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This document is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/OzIHist.html
The predecessor version is at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/OzIHistv990712.html
Until about 1990, telecommunications in Australia was all about the transmission of voice (Moyal 1984). Networks specifically designed for data did emerge as early as the early 1970s, notably, the Common User Data Network (CUDN). But, for many years, most data transmission used connections designed for voice, which had the capability to carry data retro-fitted to them. This document is in part the story of how the Internet in Australia emerged despite the slowness of the public telephone commission, Telecom, then corporation, Telstra, to adapt to the demands for, and to nurture the opportunities presented by, data transmission.
It's not easy to find authoritative material on the Internet's history in Australia. In fact, the National Library of Australia quickly created a mirror of this paper when I first published it, because they could find so little. In mid-2001, this remains the sole document that they have archived on this topic.
The first draft of this paper was cobbled together from unreliable memories, an e-interview with pioneer Geoff Huston, and key segments from Lance (1998). I've received information from a variety of people in response to requests for informaiton that I placed on the link list, plus emails from people who found the paper via e-lists or search-engines. I've also drawn on such few papers as I've found on the web, and listed in the Reference List below.
Readers not familiar with the elements of Internet architecture and the nature of Internet protocols and services are advised to read this paper in conjunction with Clarke et al. (1998).
My Declaration of Interest below states that I bring no special authority to the writing of this paper. And the expression, and the inevitable errors of commission and omission, are those of myself alone!!! To enable me to improve this document, please send me corrections, suggestions for improvement, URLs, references to hard-copy documents, and information both attributable and not-for-quotation.
In the late 1960s, researchers in the U.S. gained funding from that country's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a computer network concept. In September 1969, the first pair of nodes was installed at the University of California, Los Angeles campus (UCLA). The first external link was to Stanford Research Institute (SRI), several hundred kilometers north. The network was dubbed ARPANET, and grew steadily (Leiner 2000).
About the mid-1970s, during the ARPANET's early years, a few Australians made spasmodic connections to it via the international dial-up service offered by the then Australian Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC).
Meanwhile, within Australia, computer science departments were stringing links together. The Universities of Melbourne and Wollongong exchanged files between two Unix-based computers using a dial-up line and the Unix-to-Unix Copy Protocol (uucp). From the mid-1970s onwards, Robert Elz at the University of Melbourne, and Bob Kummerfeld and Piers Lauder at the University of Sydney ran the very successful Australian Computer Science network (ACSnet). ACSnet's echoes are still reverberating in the form of the .oz.au domain. George Michaelson explained it in 1999 this way: "The ACSnet protocol implemented a dialup modem-based network with store-and-forward as well as live-transfer properties. It was connected into the pre-internet global mail community via gateways to UUCP and other protocols".
George also made the following interesting remark: "Another reason [for Australian computer scientists gaining access to the Internet about 5 years later than they should have] was that asynchronous store-and-forward networking (UUCP, ACSNet) was so successful at delivering the core services (ftp, mail, news) that the inability to perform telnet was a minor issue. The cost:benefit equation for most people wasn't there. ... This is not to BLAME ACSnet for impeding Internet: it made [the Internet] redundant until the cost:benefit issues changed. More power to [ACSnet founders] Bob Kummerfeld and Piers Dick Lauder!". Note, however, that basically all Australian computer scientists in universities and CAEs, and some employed in industry) had ftp and email from the late 1970s, whereas non-CS 'early adopter' Australians had to wait until the early-to-mid 1990s!).
For interstate links, ACSnet used the other major network in Australia at the time, the X.25-based CSIROnet. CSIROnet was eventually sold off by the CSIRO. It operated for a time as a commercial service, and was gradually converted into one of the closed 'value-added networks' or VANs that provided services based on proprietary protocols to large corporations between about 1984 and about 1997. These failed to ever achieve any significant inter-operability, and remained largely as independent islands.
