Institute for Telecommunication Sciences / March 1976

March 1976: ITS Connects to the ARPANET

In 1975, the Federal Telecommunications Standard Committee (FTSC) assigned Lead Agency responsibility to ITS for the development of Federal Standard 1033, “Criteria for Assessing the Performance of Telecommunication Systems Used to Support Federal Information Processing. ITS interfaced its newly acquired host system to the ARPANET in March 1976 and immediately began performance parameter measurements on ARPANET transmissions. Pointing to the rapid growth of digital communications to permit transfer of data between computers, the encryption of voice communications for security reasons, and the growth of specialized networks for business, health care, electronic message transfer, etc. ITS reported in its FY 1976 Technical Performance Report research done to develop measures of performance and cost, and procedures for selecting alternative approaches for procurement or leasing such capabilities. A principal focus, then as now, was the search to define effective, uniform, user-oriented means of describing and measuring the performance of digital communication systems. Today, the ITS Audio and Video Quality programs continue to add to a decades long portfolio of research into the relationship between radio link conditions, as defined by quantifiable engineering parameters, and the perceived quality of the transmission—the user Quality of Experience.