The Internet (note the capital 'I'; just as there are many 'white houses', but only one 'White House', there are many 'internets', but only one 'Internet' - and like the example, 'internet' and 'Internet' have different meanings, so changing the capitalization changes the meaning) is an internet (the short form of the term internetwork) which is the world's dominant information network.
It is to some degree a direct descendant of the ground-breaking ARPANET, but only in the sense that its early dominant application protocols (TELNET, FTP, and email) were direct clones of those of the ARPANET; that the technical community which created it was an overlap/descendant of the one which produced the ARPANET; and that the document series which describes the protocols (the Request for Comments series) is a continuous whole. (See the TCP/IP article for more on TCP/IP's antecedents.)
- INWG and the Conception of the Internet: An Eyewitness Account
- A Brief History of the Internet
- The “hidden” Prehistory of European Research Networking - A wonderfully detailed history of the spread of the Internet in Europe
- Born in a Van: Happy 40th Birthday to the Internet! - spells 'Internet' incorrectly, but otherwise pretty good