Early X.25-based public data network in the United States
Telenet was an American commercial packet-switched network which went into service in 1975. It was the first FCC-licensed public data network in the United States. Various commercial and government interests paid monthly fees for dedicated lines connecting their computers and local networks to this backbone network. Free public dialup access to Telenet, for those who wished to access these systems, was provided in hundreds of cities throughout the United States.
The original founding company, Telenet Inc., was established by Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) and recruited Larry Roberts (former head of the ARPANet) as President of the company, and Barry Wessler. GTE acquired Telenet in 1979. It was later acquired by Sprint and called "Sprintnet". Sprint migrated customers from Telenet to the modern-day Sprintlink IP network, one of many networks composing today's Internet.
Telenet had its first offices in downtown Washington, D.C., then moved to McLean, Virginia. It was acquired by GTE while in McLean, and then moved offices in Reston, Virginia.
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