History of the Janet Network

Speaker: Dr Robin Tasker
Date: Tuesday 26th March 2024
Time: 16:45 for 17:15

Manchester Metropolitan University, Business School, BS 1.22 (North Atrium)
Please note change of venue.

The Zoom link for this meeting is here.


About the seminar

The Janet network was formally established in 1984 and so this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. Back then, and for the first time, researchers and academics in 60 universities and research establishments were able to access high speed internet connections across a national research network.

Much has changed across the intervening years.

Today the Janet network connects more than 900 organisations and 18 million users to the global internet and to a multitude of cloud service providers. The core network and associated 14 regional networks contain in excess of 18,000km of fibre optic cable and carries at least 6 petabytes of data each day. This talk will go back to the the very beginning; to the early 1970s and explore the history of the ideas and initiatives, the various Reports and negotiations to agree technical, financial and organisational matters that gave rise to the Janet network. And it will record a journey from kilobits to terabits, from packet switching to TCP/IP, from Coloured Books to RFCs, and from the specialist user to general purpose participation.

About the speaker

Dr Robin Tasker graduated in 1974 from Edinburgh University with a degree in Ecological Science, and in 1977 with a PhD in Plant Physiology from Nottingham University. He joined the Science Research Council in 1979 working at the Daresbury Laboratory in the Network Development Group, and remained with the Research Council throughout his career, latterly as Head of Network and Communications for the entire organisation. Robin was active in LAN research and development and as a voting member of the IEEE 802, but also worked on high speed transport protocols and areas of traffic engineering. For many years he was involved as a technical expert, and latterly led, the UK international standardisation activities in the area of data communications via the British Standards Institution at the International Standards Organisation.