The French Cyclades network was an experiment in the 1970s that implemented an innovative approach to packet-switched networking. Its most notable contribution was the way in which it departed from traditional telecommunications approaches that relied on continuous circuits and instead used a connection-less or pure datagram approach that could reliably switch messages among computers in the absence of continuous connections. This entry looks at the network’s development, its structure and performance, how it differed from other approaches, and its impact.

The history of Cyclades highlights several aspects of the history of information networks in an era of many such experiments in the 1970s. On a supranational level, it shows that Internet creation is not a linear U.S. success story that starts with the Advanced Research Projects ...

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