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Over time, a complex web of gateways and routing systems linked many of them.
Many US universities were part of the ARPANET (created in the late-1960s), which aimed at software portability between its systems.
The Internet email message format is now defined by RFC 5322, with encoding of non-ASCII data and multimedia content attachments being defined in RFC 2045 through RFC 2049, collectively called Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions or MIME.
Email first entered limited use in the 1960s and by the mid-1970s had taken the form now recognized as email.Electronic mail has been most commonly called email or e-mail since around 1993, Computer-based mail and messaging became possible with the advent of time-sharing computers in the early 1960s, and informal methods of using shared files to pass messages were soon expanded into the first mail systems.Most developers of early mainframes and minicomputers developed similar, but generally incompatible, mail applications.For example, several writers in the early 1970s used the term to describe fax document transmission.As a result, it is difficult to find the first citation for the use of the term with the more specific meaning it has today.