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Our 15th birthday - and the last 15 years in the life of the internet

February 23rd, 2012 at 14:02 by Bob Pullen

We’ve now been delivering good, honest broadband for 15 years. To celebrate our birthday, we thought we’d take a look back at what’s happened online, in the history of the internet, since we were setup back in 1997.

Read on to step back in time with us, as we look back over some of the web’s landmark moments.

The last 15 years … in the life of the internet

The 1990s were a revolutionary decade for digital technology – in fact, 1991 saw the invention of the World Wide Web and the launch of the first GSM network, as well as the emergence of e-coms, iMacs, web browsers and MP3 players.

And it was in 1997, against this backdrop of digital buzz and innovation, that Plusnet was born. Our plan was to provide good, honest cheap phone and broadband and to stand out from the crowd – something that we’re still proudly doing today.

The last 15 years have turned out to be landmark ones, not just for us, but for the internet itself:

1997: The term ‘weblog’, later shortened to ‘blog’, was coined. 1 million domains had already been registered on the web.

1998: 3 million domains had now been registered on the internet, and more than 1.5 million web pages were being added to the internet every day. Google was also founded this year, in California.

1999: Online traffic doubled every 100 days during this year. By this time, more that 100 million computers had been connected to the and 5 million domain names had been registered.

2000: The internet survived the fated ‘Millennium bug’ and the Dot-Com bubble burst.

2001: Wikipedia was launched.

2002: Statistics showed that there were now more than 544 million users on the internet.

2004: Facebook was founded.

2005: YouTube was launched.

2006: Twitter was founded. By this year, there were over 92 million websites in existence.

2007: By now, there were more than 1.3 billion internet users, more than half of UK homes had internet access and the average UK web surfer was spending 37 minutes online every day.

2008: This year, statistics showed that more than 1.4 billion people were using the internet.

2009: The number of internet users rose to 1.6 billion.

2010: Figures showed another rise in internet users – there were now more than 1.9 billion.

2011: It was revealed that 8.2 million adults in the UK are digitally excluded and have never used the internet.

Looking forward … and into the future of the internet

As much as we love what’s happened during the past 15 years, we’re also really excited about what the next 15 years might hold – especially as we’ve worked with the Centre for Future Studies to try to predict how the internet will grow to become an even bigger part of our lives by 2027.

Some experts think that the internet revolution is only 15 per cent complete at the moment – so we’re expecting bigger things from the internet over the next 15 years, even things that have a ‘science fiction’ ring to them – like using 3D holographic conferencing to have a virtual consultation with your doctor, driving a car that can’t crash, wearing clothes that monitor your well-being, and using your smartphone to control home-robots programmed to do your dirty dishes and make your bed.

And we know even more of you will be looking for good, honest home broadband, business broadband, fibre broadband and superfast broadband if our predictions really do come true.

Just check our blog post about the smart internet and the smart home of the future, and read our interview with Dr Frank Shaw – one of Time Magazine’s ‘top ten thinkers in the word’ – to find out more about what we think the future could hold for the web, broadband and the internet. We promise you, it’s worth reading.

What do you think’s been a real landmark moment in the history of the internet? What do you think the next 15 years will bring? Please leave us a comment and let us know …

 

bobpullen

This entry was posted by Bob Pullen on Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 at 2:02 pm and is tagged with , , , and is posted in the category Plusnet News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


13 comments on "Our 15th birthday - and the last 15 years in the life of the internet"

I think the mobile internet will be one of the next big revolutions. We are already seeing a lot of people using mobile devices to access web sites, and there is going to be an explosion of sites and services that offer things based on exactly where you are and even what you are doing.

There is also the risk that the current version of the internet that is inherently insecure will have to be replaced with something that offer full end to end security. It may not make anything 100% secure, but systems have been planned that will at least allow you to trace (and potentially block) intrusions.

Good, Honest Broadband it may be now....but it hasnt always been the case, some of us remember the fallout of 2006 just after PlusNet became a PLC when the marketing director made a rather long statement which descended into name calling.

All very amusing of course, but was really a low point (poor customer relations, deals with Tiscali etc). PlusNet now however should be proud that those days (and directors) are long gone and back to being one of the best ISPs

Wow, congratulations on your 15th birthday guys. Can't believe it's been 5 years since we did the 10 year timeline! http://www.plus.net/features/timeline_1997.shtml

Chris

Thanks for the birthday wishes!

mrbez

Feb 1997 - "Everything started here! PlusNet sister brand Force9 Internet launches (part of Choice Peripherals, Worksop)"

I used to be on Force9 dialup - I remember the bear logo, used to go down to the Choice Peripherals counter in Worksop too for cheap 'puter gear. Those were the days :)

Given that Plusnet is 15, I wonder how many of us have been here since the "start", I joined Force9 at some point in 1997 and visited the offices in Worksop to sign up in person.

release the plusnet band album please

I have been a member for 3 years now but I will be leaving on Monday, seeing as I see for the last few months my DD has increased 300%. My email notifications seemed to have stopped at the same time. My fault for not spotting it on my bank statement until now but the fact that I could get TV, phone and broadband cheaper than just the broadband I am getting with Plusnet with almost any other provider with this price, I think theres little choice. The fact I rang up on Saturday morning to cancel but there is no one to take my call is annoying as well. Especially that there is plenty of people to take Sales calls.

bobpullen

Not sure why your subscription costs would have increased Joe unless you're either making more calls or using more data? I'm not aware of any problems regarding email notifications so that concerns me. Have you some means of us identifying your account so that we can look into that? (your username or a recent support ticket reference).

15 years! That's what it feels like Plus Net have taken to resolve my connection problem! Slight exaggeration maybe but here we are, March 19th 2012 and the problem started in 2011. Perhaps this is another milestone Plus Net would be happy to advertise - whoops, I 've just done it for you.

bobpullen

Sorry to hear you're having problems. Have you a recent support ticket reference you can provide me with as one of us might be able to help?

Hello Bob
Ticket reference would be 53273383.

bobpullen

Thanks, I've taken a look through the history of your account and can see that you've suffered at the hand of numerous problems.

The intermittent connectivity problem certainly seems to be related to the regrade to ADSL2+/21CN and sounds like a high resistance fault caused by a worn or damaged cable external to your property. A typical symptom of this is interrupted connectivity when you make or receive a phone call. Regardless as to where the fault lies, protocol is to despatch an ADSL engineer to your premises so he can work back from there. This appointment has been booked for tomorrow between 1pm-6pm. Please make sure somebody is at your premises in case the engineer needs access to your house in order to conduct testing from your master socket etc. Let me know how you get one afterwards too.

If it really comes to it then I could either:

1. Leave you on the 21CN network but regrade you back to ADSL1.
2. Move you back to the 20CN network entirely (although worth considering that BT will be doing away with 20CN on your exchange at some point in 2014 so you'll have to move across eventually).

I'd suggest giving the fault/engineer process a go first though.

Assuming we can get your broadband working to a satisfactory standard then I'll happily take a look into your ongoing email issues too.

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