversary of this game-changing technology, we look at how the Web has redefined what is possible in so many ways, and why the digital innovations of the next 30 years require a shared responsibility.

When the Web was imagined at CERN on 12thMarch 1989 the world changed for the better.

With over 80% of the world’s internet traffic touching Cisco’s technology in some way, we’re proud to have played our part in this fantastic innovation.

We’re marking the 30th anniversary with a collection of 30 world firsts made possible by this amazing technology. You can find them here.

Redefining “possible”

Thinking back 30 years, who could have imagined that it would be possible to shop from a computer, or hold real time video conversations with someone on the other side of the world using a telephone?

Today everything from your smart speaker, to your watch, or the vending machine down the hall might be connected (note: the first connected ‘IoT’ vending machine actually pre-dates the Web).And cities are now able to remotely monitor and report on air pollution, optimise refuse collection, or guide citizens to an empty parking spot. 

Where we’re going next is pretty exciting too. From driverless cars to intelligent sensors, the Web is opening up almost unlimited possibilities.

But what were the milestones that unleashed this digital revolution?

 “The ultimate killer app”

Essentially, ‘the Internet’ is the network of wires and protocols that information travels across. The World Wide Web is an application that runs on the Internet. In fact, it’s the single biggest application on the Internet. According to Scientific American.com: “…the Web turned out to be the killer app of all time”:


– In 1989, English scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. His vision for what would become the web was outlined in a document called “Information Management: A Proposal

– At CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, the world’s first website and server went live in 1990. They ran on Tim Berners-Lee’s NeXT computer which displays the message: “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN!”

– In 1992, Cisco filed its first patent for IGRP (Interior Gateway Routing Protocol)

– In 1992, IBM created the world’s first smartphone, the Simon Personal Communicator – way ahead of the Blackberry or Apple’s iPhone

– In 1994 a pizza was ordered on the web for the first time – a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese

– Netscape Communications invented the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Protocol in 1994, marking an increased level of concern around internet security generally

– In 2010, Cisco launched an Internet router into space


Creating an inclusive digital society

As the Web has evolved, so too have the challenges faced; we are still tackling a digital divide in which nearly 50% of the world’s population are yet to be connected – from rural communities, to the socially excluded. And as those communities and individuals come online, there will be additional challenges and opportunity faced – from training and skills, to the increased threat landscape with every additional connection.

From data breaches, to online privacy. In both, it is clear that everyone has a role to play in securing the internet, whether sharing data safely, being responsible users of social media or consumers guarding our own devices against hacking. 

Just as we’ve seen the Internet benefit societies and individuals over the last 30 years, we anticipate that it will continue to change and improve our lives, presenting us with many new opportunities.

Cisco has been at the forefront of connectivity for as long as the Web has existed. Today, we lead the field in areas as diverse as cloudcollaborationenterprise workingdata centre technologies and security, and we’ll continue to be there for the next 30 years to ensure whatever the advances in technology, we create an inclusive society where everyone benefits. 



What’s the best thing that the Web has enabled you to do? Leave your comments below.

Originally Posted at: https://emear.thecisconetwork.com/site/content/lang/en/id/10281