You can see History of Internet part 1 : Here
You can see History of Internet part 2 : Here
In 1986, the National Science Foundation funded NSFNet as a cross country 56 Kbps backbone for the Internet. They maintained their sponsorship for nearly a decade, setting rules for its non-commercial government and research uses.
Between the beginning of 1986 and the end of 1987 the number of networks grows from 2,000 to nearly 30,000.
As the commands for e-mail, FTP, and telnet were standardized, it became a lot easier for non-technical people to learn to use the nets. It was not easy by today's standards by any means, but it did open up use of the Internet to many more people in universities in particular.
Other departments besides the libraries, computer, physics, and engineering departments found ways to make good use of the nets--to communicate with colleagues around the world and to share files and resources.
In 1989 another significant event took place in making the nets easier to use. Tim Berners-Lee and others at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, more popularly known as CERN, proposed a new protocol for information distribution. This protocol, which became the World Wide Web in 1991, was based on hypertext--a system of embedding links in text to link to other text, which you have been using every time you selected a text link while browsing the internet.
Since the Internet was initially funded by the government, it was originally limited to research, education, and government uses. Commercial uses were prohibited unless they directly served the goals of research and education. This policy continued until the early 90's, when independent commercial networks began to grow.
It then became possible to route traffic across the country from one commercial site to another without passing through the government funded NSFNet Internet backbone.
Delphi was the first national commercial online service to offer Internet access to its subscribers. It opened up an email connection in July 1992 and full Internet service in November 1992.
Microsoft's full scale entry into the browser, server, and Internet Service Provider market completed the major shift over to a commercially based Internet. The release of Windows 98 in June 1998 with the Microsoft browser well integrated into the desktop shows Bill Gates' determination to capitalize on the enormous growth of the Internet.
A current trend with major implications for the future is the growth of high speed connections. 56K modems and the providers who supported them spread widely for a while, but this is the low end now. 56K is not fast enough to carry multimedia, such as sound and video except in low quality.
But new technologies many times faster, such as cablemodems and digital subscriber lines (DSL) are predominant now.
Wireless has grown rapidly in the past few years, and travellers search for the wi-fi "hot spots" where they can connect while they are away from the home or office. Many airports, coffee bars, hotels and motels now routinely provide these services, some for a fee and some for free.
The next big growth area is the surge towards universal wireless access, where almost everywhere is a "hot spot".