22nd Anniversary of Internet in India: You won’t believe the huge amount of money people had to pay back in those days

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Published: August 16, 2017 3:26:38 PM

It has been 22 years of internet in India. On August 15, 1995, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) had formally launched the Internet for the Indian public. Look at the tariff rates back then.

internet, internet in india, internet history, history of internet, history of web, web history, india internet, internet 1995, india 1995, first internet in india, internet in india startedThe highest amount paid by service providers for a 128 kbps leased line connection used to be a whopping Rs 30 lakhs. (Image: PTI)

It has been 22 years of internet in India. On August 15, 1995, Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) had formally launched the Internet for the Indian public. Ever since then, the world wide web has been powering our lives and shaping our e-sphere is an unimaginable number of ways. Internet today is synonymous with coding, shopping, banking to education. From big machines to cyber cafes to hand held device, the journey of the internet in India has been interesting. Now, after 22 years, on one hand, we have some network providers offering data for free, on the other we have the futuristic virtual reality and augmented reality.

The history of the internet in India actually began with the launch of the Educational Research Network (ERNET) in the year 1986. However, the network was only available for educational and research purposes. The network was initiated by the Department of Electronics (DoE), with support and funds from the Government of India and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). After this, there was the NICNet which started in 1988. This network was operated by the National Informatics Centre with the purpose of improving communications between government institutions.

Meanwhile, The Indian Technonomist had posted an image which shows the price structure of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited’s internet service. According to the chart, we can see the huge amount of money Indians had to pay back then even for a low data speeds. The chart is divided into two main categories- Dial up connection and leased line). Further, the options are segregated into 5 user categories including “Professionals, non-commercial, commercial, exporters, and service providers).

If we look at the list, for a paltry speed of 9.6 kbps, VSNL’s rate was Rs 5,000. This amount multiplied a few times when it came to the other user categories. The highest amount would be paid by service providers for a 128 kbps leased line connection which would cost a whopping Rs 30 lakhs. Look at the list here:

internet, internet in india, internet history, history of internet, history of web, web history, india internet, internet 1995, india 1995, first internet in india, internet in india started(Source: The Indian Technonomist)

All the amounts here are flat annual rates. When it came to leased line connections, the charges imply only VSNL’s bandwidth charges, so for a physical link, you would have had to pay separately to the department of telecom. It should be noted that the chart was published by The Indian Techonomist and we cannot vouch for the authenticity of the same.

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