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section heading icon     1990 to 1995

This page of the timeline covers -

section marker     1990

World Wide Web described by Tim Berners-Lee

Telecom New Zealand privatised through sale to Bell Atlantic and Ameritech for NZ$4.25bn

Telmex privatised through US$1.7bn sale to Grupo Carso, Southwestern Bell and France Télécom

Documentum founded

Clear Communications begins competition against Telecom NZ

Electronic Frontier Foundation founded

Americans With Disabilities Act in US

Mannesmann launches D2 mobile network in Germany

Operation Sundevil in US against hackers

first commercial provider of dial-up net access

first palmtop computers

IBM's revenue reaches US$68.9bn, with 400,000 employees worldwide

99% of US households have at least one radio

7.1m phone subscribers in China

Elders IXL rebadged as Foster's Brewing Group Ltd

Dun & Bradstreet pays US$333m for Management Science America

Moravec's Mind Children

US business uses 4 trillion pages of paper

Packer regains control of Nine television network

NZ Telecom sold to Bell Atlantic, Ameritech & Fay Richwhite

International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use

GEC buys parts of Ferranti

AMP buys Pearl (founded 1857)

ANZ buys National Mutual Royal Bank (founded 1986), Lloyds operation in PNG, Bank of New Zealand operation in Fiji and Town & Country WA Building Society

section marker     1991

Elsevier buys Pergamon from Robert Maxwell

Matsushita buys MCA

Coase wins Nobel prize in Economics

AT&T acquires NCR for US$7.3bn

GTE buys Contel for US$6.6bn

SITA establishes Scitor as global data services provider

UK government sells 25.8% of British Telecom

IBM's first revenue decline in 45 years

IBM sells ROLM to Siemens

patents registered by USPTO reach 5 million mark

Fosters buys Grand Metropolitan PLC brewing interests

Line Mode Browser - the first internet browser

ANZ buys 75% of Bank of Western Samoa

est 5 million fax machines deployed in US

Australia as An Information Society report

CNN dominates news coverage worldwide during Gulf War

Denver trial of VOD - over 1,000 titles but no profits

over 4 billion videocassette rentals in the US

75% of US homes reported to own VCRs, 60% have cable tv

8.7m phone subscribers in China

Zimmermann releases first version of PGP

US Telephone Consumer Protection Act

UN Draft Declaration of the Rights of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Computer Associates buys Pansophic for US$300m

Feist copyright decision by US Supreme Court

end of NSF's internet 'Acceptable Use' policy

section marker     1992

ERM financial crisis in EU

Maastricht Treaty on European Union

US cable television revenue reaches US$22 billion

US has 10 million mobile phone subscribers

China has 11.8m phone subscribers

LDDS merges with Advanced Telecommunications for US$850m

United Telephone renamed Sprint

900 million TV sets in the world; 201 million in the US

45.4% of Italian families have a VCR

Coles Myer spins off Progressive Enterprises, buys Vintage Cellars and Tyremaster

first use of the phrase "surfing the net" by Jean Armour Polly

first SMS to a mobile phone

Moving Picture Experts Group agree on MPEG Audio Layer III, aka MP3

at least 50 US cities have competing cable services

Australian Disability Discrimination Act

US Audio Home Recording Act

Maastricht Treaty on European Union

Gilder's Life After Television

TCI chair John Malone predicts "500 channel universe"

US National Science Foundation appoints NSI to manage dot-com, dot-net and dot-org domain names

Internet Society (ISOC) founded

Deutsche Bundespost Telekom and France Telecom form Eunetcom

Control Data spins off software arm, renames itself Ceridian

section marker     1993

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

merger of Elsevier and Reed International

proposed merger of TCI and Bell Atlantic collapses

DVD invented by Toshiba

est 10 million fax machines deployed in US

V-chip proposed for TV content control

Mosaic - first graphical internet browser

Kodak and Apple produce first digital still image camera for consumers

Cisco buys Crescendo for US$97m

Fosters buys Cascade

Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure & Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime

GTE sells Sylvania lighting and materials operations to Osram

Bay Networks formed through US$2.7bn merger of Synoptics and WellFleet

LDDS buys Resurgens Communications Group and Metromedia Communications for US$1.25bn to create fourth-largest US long distance phone network

