What's changed since Australia's first Internet connection 25 years ago?

Telecommunication experts are celebrating as Australia marks 25 years online.

A quarter of a century ago, this tool we now rely on was limited to an exclusive community.

On June 24, 1989, Australia first connected to the University of Hawaii from the University of Melbourne.

The connection was successful even though it occurred though a fragile 56 kilobit per second satellite link, according to a SBS article from June 24. 

At the start of the 1980s, it was impossible to access a serious computer unless you studied computer science, which meant you could create software and examine the workings of the limited number of machines Down Under.

What was the internet like 25 years ago?

In 1989, there was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. There was no Google or Youtube.

Instead, the Internet consisted solely of bulletin boards and discussion forums that were used by university academics.

The University of Melbourne's Justin Zobel told IT wire he was one of the first users of the Internet in Australia and remembers a time when the entire country would download around 4MB per day. 

"People didn't have the space to store the kinds of things we do today. The technology was really just used for academics and tech development," he said.

What has changed?

The Internet has become a global phenomenon and by the period 2008-09, nearly three-quarters of all Australian households had internet access, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

It became more popular when it became accessible. Professor Zobel told IT wire he believed this was a result of the Mosaic web browser, released in 1993 that allowed the internet to spread "from the halls of academia to government departments and corporations".

Discs became cheaper and storage capacity increased. Pictures were added to the internet and two and a half years after its inception, effective web search was turned on.

Broadband has now taken the place of dial-up and, the speed of the internet Down Under continues to increase.

The Akamai 2014 State of the Internet report reveals Australian has climbed up the rankings by two spots where average Internet connection speeds are concerned.

The average speed is now 6 Mbps, up 2.6 per cent from the previous quarter.

However, on a year-on-year basis, this represents an increase of 39 per cent in average Internet connection speeds.

To make sure you are getting the best speed at the lowest price possible, it is important to do a comparison so you don't pay more than you need to.

Posted by Richard West. i