In the early 1980s, a permanent Australian email connection to the U.S. ARPAnet was established. This involved various contributions by (now Prof.) Bob Kummerfeld and Piers Lauders at the University of Sydney, and Prof. Peter Poole and Robert Elz at the University of Melbourne. In 1984, the Top Level Domain (TLD) .au was delegated to Robert Elz, at Melbourne University. In the mid-1980s, Geoff Huston at ANU contributed an email gateway from the ACSnet mail delivery system into the DEC VAX/VMS systems that had come to dominate University computer installations following their first implementation at the ANU's Mt Stromlo Observatory in 1978.
Mail and news spread widely through Australin university and research communities in the mid-1980's, although almost entirely in computer science and closely related areas. There were various attempts to set up a broader university network through that decade. One that made considerable progress during about 1985-88 was an Australian Vice-Chancellor's Committee (AVCC) initiative called South Pacific Education And Research Network (SPEARNET), which was assisted by DEC. This provided a battlefield for the proponents of 'The Coloured Book', associated with ISO OSI protocols in general and X.25 in particular, and Unix devotees, who strongly preferred the Internet Protocol (IP).
In 1987-88, a report (the 'Carrs Report') was prepared for the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee, proposing that the AVCC endorse, and provide pooled funding for, the establishment of a network that would deliver data, voice and fax services.
This report was widely criticised within the University environment. The AVCC nonetheless took the decision to implement a national network. The Steering Committee was chaired by Prof. Ken McKinnon of the University of Wollongong. Much of the technical work was performed by a Working Committee chaired by Dr Robin Erskine of the ANU. The intent of the Carrs report was embarked upon, but the details were changed quite substantially along the way.
One formative influence was a 1988 program, sponsored by NASA and undertaken by the University of Hawaii, to extend the research Internet to the Pacific Rim. The ACSnet, SPEARNet and TAFE communities ran a series of 'netconferences'. An influential presentation at one of these conferences explained a model called NORDUNet. This was a federation of Nordic IP ventures, whose structure and governance appeared to many people to be appropriate to Australia.
By late 1988, the technical committee had a clear concept of the viability of constructing such a network. Geoff Huston was transferred from the ANU to the AVCC in March 1989, as the initial Technical Manager of the network. He worked with Robert Elz, Robin Erskine and Ken McKinnon to prepare a financial, technical and business plan that was acceptable to the AVCC and its constituency. Approval to proceed was given in about May 1989, and the focus then shifted to funding models for the remainder of that year.
In May/June 1989, the NASA / University of Hawaii program came to fruition with a 56Kbps satellite circuit funded by Australian organisations at this end and the University of Hawaiii / NASA at the US end. Geoff Huston advises that the connection comprised "an Intelsat spacecraft, using a hemispherical transponder to link an earth station located at Hawaii with OTC's earth station located at Oxford Falls in Sydney. The land segments were used to complete the circuit between facilities at the Univedrsity of Hawaii with those at the University of Melbourne. This 56K circuit was subsequently upgraded to 128K. The 256K upgrade was not cost effective on the hemi transponder, so when we underook this upgrade the US termination of the service was shifted to San Jose on the West Coast, and the circuit was terminated at NASA'a Moffatt Field location".
Sinclair (1999b) reported that the connection was effected on 23 June 1989 in Robert Elz's lab at the Uni. of Melbourne (although it was still 22 June at the other end of the link in Hawai'i), and that it used "a Proteon P4100 router (borrowed from Hawaii) and a Sun 4/260 server in the machine room at the Richard Berry building, at the University of Melbourne's Parkville campus". The international link was supplemented by a 48Kbps link to the ANU in August 1989, a 9.6Kbps link to the University of Sydney in August 1989, and a 48Kbps link to the University of Adelaide in October 1989.
The emergent scheme was referred to as the Australian Academic & Research Network (AARNet). The participants comprised the universities and the CSIRO. For 1990, the AVCC secured $800,000 in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), plus contributions from participants. The remaining Australian University and CSIRO connections were completed over a 4 week period in April-May, 1990. Individual sites were responsible for the management of their own connections to the AARNet routers.
