Five engineers who created the internet and the World Wide Web have together won the £1 million Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for their innovations which have revolutionised the way we communicate and live today.

Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf, Louis Pouzin, Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreessen will be formally presented their prize in June by The Queen.

The internet built on the work done on the ARPAnet in the 1960s. Bob Kahn, Vint Cerf and Louis Pouzin made seminal contributions to the design and protocols that together make up the fundamental architecture at the heart of the internet.

The internet as a networking infrastructure connects billions of computers together globally. It was Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the world wide web – an information-sharing model that is built on top of the internet – that allows us to use it in the way we do today. The web vastly extended the use of the internet beyond email and file transfer.

Marc Andreessen wrote the Mosaic browser that made the web accessible to everyone and triggered a huge number of applications unimagined by the early network pioneers.

Currently a third of the world’s population uses the internet which is estimated to carry around 330 petabytes of data per year, enough to transfer every character ever written in every book ever published 20 times over.

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