A talk on ‘20 years of Internet in Kerala: A Retrospective’ was organised at the Institution of Engineers Hall here on Wednesday.
Satish Babu, director, ICFOSS and former national president, Computer Society of India, and Amarnath Raja, CEO InApp Infotech and former chair IEEE Humanitarian Ad-hoc Committee led the interactive session from the perspective of two early techno-pioneers.
The talk was organised jointly by Institution of Engineers (India), IEEE Kerala Section, Computer Society of India, Aeronautical Society of India, System Society of India, IETE Thiruvananthapuram, Project Management Institute, Indian National Society for Aerospace and Related Mechanisms and Society of Aerospace Manufacturing Engineers here.
“The early days of Internet in the country, particularly in Kerala, were characterised by relative poor access, high costs and lack of tools.
Perhaps the first civil society initiative in the country to provide free public e-mail was IndiaLink, a United Nations volunteer programme.
A few technically-inclined NGOs set up e-mail nodes initially in five cities in the country- Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Visakhapatnam and Thiruvananthapuram and connected these to the Internet for e-mail- only access on ERNET,” Satish Babu said.
“On August 15, 1995, VSNL launched public dial-up Internet in the country but there was no local access here.
Users from the city had to use STD or X.25.
Local dial-up took another year, and the 1996 announcement of local dial-up nodes in Kerala, made by Satish to the internet Community, was received with enthusiasm from the Kerala diaspora around the world,” CEO InApp Infotech and former chair IEEE Humanitarian Ad-hoc Committee Amarnath Raja said.