Today is supposed to be the 18th anniversary of the Philippine Internet, but the occasion passed without anyone noticing it — except perhaps for pioneer IT chronicler Jim Ayson.
It was on March 29, 1994 that the Philippines was formally hooked up to the Internet when an “e-mail conference” held in Talamban, Cebu made the first link-up between PLDT and Sprint Communications in the US.
That momentous event was chronicled by Ayson in a series of articles. Ayson, now an executive of Smart Communications, used to write IT columns during the early years of the local computer industry.
Ayson noted in his website that local Netizens are probably not aware of this significant milestone.
“Today’s internet is as much a necessary a household utility as power and water that we have taken it for granted. I don’t see anyone whooping up with joy at the anniversary of Meralco’s powering up the first light bulb in Manila. So maybe it’s just as well,” Ayson wrote.
He, however, observed that the “passing of Steve Jobs in late 2011 fueled an interest in tech nostalgia – the chronicles of the late 70s hacker culture that spawned the duo of Jobs and Wozniak has been happily re-admitted into the tech zeigeist. No doubt this look at the past was also spurred by the runaway success of Walter Isaacson‘s best selling biography of Steve Jobs.
He went on: “I’ve always thought the Philippine Internet pioneers that sweated out the details deserved as much adulation as the pirates of Silicon Valley. Every hashtag that gets tweeted and retweeted today on an iPhone or Blackberry is thanks to the early foundations laid by those guys. They went off and built the ISPs that brought the online culture into the country that has slowly wormed its way into the mainstream.
“Just think about that the next time you shoot that umpteenth picture of your lunch and post it on Instagram,” he concluded.