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Today is the 25th anniversary of the public internet in Ireland

Trinity College Dublin was the first Irish organisation to connect to the internet, via leased lined delivered by Telecom Eireann to the O’Reilly Institute.

Image: Shutterstock

IT HAS CHANGED the lives of billions of people around the world, and transformed Ireland’s economy – and today, the internet marks 25 years as a publicly available service.

It was computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee who gave birth to the idea of a ‘world wide web’ while working at a Swiss physics laboratory in 1989.

Two years later, the first public server was launched on 6 August 1991.

Berners-Lee’s idea was for an information-sharing between physicists in universities and institutes around the world.

Earlier that year, Trinity College Dublin was the first Irish organisation to connect to the internet earlier on 17 June 1991, when Telecom Eireann delivered a leased line to the O’Reilly Institute, at the eastern end of the university.

The 19.2 Kbps telecoms link was a shared resource between the university and a TCD-based start-up campus company called IEunet, which was set up by Michael Nowlan and Cormac Callanan.

The company was really Ireland’s first internet service provider because it sold internet access to other organisations after that.

shutterstock_59887279 Trinity College Dublin Source: Shutterstock

University College Dublin followed Trinity College Dublin’s lead and went ‘online’ a few weeks later.

The first connection in Ireland was hooked up to a central European hub, known as the European Unix Network or EUnet.

Today, 97% of businesses in Ireland are connected to the internet and the top 10 ‘born on the internet’ companies have a base in Ireland – the most famous being Google, Facebook and Twitter.

A website - techarchives.irish - has been launched to act as an online database for stories about Ireland’s realationship with the internet.

Some 97% of Irish businesses are connected to the internet, the CSO say, with a third of involved in sales over the net. However, 16% of people in Ireland say that they have never used the internet.

Read: FactCheck: Is there faster broadband on the moon than in Roscommon?

Read: Homeless single mum who secured a place in Trinity has been refused Back To Education Allowance

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