Central AARNet staff at this stage comprised Geoff Huston and Peter Elford (from 1990). The team was onl expanded in March 1993 when Mark Turner joined, and July 1993 with Andy Linton. There was also an AARNet Engineering Working Group (AEWG) later the Australian Internet Working Group (AIWG), which comprised the network engineers from the early adopter organisations.
From the outset, AARNet was a purely IP network. Despite temptations to support multiple protocols, the decision was made not to support voice, fax, IBM's SNA or the various international standard (ISO OSI) protocols in particular X.25. Sinclair (1999b) quoted Geoff Huston as saying "It really was 'speed was of the essence'. We were reducing it down .. and trying not to get diverted into agendas that are just open-ended".
In 1990, Geoff Huston became responsible for the second-level domain edu.au, a responsibility that (for a reason that escapes me), passed to AuDA somewhen between 1999 and 2001. He also took responsibility for gov.au, which, also only at the end of the 1990s, passed to the Commonwealth government agency OGO, which has since been absorbed into NOIE. Robert Elz continues to manage .au, org.au and the ACSNet domain, oz.au, and is also still registrar of the domains .id.au (for people) and .info.au (for major Australian public information service and resources, such as the National Science Week site scienceweek.info.au, the missing persons site, missingpersons.info.au and similar resources, but on hold). Other domains within .au included net.au and csiro.au, and the interim otc.au and telememo.au (to support an email gateway to the X.400 mail service provided by what was then OTC).
The current domains, and, for each of them, the designated authority (aka 'registrar') and the policy relating to registration, are documented at AUNIC. As at mid-2001, Robert Elz continues to perform the substantial duties of Registrar for .org.au. He's also carried the personal burden of being the Registrar for .au as a whole for the first 17 years. A letter from him in late 1999, mirrored here, delegates management of the rather significant com.au namespace to AuDA.
Between 1990 and 1994, the excitement mounted, as a succession of services emerged on what was now called the Internet. The early activity on ARPANET had been mostly human-with-computer and human-with-human communications. Gradually, support for content-provision increased, as existing news and bulletin-board arrangements were reticulated over the Internet, and then enhanced protocols were developed, including File Transfer Protocol (ftp), archie (an indexing tool for ftp sites), the various 'gopher' systems (generic menu-driven systems for accessing files), and Brewster Kahle's WAIS content search engines. By the early 1990s, Internet nodes worldwide, using text-based email, telnet, ftp and Usenet News, already numbered in the millions.
On his first visit to the ANU in 1992, Brewster Kahle was very complimentary about the WAIS-servers that kept appearing at obscure, apparently Australian addresses. He was delighted when a succession of the people in the audience identified themselves as the perpetrators (particularly Matthew Ciolek). As electronic library and Internet services guru Tony Barry put it to me, "there were three classes of people who made the net successful. The technicians ..., the content providers ... and the enthusiasts/promoters. [These included] the library community as they were into networks way back in the mid 80's both via [the Australian Bibliographic Network] ABN but also accessing Dialog and Orbit in the US via MIDAS (OTC). They did a lot to promote the internet from 1992 onwards. ... The Campus-Wide Information Systems (CWIS) movement, driven by university librarians, provided a model for intranets and information sharing, which started with gopher in late 1992", and transferred easily to the web a couple of years later.
Driven by the combination of supply and demand, both for communications and increasingly for content, the Internet quickly became attractive to people outside the research and teaching arena. Sinclair (1999b) quoted Geoff Huston as saying that commercial researchers were the first outside the academic community to cotton on to the possibilities of the Internet, and that librarians were the first non-scientists. "The Bureau of Meteorology, BHP research labs, Telstra Research labs were very early adopters". Sinclair also quoted Robert Elz as saying that "there were always social applications on the Internet - in the early '90s, [Roy and HG's] radio call of the Melbourne Cup was 'broadcast' and, very early on, there were text descriptions of Test cricket matches in Australia".
