This is about NetLink the ISP. If you want Netlink for Linux programming see LinuxNetlinkSockets.

Extremely brief history of NetLink


  • VUW Comp Sci provides UUCP access for email/news


  • VUW connects to Internet, permits other agencies to connect if hardware comms costs covered. No traffic charging in place. Most connections are analogue leased lines attached to PC routers running PCRoute, either VUW surplus or provided by the connected site.


  • U of Waikato starts charging for international traffic, rather than relying on cost sharing
  • VUW holds garage sale to fund a cisco 516CS terminal server to replace pile of PC routers.
  • WCC traffic exceeds 1GB/month, with exponential growth at 100% per month. Something Needs To Be Done.
  • December: VUW Internetworking Group formed, charges set.


  • April: Bills sent out to 7 customers.
  • Revenue $100k for year (before expenses).


  • CTL Comet V-FAST (28kbps) modems used on analogue leased line service. CTL agrees to design and build a rack-mountable version; first example installed at VUW.
  • Network Dynamics routers deployed at half the price per port of cisco equipment. Beginning of relationship with ND (later Securicor 3net, Teltrend & now Allied Telesyn).
  • "Internet Administrator" position advertised.
  • Revenue $250k, 25 leased-line customers.
  • VUW Finance eyes burgeoning Internet revenues, expecting CSC budget demands to be met. Something Needs To Be Done.
  • Discussions with Victoria Link Ltd (VUW-owned company) to separate Internet operations from CSC.


  • NetLink formed as division of Victoria Link.
  • April: NetLink offers dialup PPP, email and web services, on top of former Internetworking Group leased-line service. Also "Internet Presence", first "virtual server" web and email services in NZ.
  • CyberNet incident: CyberNet Ltd, an Auckland ISP, deliberately floods another Auckland ISP, Iprolink during a demonstration. Both ISPs are connected via University of Auckland. UoA disconnects CyberNet, but is uncomfortable about long term viability of Internet operations. Something Needs To Be Done.
  • August: NetLink takes over management of University of Auckland Internet services.
  • November: VolcanoCam.


  • Expansion into Christchurch (leased-line & dialup) and Dunedin (leased-line only).
  • October: NetLink sponsors General Election web coverage.
  • Deployment of NetRadio wireless Internet service using Proxim equipment (500 kbps). 3 antennas on Cotton Building provide coverage over most of Wellington CBD, although some Te Aro sites require very tall poles to "see" over neighboring buildings.


  • NetLink formed as separate company.
  • NetRadio deployed from roof of Hotel Grand Chancellor, tallest building in Christchurch.
  • Colin Wallis appointed as CEO.
  • Founding management team, DonStokes & Stuart Wilson resign.


  • Colin Wallis resigns.


  • October: NetLink sold to Telstra NZ.