Internet Timeline for Israel - the early years (1984-1998)

This presents a historical review of how the Internet started in Israel.

Aug 13, 1984 - Machba connects to EARN - the European counterpart to
Bitnet via a 9.6kb line

1Q 1985 - 9.6kb link to CSNet operational from Hebrew University

Aug 23, 1987 - Zvi Amid, Director General of Bezek indicates that he
views the existing academic network as illegal. Based on Zvi's letter,
Machba decides to apply for a special license from Misrad Hatkishoret
(Ministry of Communications) to operate an academic network. 

Nov 8, 1988 - Machba receives a special license from Misrad Hatikshoret
(Ministry of Communications) to run an academic and research network on
a legal basis. This took a year and half, during which Bezek refused to
issue new telecommunication lines for the universities.

Dec 21, 1988 - Machba meets with the marketing people of Bezek.  At this
meeting we are informed that Sifranet no longer exists and in its
place is a new digital leased line service.  

Jan 8, 1989 - Machba orders its first 64kb lines from Bezek (Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to Haifa). These two lines are ordered "blind"
since Bezek cannot state what the new price is to be.

Jul 12, 1989 - Machba orders a 56kb link from Weizmann to Nysernet
in the United States - the first international Internet circuit from

Sep 13, 1989 - Bezek informs Machba that 56kb service to USA is not
available for at least the next 10 months and therefore Machba
immediately places an order for a 9.6kb line to USA.

Feb 15, 1990 - First national 64kb link (TAU-Technion) becomes
operational, 11 months after having been ordered. Rest of lines are
connected during February and March - total delay 11-12 months from time
of order.

Mar 3, 1990 - Machba becomes an official Amuta

Jun 26, 1990 - First international Internet link becomes operational at
9.6kb to USA. Haifa-Technion 64kb link is still not operational.

Oct 2, 1990 - A 64kb link is ordered from IDB to Nysernet and Bezek is
informed of our choice. Bezek claims 60-90 days to get the line

Mar 11, 1991 - International 64kb Internet link to USA made operational
(5 month delay - best record so far of Bezek).

Mar 19, 1991 - Bezek gets order for 64kb line to Europe from TAU.

Jun 6, 1991 - Meeting with Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry
of Science and Ministry of Communications.  The 3 Ministries request 
Machba to alter its telecom license to allow companies to get connected
via Machba to the Internet.

Jul 23, 1991 - BGU-HUJI 64kb is operational (16 months delay)

Oct 14, 1991 - HUJI-Weizmann 64kb line installed (19 months delay)

Oct 21, 1991 - First European Internet link to CERN (Ebone) operational
at 64kb (7 month delay)

Nov 27, 1991 - Haifa University finally connected at 64kb after
2.5 years wait.

Jan 1, 1992 - BIU-Weizmann 64kb link installed (21 months delay).
Haifa-Jerusalem 64kb link still not installed.

Feb 20, 1992 - Machba turns down the government request to be a
nationwide ISP. Machba agrees to be a leased line Internet Service
Provider but not a dial-up service provider. Based on this meeting
Actcom, Dataserv and Netmanage (later renamed to Netvision) receive the
ratification from the Ministry of Communication to become dialup
Internet service providers by the end of the year.

Mar 21, 1992 - 128kb upgrade ordered to USA

Apr 10, 1992 - Machba license altered to allow companies to connect
via leased lines.  The decision as to who is allowed to connect
is handed over to an inter-Ministry committee.

Nov 17, 1992 - 1st 128kb national line installed, 15 months after
being ordered.  The other 9 lines still have not been upgraded.

Dec 15, 1992 - First Israeli ISP is operational - Kav Manche - Trendline
via a 9.6kb line to Machba.  See progression of Israeli Internet
connections via this page.

Jan 25, 1993 - 9 out of 10 128kb lines have been installed.  The
Technion-Jerusalem line has been installed after 2 years and 10 months
of delay.

Jan 26, 1993 - The line to the USA has been upgraded to 128kb.  The
delay was 10 months from time of order.  Line not via Bezek - line
ordered via Israsat.

Jan 19, 1994 - Line to USA upgraded to 256kb via Israsat

Feb 24, 1994 - 3 MAN connections started operation at 10Mb/sec

Apr 12, 1994 - First of the existing Sifranet lines removed

May 22, 1994 - Ministry of Communications grants full Internet licenses
to 3 companies: Elron, Darcom and Netmanage (which later buys out Elron).

Nov 15, 1994 - Line to Europe upgraded to 128kb

Jan 1, 1995 - Last of the 7 universities connected to MAN network

Mar 10, 1995 - Netvision is formed from parts of Netmanage

Sep 20, 1995 - Internet Society of Israel forms under ILA

Oct 1, 1995 - Machba disconnects from PSI (256kb) and connects
via T1 (1.5Mb/sec) to IBM Israel.

Dec 17, 1995 - Internet Society of Israel decides to create Israeli
Internet Exchange after Machba told to remove all commercial 
organizations from its network

Dec 20, 1995 - Machba disconnects its 256kb to Europe.

Mar 21, 1996 - 1st Israeli ISP goes bankrupt - Dataserve

Jun 27, 1996 - Last Israeli ISP disconnects from Machba as per
Ministry of Communications request

Jul 2, 1996 - The Israeli Internet Exchange (IIX) is operational

Nov 12, 1996 - Bezeq starts 135 Internet service

Jan 11, 1998 - 2nd Israeli ISP goes bankrupt - Starnet

Oct 21, 1998 - 3rd Israeli ISP goes bankrupt - Shani

This page is maintained by Hank Nussbacher (
Phone: +972-9-7663447, Fax: +972-9-7663432, Cell: +972-54-5568881
Last modified on Sun Sep 17, 2006