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Whoopsie – BT Openreach Advert Claims UK Invented the Internet

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 (7:45 am) - Score 864
bt openreach logo uk

Most people with IT knowledge know that the Internet stemmed from a 1960’s project in the United States (ARPANET), but apparently nobody told BTOpenreach (you know.. that company responsible for phone and Internet services) after one of their adverts hailed the UK as the “country that invented the internet“. Oops.

In fairness it could perhaps be argued that some of the founding ideas behind how the Internet works were actually built on a combination of technologies, some of which did come from the United Kingdom (Alan Turing anybody?). But that’s also true of oh so many other things and isn’t how we gauge the creation of a new invention.

Equally British folk can feel some comfort from the knowledge that we did have a positive input further down the line. For example, Sir Tim Berners-Lee famously gave us the web (HTTP) protocol that helped to make the Internet what it is today (admittedly he was working for CERN at the time) and perhaps this is where BT got their wires crossed.

A BT Spokesperson said (BBC):

For most people, the words ‘internet’ and ‘world wide web’ are interchangeable,” said a spokesman for the firm. We accept the language wasn’t precise enough for some, but no harm has been done.”

The advertisement itself appears to have been some sort of full page print, although it’s not clear if the promotion appeared in a magazine, newspaper or as an independent poster. In next week’s news, Virgin Media will claim to have invented cables.

Mind you we did kind of, sort of.. you know, colonise North America so doesn’t that.. um never mind.

Add to Diigo
Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar peter

    LMAO idiots!

  2. Avatar GNewton

    Well, in the UK you get fibre through copper, so anything is possible here 🙂

  3. Avatar Shane

    If they created the internet, the internet would still be on Dial up, they would charge a fortune to get 128kbps and then ignore any complaints, issues or problems you have with the service.

    BT’s favourite line ‘Someone will call you back’

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