I haven't seen any conversation building up to this anniversary anywhere and I'm kind of surprised.

This upcoming November will mark the 30th anniversary of the opening of the very first commercial Internet service provider offering dial-up access to the general public.

That ISP is The World, and they still offer dial-up connections.

Being older than thirty years old, I remember this, but only due to tiny mentions in periodicals aimed at the computer aficionados of the later 1980s as I did not live near Brookline, MA and could not have afforded the long distance charges.

It did steer the course of my personal future, for five years on I'd decide to take a swing at replicating what they had done and opened a dial-up ISP of my own, and that ended up giving me the confidence to keep going with all this stuff I really don't know much about. So, shout out to The World for being inspirational.

So with all the foregoing as preamble, NSF is happy to permit carriage of
your Acceptable Use-conformant traffic over NSFNET Backbone Services.

@djsundog wait we had the first commercial isp? holy shit?

i had no idea!

( granted, like, i guess i maybe shouldn't be surprised given the institutions around and also that someone at my old kung fu school got in on the ground floor fast enough to snag "" but )

@bobby_newmark yeppers, we're all here in the fediverse due to a lineage that runs squarely through your back yard.

@trashyfins yeahhhhh, back in ye olden days of yore, that wasn't as well known an acronym, but did make perfect sense for the Standard Tool and Die company, who were the founders of The World ISP. ;)

@thegibson @djsundog ):< I did *not* have explicit, authorized permission to access or configure that device

@djsundog I have an older friend who still as a TheWorld email address

@djsundog I was on the ISP that the Green Card Spammers first sent their spam from. I first found out it happened by signing in and having an apology email from the admins to the effect of, "they have already been kicked off."

@LilFluff everything was still pretty personal back then, even from admins for corporate presences, probably because everybody knew they didn't really know what they were doing and were hoping no one would notice.

@djsundog it made it onto the local news because they sued the ISP (and got all but laughed out of court, one of the pair eventually getting disbarred iirc)

@LilFluff @djsundog A friend *ran* that ISP, it was in Phoenix IIRC. After he kicked them off, he had his own on Usenet.
@DJ Sundog - from the toot-lab It's a dubious claim.  I think the definition of *precisely* what they claim to be first at could be subject to scrutiny and legal interpretation. Larry Roberts (who died last year) created Telenet back in the early 70s and it was a dial-up provider connected with the then fledgling ARPANET, which he co-invented as a director of the ARPA back in the mid 60s. The first few years "the World" sold internet access illegally because commercial use of the now-named NSFNET was not yet permitted in 1989. Commercial and unrestricted use was finally allowed in 1992 if I recall. UUNET provided dial-up TCP/IP to NSFNET starting around 1988 but only to approved corporations, and members of the general public needed to be approved by NSFNET on a case-by-case basis. So UUNET played by all the rules, and the World operated on the shady side and tried to circumvent them. I don't personally believe they deserve any recognition at all.

@djsundog they have dialup numbers in my town! I’m inclined to call them, just for the nostalgia of hearing the handshake noise.

I’m friends with the brother of the founder of panix , for whatever that’s worth in nerd points.

@djsundog I didn't realize there were any decent dialup ISPs left

tempting to switch my in-case-the-satellite-fails emergency dialup to them, from the (very bad) current ISp

@joeyh there are a few out there - as someone pointed out to me recently, still provides dial-up access to all account holders, including their gigabit fiber customers (I was a happy dsl customer for many years)

@djsundog altho, hmm, they have the same local access number as my current ISP. so I assume they're reselling the same single "ISP as a service" as every other remaining so-called dialup ISP

@joeyh yeah, there aren't very many companies left that actually operate the points of presence, so the PoPs resell to everyone - it's mostly a matter of who you want billing you and what other value adds they're offering

@djsundog The original PGP Diceware password wordlist by Arnold G. Reinhold's is still hosted on The World

I didn't know it was the first commercial ISP...

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