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Pioneering the internet in Australia since 1989

Our Story

In 1989, a group of Australian universities and research institutes established Australia’s Academic And Research Network, also known as AARNet.

We built the first Australian internet connection at the University of Melbourne, connected directly from the University of Hawaii. Next, we connected the internet feed to all Australian capital cities and the Australian National University in Canberra.

Geoff Huston and Peter Elford
AARNet employees one and two, Geoff Huston and Peter Elford, 1993

For more than 30 years we have shared and exchanged expertise with our customers. Supporting collaboration and innovation in research and education has always been our primary goal.

We have also been effective in making representations to the government on policy, legislation, strategy and programs to improve the telecommunications facilities and services available not only to the education and research sector but to all Australians.

Our history shows that we have been pivotal in the construction of the internet in Australia. Today, AARNet serves Australian universities and the CSIRO, as well as many health and other research institutions, cultural organisations, schools, vocational training colleges and specialist content providers.

Our trailblazing story continues as we pursue the exploration, development and delivery of new technologies, products and services for research and education.

AARNet Anniversary Book

To celebrate AARNet's 20th anniversary in 2009 we commissioned award-winning journalist Glenda Korporaal to write a book about our history.

AARNet - 20 Years of the Internet in Australia explores how Australia’s commercial internet network was developed by AARNet. It also documents key individuals, events and milestones that led to the growth and development of a high-speed network dedicated to Australia’s research and education institutions.

Our Timeline

How AARNet has evolved since 1989