Primus Telecommunications founded

Australian MEDLINE network closes

UK government sells 21% of British Telecom for £5bn

France Telecom acquires most Compagnie Generale des Eaux cable networks

Sprint merges with Centel to become only major US telco providing long distance, local and wireless services

CANARIE established in Canada

Tucows founded as software download service

New Zealand Privacy Act

IBM posts US$8.1bn loss

Ameritech and Bell Atlantic reduce Telecom New Zealand stake to a combined 49.6%

BellSouth NZ establishes mobile network in New Zealand

China has 17.8m phone subscribers

section marker     1994

LDDS buys IDB Communications Group for US$936m

MCI and BT form US$1bn Concert Communication Services joint venture

BT takes 20% stake in MCI for US$4.3bn

Monster Board (later Monster.com) founded

Danish government sells 49% of Tele Danmark

MCI takes US$1.3bn stake in wireless service provider Nextel Communications

Declaration of Chapultepec

Orange mobile network in UK launched

Australian Mobile Telecoms Association (AMTA) established

Elsevier buys LEXIS-NEXIS

first digital TV service - DirecTV in the US by satellite

Netscape founded

Stac Electronics awarded US$120m damages for patent infringement by Microsoft

Village controls Austereo radio in Australia

establishment of International Seabed Authority (ISA)

Viacom buys Blockbuster and Paramount

BCE buys 20% of Mercury Communications

VoiceStream founded

135 million PCs worldwide

US government privatises internet management

first ads on the World Wide Web (ad for Wired magazine claimed as first)

first demonstration of Java

Cyberspace & the American Dream manifesto

Pizza Hut sells pizzas over the net

US videogame industry establishes Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

Herman Miller Aeron office chair

First Virtual, first cyberbank

Telecom Italia established

Rheingold's The Virtual Community

Birkerts' The Gutenberg Elegies

Guldberg Report on economic value of copyright industries in Australia

Cordell proposes Byte Tax

Canter & Siegel's How to Make a Fortune on the Information Superhighway

Goldstein's Copyright's Highway: The Law & Lore of Copyright from Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox

interactive TV introduced in US

Compagnie des Machines Bull privatised

Adobe buys Aldus for US$525m

China has 27.2m phone subscribers, 5.1 mobile subscribers

RealNetworks founded

section marker     1995

est 25 million mobile phone subscribers in US

Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects

est 15 million fax machines deployed in US

LDDS buys WilTel (Williams Telecommunications Group) for US$2.5bn, changes name to WorldCom

first US NTIA Falling Through The Net report

APEC Seoul Declaration for the Asia Pacific Information Infrastructure

Amazon.com founded

craigslist founded

Virage founded

first wiki site (for Portland Pattern Repository)

Pearson buys Grundy Worldwide

Seagram buys MCA

Fosters sells Courage brewing interests

GEC buys Vickers Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd (VSEL)

Westinghouse buys CBS, subsequently changes name to CBS

Singapore Telecom takes 24.5% in AAPT

AAPT acquires major shareholding in Newsnet ITN

ANZ buys remainder of Bank of Western Samoa

Westpac buys Challenge Bank

AAPT buys 50% of ISP connect.com.au

Cisco buys Grand Junction for US$348m

Northern Telecom becomes Nortel

US mutual fund assets first exceed deposits in US commercial banking system

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser

Sony demonstrates flat-screen TV set

Iomega markets Zip drive

Mondex introduced

RealAudio lets internet users hear in near real-time

Marty Rimm 'cyberpanic'

Negroponte's Being Digital

Stoll's Silicon Snake Oil

EU Data Protection Directive

AT&T announces split into AT&T communication services, Lucent Technologies and NCR computing

Sun Microsystems introduces Java programming language

WebCrawler acquired by America Online

global Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS)

Compaq acquires NetWorth and Thomas-Conrad

Disney buys ABC network

VeriSign founded

Deutsche Bundespost spins off Deutsche Telekom

portable CD player sales overtake cassette players

NSF transfers control of four major internet access points to Ameritech, Sprint, MFS and PacBell

one lawyer for every 307 people in US

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