mIRC, is the most popular Internet chat room in the Philippines
Twenty years ago on March 29, 1994, the Philippines finally gets connected to the world through the Internet. The Internet first made its connection to the Philippines on March 29, 1994. On that date the Philippine Network Foundation (PHNet) connected the country and its people to Sprint in the United States via a 64 kbit/s link.
Here are just some of the significant dates in the history of the Internet in the Philippines:
August 1986: The first Philippine-based, public-access BBS [bulletin board system], First-Fil RBBS went online with an annual subscription fee of P1,000. A precursor to the local online forum, it ran an open-source BBS software on an IBM XT Clone PC with a 1200bps modem and was operated by Dan Angeles and Ed Castañeda.
1987: The Philippine FidoNet Exchange, a local network for communication between several BBSes in Metro Manila, was formed.
1990: A committee helmed by Arnie del Rosario of the Ateneo Computer Technology Center was tasked with exploring the possibility of creating an academic network of universities and government institutions by the National Computer Center under Dr. William Torres. Recommendations were made but not implemented.
1991-1993: Emergence of email gateways and services in the Philippines, including some from multinational companies like Intel, Motorola, and Texas Instruments, which used a direct Internet connection, X.25, or UCCP protocol. Local firms ETPI, Philcom, and PLDT also operated commercial X.25 networks. Another milestone: Local and international email to FidoNet users was introduced.
June 1993: With the support of the Department of Science and Technology and the Industrial Research Foundation, the Philnet project (now PHNET) was born. The Philnet technical committee, composed of computer buffs working at the DOST and representatives from the Ateneo de Manila University (Richie Lozada and Arnie del Rosario), De La Salle University (Kelsey Hartigan-Go), University of the Philippines Diliman (Rodel Atanacio and Rommel Feria), and University of the Philippines Los Baños, would eventually play a significant role in connecting the Philippines to the World Wide Web.
July 1993: Phase one of the Philnet project shifted into full gear after receiving funding from the DOST. It proved to be successful, as students from partner universities were able to send emails to the Internet by routing them through Philnet's gateway at the Ateneo, which was connected to another gateway at the Victoria University of Technology in Australia.
November 1993: An additional P12.5-million grant for the first year's running cost was awarded by the DOST to buy equipment and lease communication lines needed to kickstart the second phase of Philnet, now led by Dr. Rudy Villarica.
March 29, 1994, 1:15 a.m.: Benjie Tan, who was working for ComNet, a company that supplied Cisco routers to the Philnet project, established the Philippine's first connection to the Internet at a PLDT network center in Makati City. Shortly thereafter, he posted a short message to the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.filipino to alert Filipinos overseas that a link had been made. His message read: "As of March 29,1994 at 1:15 am Philippine time, unfortunately 2 days late due to slight technical difficulties, the Philippines was FINALLY connected to the Internet via SprintLink. The Philippine router, a Cisco 7000 router was attached via the services of PLDT and Sprint communications to SprintLink's router at Stockton Ca. The gateway to the world for the Philippines will be via NASA Ames Research Center. For now, a 64K serial link is the information highway to the rest of the Internet world."
March 29, 1994, 10:18 a.m.: "We're in," Dr. John Brule, a Professor Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Syracuse University, announced at The First International E-Mail Conference at the University of San Carlos in Talamban, Cebu, signifying that Philnet's 64 kbit/s connection was live.
2012 - The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, codified as Republic Act No. 10175, criminalized cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and libel. The act has been criticized for its provision on criminalizing libel, which is perceived to be a curtailment in freedom of expression. After several petitions submitted to the Supreme Court of the Philippines questioned the constitutionality of the Act, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on October 9, 2012, stopping implementation of the Act for 120 days.
2013 - A Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom has been filed in the Philippine legislature to, among others, repeal Republic Act No. 10175.