In September 1993, Geoff Huston applied to IANA for a large block of addresses "on behalf of the Australian network community", with the ultimate goal of seeing a national IP address registry set up, both for regional autonomy and for efficiency (because allocations from the US were taking weeks). It was to be "a totally independent entity, which operates within the broad structure of a not-for-profit service operation, and applies a single community policy in an open and fair manner". The address space was large enough for over 4 million individual host addresses; an enormous amount at a time that large allocations were becoming increasingly rare due to the potential exhaustion of the IP address space (Lance 1998).
The Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) started as a pilot project in late 1993, based on volunteer labour and donated facilities from a number of countries. It evolved into the independent IP address registry so desperately needed by the Asia-Pacific region. It supports 60 economices, and operates out of Brisbane.
Then the 'killer app' arrived. It was the World Wide Web, courtesy of Tim Berners-Lee at CERN near Geneva. Its first, limited impact had been in 1991, with the viola and cello Unix-based browsers. By 1993, the CERN server and NCSA's Mosaic browser (released in November 1993, and the fore-runner of Netscape) were available, offering the same interface on Macs, PCs and Unix workstations. The explosive growth of the Web began in 1994, and with it the next round of explosive growth of the Internet. I've seen this quote attributed to Tim: "Australia, in fact, had some of the earliest starters on the Web. There were some early servers that were set up on the end of rickety links with some quite exciting material early on...". Whether he actually said it or not, I don't know; but I do know from personal experience that it's true.
There are many ways to start a pub brawl. Yet another way is to make the claim that your particular organisation was the first to act as an Internet Services Provider (ISP), on a commercial basis, in Australia.
Firstly, some questions of definition. ISPs offer many different kinds of services. The fundamental service was (and, in 2001, still is) connectivity to the Internet. This notion of an ISP distinguished 'Internet' SPs from mere 'store-and-forward' SPs (who supported, for example, UUCP, Fido and bulletin board systems). In 2001, the term 'Internet Access Provider' (IAP) is perhaps more usefully descriptive of an organisation that provides connectivity.
Connectivity was followed by many other services, such as emailboxes, space for web-pages, proxies to block porn pages and breast cancer information, etc., etc. There's currently a varied marketplace. For example, there are IAPs that only support dial-in connections; IAPs that support dial-in plus permanent connections; 'hosting-services' that specialise in sophisticated web-sites including backend databases, but don't provide connectivity; and 'full-service' ISPs that offer connectivity and a range of other services. For a current list of Australian IAPs and ISPs, see Kim Davies' Australian ISP List.
Given the many possible meanings of the word 'ISP', here are some observations on the 'first' 'commercial' ISP' in Australia.
Western Australia's DIALix claims to have been offering services commercially in Perth as early as 1989. DIALix's connection to the net wasn't a full IP connection until around 1992, but its Principals claim to have made Internet email and Usenet access commercially available by means of periodic STD calls (at 9600 bps), and its customers included some remote from Perth who themselves used dial-up STD connections to Perth. (So there were Internet junkies outside academe even then!).
I am assured by Ian Peter, Pegasus Networks' foundation CEO, that it offered public dialup access to the Internet in Australia, commencing in June 1989 with local access, and moving to nationwide access from 14 September 1989. It operated initially from Byron Bay, and later from Brisbane. It used UUCP and TCP/IP connections to exchange mail and newsgroups with the Internet, initially via direct dialup to USA, and later via ACSNet.
Soon after its establishment period in 1989-1990, AARNet recognised some services providers as being worthy of being related in some way with it. It appears that these included:
A further early provider was the not-for-profit Australian Public Access Network Association (APANA). Founded in 1992 by Mark Gregson, APANA (originally as PubNet?) ran many, widely dispersed, small, gratis hosts for bulletin board systems and newsgroups, but developed into a provider of low-cost, non-commercial access to the Internet for its members.
