The Dutch have were early innovators in the development of the World Wide Web. Nikhef, the Dutch National Institute for Subatomic Physics, launched one of the first World Wide Web servers back in 1992. Nikhef is still at Science Park Amsterdam today, cross-connected by dark fiber to Equinix AM3, alongside many other crucial network nodes such as the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), one of the busiest Internet peering points in the world.
On 17 November 1988, the first transatlantic email was sent from Science Park Amsterdam. The message was transmitted from the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Sciences (CWI) to the American academic computer network NSFnet, the forerunner of today's Internet. Thus, what was arguably the first Internet connection between Europe and the United States was made.
Before that time, there were some European links with NSFnets predecessor, ARPAnet, which was closely linked to the U.S. Department of Defense and therefore private. The connection with NSFnet was one of the first steps toward the open Internet as we know it today.
Shortly after CWI was connected to the Internet, other academic and research institutions from the Netherlands and the rest of Europe followed. It wasn't until much later that commercial companies gained access. Consumers had to wait until 1993.
Als digitales Tor in die USA wurde das CWI zum wichtigsten europäischen Internet-Knoten. 1996 übertrug das Institut dann diese Aufgaben an den Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), Nikhef und SARA (inzwischen SURFsara). Aktuell ist der AMS-IX der wohl wichtigste Internet-Knoten für Verbindungen zwischen europäischen Ländern und den USA.