Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1994: First Live Internet connection

Setting up the first live internet connection was a cooperative effort of different groups.

Dr. Torres approached the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), and the Philippine National bank, since thy were well-funded entitles. Both declined to fund the project.

DOST Secretary Ricardo Gloria heeded Dr. Torres´ proposal for the Philippine to connect to the Internet  He included it in the Science and Technology Agenda for National Development. (STAND).  Dr. Rodolfo Villarica of the Industrial Philnet was formed. Dr. William Padolina became DOST secretary and oversaw the project.

Philnet started out with an email connection for "Phase I", performed through a dialup  UUCP (Unix to Unix Copy Protocol) connection made between the Ateneo de Manila University and the Victoria University of Technology in Australia.  De La Salle University and UP Diliman joined the dialup network to receive international e-mail through Ateneo gateway. This connection used UCCP to bcd up mail to and from the Internet from the participating institutions.

The DOST made a grant of Php 12.45 million to the IRF to implement Philnet "Phase II", for a direct, liv connection to the Internet.

The DOST contracted Computer Systems Network Corporation (ComNet), a networking equipment vendor to implement the network linking the various and universities and organizations  Arnie de Rosario then chair of the Ateneo Computer Science Department, informed the chair of ComNet, the late Dr. Willy Gan about the project. Dr. Gan drew up the PHnet network design and convinced PLDT to deliver the facilities in time for the March 29, 1994 launch in Cebu. This was to coincide with the E-mail Conference headed by Dr. John Brule, a fried of Dr. Villarica and a visiting professor at the University of San Carlos.  Benjamin "Benjie" Tan headed the technical part of the project.

Later, Philnet is renamed to PHnet to avoid naming conflict with another group, a "philosophers´network"