Another affiliate was the now-defunct RUNX in Sydney.
It appears that there must have been a few more than those listed here. A lovely snapshot of IAPs already active in March 1994 is available in the form of Zik Saleeba's 'Network Access in Australia FAQ', mirrored here. Of the organisations mentioned there, APANA (multiple sites), DIALix, iinet, Multiline and Zeta are still operational, Interconnect passed via connect.com to AAPT, and Multiplex was absorbed by Optus.
In 1994, AARNet introduced a 'Value Added Reseller' program, charging them under a volume (per-MByte) charging scheme. ('VAR' was a term popular in the commercial marketplace at the time). The first ISP in this formal sense was connect.com.au in May 1994.
The VAR program registered the following organisations in this order (which provides one arguably valide indicator of the 'first' 'ISPs' in the Australian marketplace):
Use of AARNet within the targeted research communities increased very substantially between 1989 and 1995. Charging to institutions changed from a levy to a volume-based tariff in about 1992. Usage within campuses was widely dispersed, highly variable and rapidly changing. In the absence of any single obvious manner in which the costs could be allocated, most universities absorbed the cost rather than charging it on to Faculties or Departments. I published analyses of the issues at Networkshop'93 (Clarke 1993) in The Information Society (Clarke 1994a), as an Australian Computer Society Policy Statement (Clarke & Worthington 1994), in the journal Policy (Clarke 1994b), and in a monograph (Clarke 1994c).
Sinclair (1999a) quoted either Geoff Huston or Hugh Irvine as saying that "The first commercial customers were software developers, electronics firms and computing consultants who wanted links to US computer companies. These were people who had money and knew what they were doing. Students leaving university were another group of 'early adopters'". She also reported Irvine as saying that "another key to the Internet's move out of academia into everyday life was the lifting in 1993 of ARPAnet's research-oriented 'acceptable use' of the Internet, creating a user-pays, anything-goes environment that's built into both the politics and the structure of the Internet today".
In 1994, the domain net.au was delegated to Hugh Irvine, and it was administered free of charge by Connect for some years as a service to the Internet community. In August 1995, Michael Malone, from the Perth ISP iiNet, was delegated responsibility for the new second-level domain asn.au for associations and non-profit groups, also administered free of charge (Lance 1998).
By 1994, usage was burgeoning, in some cases for purposes well beyond AARNet's express scope. The Global Info Links Project, was launched in Ipswich with 100 local subscribers in December 1994, as the first community scheme. This lasted from until at least 1996, and was an early pathfinder for other local schemes.
AARNet's own site states that, by late 1994, "use by the non-AARNet user base had increased to about 20% of total traffic". It had become apparent that an alternative business model was necessary.
In mid-1995, AVCC transferred its commercial customers, associated assets, and the management of interstate and international links to Telstra. Telstra thereby acquired the whole of the infrastructure that at that stage constituted 'the Internet in Australia'. This was variously regarded as the salvation of the net in Australia, a commercially realistic negotiation, a necessary transition, a give-away by the AVCC, a sell-out by the AVCC, and/or a naked grab by Telstra for commercial control of the Internet in Australia (Fist 1997). The passions it aroused reflected the importance that many people attached to Internet services.
The address block issued by the InterNIC on behalf of the Australian network community was claimed by the AVCC and passed on to Telstra. Because no independent registry existed, no allocation policy for provider blocks was defined. Telstra allocated to itself around one quarter of the address block and the non-Telstra portion was exhausted by February 1997 (Lance 1998).
