ARPANET Envy Fueled BITNET Creation

December 9, 2019
Ira Fuchs

Envy helped drive Internet Hall of Fame inductee Ira Fuchs into action. 

A 2017 inductee into the Internet Hall of Fame, Fuchs is a co-founder of BITNET, a cooperative network between the City University of New York and Yale University that provided email, file transfer, and instant messaging to faculty, researchers and students throughout the world in the early 1980s.

In a video interview from his 2017 induction, Fuchs acknowledged that BITNET’s origins stemmed in part from a desire to be able to use something similar to another precursor to the Internet: ARPANET

“The fact is that I was envious of ARPANET users,” he said. “It was only available to a small number of schools and universities within the United States…and I thought this was great, but when is it going to be available and affordable to a larger group?”