Updated: 05/05/2017 by Computer Hope

national science foundation networkShort for National Science Foundation Network. NSFNET is a wide-area network started by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It went online in 1986 and during the late 1980's and early 1990's was a crucial backbone to ARPANET and the Internet. During 1990 and 1991, NSFNET was restructured and created a not-for-profit entity and a for-profit subsidiary to help with the commercial development of the network.

ARPANET, CSNET, Network terms