This is contested by Geoff Huston, however, who advises that "Andy [Hinton] and I set up AUNIC as an independent entity in October . The AVCC objected to this and the entity continued to operate, but without clear organizational boundaries. Telstra did not purchase AUNIC in July 1995, and at that stage AUNIC operated as an independent entity operated through voluntary effort, supported by Telstra's donation of equipment and connectivity services". AUNIC allocated IP-addresses from the pool from 1993 until it ran out in early 1997. Since then, it has been necessary to use IP address translation technology to map Private Addresses to globally unique IP addressesnew allocations, or to seek additional IP-addresses from APNIC.
During the period 1995-97, a competitive market gradually developed, with both Telstra and Optus providing backbone services, and multiple overseas connections being run not only by Telstra and Optus, but also by several of the other moderately large ISPs.
Commercial use of the Internet continued to grow dramatically, and Internet Access Providers (IAPs) and ISPs proliferated, reaching about 600 independent companies (many of them very small) by the late 1990s, and catalogued by at least Kim Davies' Australian ISP List. Returns on investment were generally poor (resulting from a combination of inadequate management and continual change). The pundits predicted the imminent demise of the 'one-man-and-his-dog' micro-operations, and the takeover of small and medium ISPs by large ISPs, generally as and when the owners ran out of money to invest. (By 2001, some concentration had occurred, but new players had emerged as well, and the number of ISPs probably hadn't reduced by all that much).
During 1994-97, the international linkage represented a serious bottleneck, but gradually Telstra starting releasing additional capacity at something closer to the rate at which demand was growing, and several of the larger ISPs established direct linkages overseas. During the second half of the 1990s, the market rapidly developed into a more complex, multi-layered network of wholesale-retail network services.
In 1996, as a response to the explosive growth in com.au registrations, Robert Elz gave a non-exclusive 5-year licence to Melbourne IT, in return for which it undertook to perform the administration of com.au. That company was a commercial offshoot of Melbourne University (which had cheerfully subsidised the cost of Elz's labours on behalf of the Internet community for many years). Melbourne IT started charging for domain name registrations in November 1996, at $100 wholesale and $125 retail p.a. (This caused conniptions among the increasing number of people who believed that gratis access to the Internet was a birthright - but that's another paper entirely ...). Demand for net.au names exploded as they were seen as free alternatives to com.au names. After net.au administration almost collaped under the demand, connect.com brought in charging at the same level as Melbourne IT, to prevent the land-grab on net.au names (Lance 1998).
While Australians flooded onto the Interent, considerable contention was taking place in the background, both within Australia and in the U.S. During the second half of the 1990s, the context changed "from cooperative engineering utility to the frenzied focus of world-wide governments; from boring administrivia to commercial power-grab" (Lance 1998).
With the sale of the network in 1995, AARNet had pulled back to performing its original purpose. It had become an internetwork of regional network organisations (RNOs, one in each State and Territory) connected to each other and internationally by Telstra Internet services, and serving the universities and the CSIRO. Since 1995, it has been run by a small team, most notably George McLaughlin as CEO, and Glen Turner as Network Engineer.
In mid-1997, AARNet2 (not to be confused with Internet2!) was deployed as a national private ATM-based network, linking the eight RNOs by high-capacity dedicated bandwidth, having the capability of carrying voice and video traffic as well as data. Optus (subsequently C&W Optus) was selected to provide the network, and IP access services.
Among other things, AARNet2 enabled, before the end of the decade, the implementation of voice over IP (voIP) within and between universities and the CSIRO. This nicely reflected the reversal of the balance between voice and data traffic on telecommunications networks. That reversal took about a decade. The national telco, which once claimed to deal in long-term investments, failed until the early-to-mid 1990s to detect an impending revolution, and change had to be driven by a movement within the the academic computer science community.
By the late 1990s, the Internet in Australia was already sufficiently mature that people had become nostalgic about it (and some of us had even started to write histories of it). The AFR Web Awards inducted pioneers into the 'Australian Internet Hall of Fame' a mere 7-15 years after their key work was performed. For the record, the inductees to date have been Geoff Huston (1996), Robert Elz (1997), Bob Kummerfeld and Piers Lauder (1998), Hugh Irvine and Chris Chaundy (1999), and Paul Wilson of APNIC (formerly of Pegasus Networks - 2000).
