Pakistan’s Internet Timeline


  • 786 BBS service launched in Pakistan.


  • X.25 Packet Switched Public Data Network (PSPDN) introduced by PTCL.
  • Tariffs are high, service is low, but in principle one can get connected to the young internet.


  • Pakistan’s first email node established at HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, Karachi University.


  • Imran.Net starts offering its commercial e-mail service.
  • SDNPK, a UNDP project, starts the first reliable e-mail and news group service.


  • First DNOPs (Data Network Operators) licenses issued by GoP.


  • .pk domain comes into existence.
  • Pakistan becomes the first South Asian country to open up the ISP market to the private sector.
  • Digicom offers first commercial internet service. A 64Kbps link. Rs100/hr.


  • PTCL starts its internet service.
  • Pakistan Telecom Act Approved by Parliament & PTA formed.
  • ISP licenses issued by PTA.
  • PTCL signs for SMW-3 fiber optic cable spur touching Karachi.
  • LUMS becomes first educational institution in the country to have own internet connectivity.


  • ISPs mushroom across the country, followed closely by cybercafés.
  • PTCL introduces multimetering of Internet calls despite public outcry.
  • PTCL, under consumer and industry pressure, stops multi-metering of Internet calls.
  • Formation of Internet Service Provider’s Association of Pakistan (ISPAK).
  • Universal Internet Numbers (UIN) starting with digits 131 allotted to ISPs.
  • New tariffs for international bandwidths using fiber (SMW-3) bring shared IP international bandwidth to US$6000 per month, for 2 Mbps.
  • An investigation by the NWFP CM revealed a cyber fraud by 35 affluent students in Peshawar through the fraudulent use of Net2Phone. The students had bought and sold goods worth US$40,000.


  • India bans the Dawn Internet Edition.
  • ISPAK and hold the 1st Internet Exhibition in Karachi.


  • Pakistan’s IT Policy formulated.
  • GoP’s Universal Internet Access scheme allows more than 1,000 cities, towns and villages to dial ISPs in the nearest city at the cost of local call.
  • SMW-3 fiber optic cable commissioned.
  • Broadband cable introduced by WorldCall in Lahore.


  • PTCL establishes new internet bandwidth service through the newly introduced Pakistan Internet Exchange (PIE) with attractive price tags, but no quality of service guarantee.
  • A group of students from FAST, Karachi launch, a portal that offers everything one wanted to know about Karachi, from bus routes to maps and more.


  • PIE starts blocking internet telephony and pornographic websites.
  • Government sets up Virtual University.
  • Pakistan Educational Network connects 56 national universities with a high speed optical fiber network.
  • PTA issues determination unblocking Net2Phone and other VoIP services.
  • Intel helps the GoP set up Internet kiosks in major airports in the country.
  • The official website of the Government of Pakistan is victim to a politically motivated attack launched by the latest version of an internet worm. Virus experts said the Yaha.E worm contains a payload designed in part to disrupt the home page of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan with a rudimentary denial of service attack.
  • Microsoft raids major corporations and offices to crack down on illegal and pirated software.
  • AKD Trade launches the first Pakistani online stock trading website.


  • Pakistan’s first geo-stationary satellite, PAKSAT-1, becomes operational.
  • PTCL monopoly lapses on Jan 1 – on paper.
  • PIE network goes down to crawling speeds 63 times in two months.
  • PTCL starts blocking porn sites.
  • PIE blocks access to SA Tribune (, a Washingtonbased news website, critical of the GoP. Ministers deny the blocking.
  • PTCL bandwidth rates are dropped from US$6,000 per 2Mbps to US$5,400 per 2Mbps.
  • FLAG’s virtual pop activated.
  • Hacking wars between hackers from India and Pakistan reach the peak level.
  • PTCL signs 1st service level agreement with ISPs on FLAG circuits.
  • Internet subscribers hooked to about 45 ISPs in Karachi suffer owing to break n fiber cable of PTCL. Internet remains ‘down’ for 19 hours.
  • Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication announces the De- Regulation Policy for the Telecommunication Sector.
  • GoP announces plans to give away porn-blocking software.
  • The State Bank of Pakistan starts the online Credit Information Bureau (CIB), which is the first in South Asia to provide current data about borrowers.
  •, an online community that connects Muslims through a circle of friends, launches and becomes an overnight success.
  • Pakistani internet users were unable to load any browser pages for nearly a day when miscreants cut an optical fiber link of PTCL near Sibi.


  • Pakistan Telecommunications Company asks FLAG Telecom (PTCL’s international internet transit provider) to block access to all pornographic websites on its backbone to Pakistan.
  • PTA auctions licenses for Local Loop, Wireless Local Loop and the Cellular sector.
  • Access to South Asia Tribune is blocked again. The Government denies it.

Courtesy: Spider Magazine

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