Czechia celebrates 30 years on the Internet

Czechoslovakia was officially connected to the Internet on February 13, 1992 at an event hosted by the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague-Dejvice. The first ever connection had a speed of 19.2 kilobits per second.

The vast majority of people today cannot imagine life without the Internet. We user it to search for information, read e-mails, book holidays, pay in shops, send photos and entertaining videos.  Due to the Covid pandemic, we also rely on it for online meetings and distance learning. Yet it has only been 30 years since this phenomenon entered our lives.

The beginnings of the Internet in what was then Czechoslovakia (the country split into the Czech and Slovak Republics 10 months later, on 31 December 1992) were more than modest.

Photo: ČVUT

Only a few selected universities, large companies and a few enthusiasts joined the World Wide Web. They had been remotely connected to networks such as FidoNet, EUnet or EARN already before February 13, 1992.

By the way, the first media in the country to go online was Radio Prague, which launched its website on November 17, 1994.

Today, most Czechs use the Internet regularly. According to data from the Czech Statistics Office, some 83% of people over the age of 16 used the internet in the Czech Republic in 2021. In absolute terms, this represents 7.3 million people.

Almost all families with children and young families without children are connected to the Internet (99% and 98% respectively), compared to only 44 percent of pensioner households.

However, the Czech Republic still lags behind the European average. The highest number of households connected to the internet, 97 percent, are in the Netherlands. By contrast, the fewest such households, 79 percent, in Europe can be found in Bulgaria.