Yet, in the background, work remained to be done: "In late 1998, we still don't have a functional organisation to handle our .au top-level domain and its hierarchy. The system holds together because of the inherent engineering strengths of the DNS, and because of the trustees, the delegates who have put in years of effort maintaining one of the essential elements of Australian Internet connectivity" (Lance 1998).
In mid-2001, there still remain considerable difficulties in finding a balance between the needs for governance processes that reflect the wide range of participants, and for professional administration of all aspects of the Internet in Australia. This paper has stayed well clear of the issues surrounding the Internet as a whole, which is a yet larger and very important story ...
Apart from the people who did the hard yards and created the Internet, only some of whom are mentioned above, the preparation of the revised version of this paper has drawn on information contributed by close to 100 correspondents. But blame errors, omissions and imprecisions on me, and explain to me how to fix them!
ASTC (1994) 'The Global Connection: Future needs for research data networks in Australia: Draft Findings', Australian Science and Technology Council, April 1994 , at http://www.cit.nepean.uws.edu.au/docs/aarnet/ASTC/
Clarke R. (1993) 'AARNet Economics: How to Avoid Cooking the Golden Goose' Proc. Networkshop'93, Melbourne, December 1993, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/AARNetEcs.html
Clarke R. (1994a) 'Electronic Support for Research Practice' The Information Society 10,1 (March 1994), at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/ResPractice.html
Clarke R. (1994b) 'Background Briefing on the Information Infrastructure' Policy 10,3 (Spring 1994), at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/PaperIIPolicy.html
Clarke R. (1994c) 'Information Infrastructure for The Networked Nation', Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/NetNation.html
Clarke R., Dempsey G., Ooi C.N. & O'Connor R.F. (1998) 'A Primer on Internet Technology', February 1988, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/IPrimer.html
Clarke R. & Worthington T. (1994) 'Vision for a Networked Nation: The Public Interest in Network Services' The Australian Computer Society, 17 May 1994, at http://www.acs.org.au/president/1997/acsnet/acsnet.htm
Fist S. (1997) 'The TelstraNet plans to take-over the Internet', May 1997, at http://www.electric-words.com/telstra/telisp.html
Huston G. (1993) 'Trends in Communications Technologies: AARNet and the Internet' in Mulvaney J. & Steel C. (Eds.) 'Changes in Scholarly Communications Patterns' Aust. Academy of the Humanities, Canberra, 1993, pp.71-83
Lance K. (1998) 'The Domain Name System: Engineering vs Economics' Proc. AUUG Conf., September 1998, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/LanceSep98.html
Leiner et al. (2000) 'A Brief History of the Internet, version 3.31', at http://www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.html
Moyal A. (1984) 'Clear Across Australia: A History of Telecommunications' Nelson, Melbourne
Sinclair J. (1999a) 'Everybody's gone surfin'', The Age, 19 June 1999, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/Surfin.html
Sinclair J. (1999b) 'The Network Anniversary', The Age, 22 June 1999, at http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/Anniv.html
I'm an information systems professional (1970-1983), I.S. academic (1984-95), and I.T. strategy and policy consultant (1990-). I am neither a communications engineer, nor a computer scientist.
I made no contributions at all to the emergence of the Internet in Australia. I can say that I was one of the reasonably early beneficiaries of other people's efforts; and I've made a few suggestions along the way about what it all means. What's more, I intentionally kept my then organisation (the Department of Commerce at the ANU) well away from the Internet until November 1989, when, in response to my question, Geoff Huston affirmed to me that the reliability of delivery of email over the Internet was now at least of the same order as that of Australia Post mail.
So: I bring no special authority to the writing of this paper, just generally relevant background, and some persistence. If you don't like what you see here, don't just grizzle; send me information.
The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.
From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 65 million in early 2021.
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