Maybe you were born sometime in the 1970s to 1980s, and you were smack in the middle of your youth when the Internet wave swept over us. Perhaps you were an avid gamer in the era of Gunbound, Dune, Warcraft, Diablo, Ragnarok – and of course, everyone knows how cute Worms can be touting canons and missiles – which is also to say, you would remember what dial-up tones sound like. If 56 Kbps or 128 Kbps internet connectivity doesn’t sound like the stuff of legends to you, you’ve probably heard of or maybe even engaged Pacific Internet as your preferred internet service provider at some point in time. They might even have been your very first email domain! So where did they go? What’s happened all these years?
Pacific Internet’s journey began in 1991 as TechNet, Singapore’s first Internet Service Provider (ISP), an initiative by the National Science and Technology Board. It was later bought by Sembawang Media, giving rise to Pacific Internet. In 1995, the telecommunications industry had been deregulated, and allowed players like Pacific Internet to join the existing SingNet as a commercial Internet Service Provider. Pacific Internet’s pioneer offer of unlimited internet connection for S$100/month gave consumers an alternative to choose from for the first time, and it proved to be a hit with consumers, with 21,000 subscribers in May 1996 despite breaking into the market just a year prior.
35 Years of Tech: The early years of Pacific Internet
With the rapid rise in the adoption of Internet services in the 1990s, competition amongst the three Internet Service Providers of the day, Singtel (SingNet), Pacific Internet (TechNet), and Starhub (Cyberway) grew fierce. Gradually, Pacific Internet phased out its consumer-facing internet services and to carve a niche in enterprise or B2B Business Internet plans.
Business owners may be more familiar with another Communications Service Provider (CSP), OSINet. OSINet Communications was founded in 2010 as a CSP providing data, voice and video solutions. Acclivis Technologies and Solutions, a subsidiary of DeClout Limited, acquired OSINet, and consequently, Pacific Internet, in 2015. From business internet connectivity, cloud hosting infrastructure, managed cloud services, professional services to disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), the combined expertise completed the business portfolio with end-to-end solutions as an offering. Today, Pacific Internet works in tandem with Acclivis Technologies and Solutions to power business agility for clients looking for end-to-end solutions, business internet plans and cloud hosting solutions.
Many consumers will continue to hold fond memories of Pacific Internet from their days in the fray as Singapore’s first Internet Service Provider. As Cloud solutions continue to grow in popularity as the solution of choice for business use, the coupling of internet connectivity services and cloud hosting solutions will make it possible for Pacific Internet to provide all-in-one managed service and infrastructure solutions as a service offering. The Pacific Internet of old has gone, but the Pacific Internet of today is poised and ready to impact the industry once again, just as they did all those years ago.