The internet as we know it today is the result of decades of research and development. ARPANET, the precursor to the internet, was created in the 1960s by the US military and designed to be a secure and reliable communication network for the government. Universities and research institutions then adopted this technology in the 1970s and used it to share research and connect with colleagues around the globe. In the 1980s, the US government liberalized this technology, allowing commercial businesses to connect to the network. Finally, the commercialization of the internet in the mid-1990s saw the birth of the modern internet, with widespread access to personal computers and the rise of online service providers such as AOL and Prodigy.