25 years of Internet in Australia

Matt Blowes June 25, 2014

On June 23, 1989, a single connection was established that began a revolution in our country. A real-time link connecting the University of Melbourne and Hawaii was switched on. Australia had joined the internet.

Justin Zobel, now the head of IT at the University of Melbourne's School of Engineering, was a young researcher in the department when it all began.

He recalled, "People could share work efficiently for the first time, but it was in an era when storage capacities and bandwidth were drastically smaller. The storage system for the whole of the University of Melbourne was 50MB".

The small storage size was adequate though, Australia started life on the internet downloading only 4MB a day. Roughly the size of a short music track.

Users of the internet those days were mostly academics sharing information but the introduction of cheaper hard drives and the creation of the first effective web search two and a half years later helped it grow significantly.

But it was the Mosaic web browser in 1993 which finally created an interface for accessing the internet in a way similar to how we use it today.

In 2014, our connections are faster and use more bandwidth than those pioneers could have imagined 25-years-ago, we can only dream of how we might use the internet 25-years from now.

See more on how the internet began at The Queensland Times.

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