EUnet (European UNIX Network) was the first to commercial connected Europe to the internet, the largest European ISP.
On January 1, 1990 EUnet began selling Internet access to non-academic customers in the Netherlands, making them one of the first companies in the world to sell Internet access to the general public and the first international UUCP connections.
From a very loose collaboration of individual sites under the auspices of the EUUG (European UNIX Users Group) (later EurOpen), it evolved to the fully commercial entity Founded by group of young software and network pioneers, led by Eric Bach, Teus Hagen, Peter Collinson, Julf Helsingius, Daniel Karrenberg, Luc De Vos, Björn Eriksen, Piet Beertema, Keld Simonsen and Glenn Kowack.
1982 UUCP links established between 4 countries (UK, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden)
1984 kremvax April Fools Joke
1988 First IP links
1990 First offerings for "all comers"
1996 EUnet International formed by share swaps with seven of the national organisations
1998 Sale to Qwest for $154.4 mio
The roots of EUnet (originally an abbreviation for European UNIX Network) go back to 1982 and the first international UUCP connections. From a very loose collaboration of individual sites under the auspices of the EUUG (European UNIX Users Group) (later EurOpen), it evolved to the fully commercial entity EUnet International.
In April 1998 the company was sold to Qwest Communications International, which in turn later merged EUnet into the ill-fated joint-venture KPNQwest. Some of the ISPs operating under the name EUnet today can be traced back to the original EUnet (such as in Yugoslavia/Serbia and Hungary), some not.
Most national EUnet affiliates or subsidiaries predated other commercial Internet offerings in the respective countries by many years.
To completely understand the importance and history of EUnet, it is important to realize that until the early 1990s nearly every European country had a telecommunications monopoly with an incumbent national PTT, and that commercial and non-commercial provision of telecommunications services was prohibited or at least took place in a legal "grey zone". During the same period, as part of an industrial political strategy to stop US domination of future network technology, the EC embarked on efforts to promote OSI protocols, founding for example RARE and associated national "research" network operators (DFN, SURFnet, SWITCH to name a few).