25 Years of Communications Competition



• PHONE+ (now Channel Partners) launches.
• TCG and N.J. Bell strike the nation’s first competitive interconnection and colocation agreement.
• Association for Local Telecommunications Services (ALTS) is formed.
• DSL is introduced.
• Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.
• Unemployment: 6.2%
• After working for 58 hours, rescuers in Midland, Texas, lift 18-month-old "Baby Jessica" McClure out of the 22-foot deep well in her backyard.|
• Oliver North, Jr. testifies before Congress in the Iran-Contra hearings.


• MFS Communications is founded.
• SP Construction, a subsidiary of Southern Pacific Railroad is founded to lay fiber along railroad lines; the company later becomes Qwest Communications.
• The National High-Performance Computer Technology Act is introduced by Al Gore.
• Gallon of gas: $.96
• CDs outsell vinyl records for the first time.
• The U.S. stealth bomber is unveiled.

Looking for more? Click here for our slide show on the winners and losers in technology from the past 25 years.


• NYPSC orders the nation’s first interconnection ruling with “virtual colocation."
• Tim Berners-Lee at CERN develops the World Wide Web, although it's a few more years before the initiative is refined.
• America Online, or AOL, is born.
• Dennis Patrick resigns as the FCC chairman and Alfred Sikes is named as the successor.
• A protest by Chinese students culminates in their takeover of Tiananmen Square.
• After 28 years, the Berlin Wall is opened, reuniting East and West Germany.
• A 6.9 magnitude earthquake strikes San Francisco during warm-up for the third game of the World Series.


• Illinois Commerce Commission issues first physical colocation/interconnection order
• Cisco Systems Inc. goes public.
• Archie, the first-ever search engine, is developed at McGill University.
• Gallon of gas: $1.217
• Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, setting off the Persian Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm).
• Left-handed 4-year-old Stefani Germanotta begins to learn to play the piano. In 1999, she will write her first piano ballad, on her way to becoming Lady Gaga.

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