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CERN Networking Group

Last Edit: 10/01/17

The CERN Networking Group was created in 1983, and the aim of the group was to build an internal and external network infrastucture for CERN. CERN is a European scientific research organisation, and it's official title is: The European Organization for Nuclear Research. CERN was founded on the 29th of September, 1954. CERN's head quarters are located at: Meyrin, Canton de Genève, Switzerland.

The CERN Networking Group was a relatively small group and was comprised of the following members:

  1. Ben Segal
  2. Brian Carpenter
  3. François Flückiger
  4. Giorgio Heiman
  5. Jean-Michel Jouanigot
  6. Les Robertson
  7. Olivier Martin.

It was decided by the group, between 1983-1985, that they should implement the TCP/IP networking model for their external network, instead of the ISO networking model. Most European government supported the ISO networking standard, and therefore, there was a certain amount of resistance to CERN implementing TCP/IP; TCP/IP's development was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

From 1988-1989, CERN opened it's first external connections, and members of the CERN Networking Group went to a meeting of the Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Network (CCIRN). Vint Cerf was present at these meetings, and the agreement was that a European organisation for the Internet was required to manage the allocating of IP addresses for European IP networks. In the 1980's, there was a general European opposition to adopting Internet technologies.

The result of the CCIRN meetings - which included CERN Networking Group members Ben Segal and Olivier Martin - was the creation of RIPE (Réseaux IP Européens). RIPE is a nonprofit European organisation that is responsible for the allocation of IP addresses to European TCP/IP computer networks. By 1991, the CERN external network was the leading European Internet hub; estimates suggest that over 70% of Europe's international Internet traffic was 'handled' by the CERN external network.