Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Country-Specific Histories

Australia – Roger Clarke, Origins and Nature of the Internet in Australia, (2004)

Australian historians have yet to turn their attention to the Internet; engineers care little for recording their activities for posterity; and there is as yet no powerful organisation that wants a court history. As a result, there is remarkably little documentation of the first decade of the Internet in Australia. This paper draws on available resources in order to provide an outline of that history that is sufficiently detailed to support strategy and policy discussions.

Commentators on cyberspace behaviour and regulation are at dire risk of making unfounded assumptions about the Internet, because of the many myths embedded in the metaphors that have been used to explain the Internet. In order to provide an antidote against ill-informed discussion, this paper includes background information on the technology and its governance institutions and processes.

The paper commences with some relevant aspects of the history of computing, and of communications. It then reviews the emergence of the Internet in the U.S.A. from 1969 onwards. The early history of academic use of the Internet in Australia is traced, prior to the first watershed in June 1989, and the second in May 1994. This is followed by an overview of the history of the open, public Internet in Australia, and assessments of the infrastructure, the industry structure and governance at the beginning of 2004, and likely near-future directions.

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Australia – Jennie Sinclair, The Network Anniversary (1999)

This article was published in The Age on 22 June 1999

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Finland – “History of the Internet in Finland”

This piece was earlier published on the Internet Society, Finland Chapter website.

India - Peter Wolcott & Seymour Goodman, Is the Elephant Learning to Dance?: The Diffusion of the Internet in the Republic of India, Chapter 2 & 3 (2002).

This article explains the growth of communication systems in India followed by the emergence of the Internet phenomenon. The authors have also discussed the various policies followed the government which transformed the telecommunications industry in India and led to the expansion of the Internet.

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Russia - Chronology of the Russian Internet: 1990-1999, Compiled by Eugene Gorny

Eugene Gorny compiles the history of the Russian internet. The resource can be accessed in Russian. 

South Africa – Quinton Bronkhorst, The History of the Internet in South Africa – How it Began (My Broadband, 2011)

Quinton Bronkhorst compiles the origins and growth of the South African internet. 

UK – Peter Kirstein, Early Experiences with the ARPANET and INTER NET in the UK (IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 1999)

  • The paper describes both the administrative and technical backgrounds to the establishment of the first international Internet node-from its beginnings as a single Arpanet node to the main early link between the Internet and the UK National Research Network. It gives an overview of some of the technical accomplishments of the early years and of the services offered. It reviews how certain political and governmental decisions affected its management and location and draws some conclusions from the experiences.
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