The non-profit NLnet Foundation was formally started in 1989, but incorporates networking activities which go back as early as 1982. The foundation (in Dutch called "Stichting NLnet" or shortly "NLnet") has played a major role in raising the so-called pan-European "UNIX" Network and the commercial and public internet network provision in Holland.
Some NLnet milestones are:
- the first internet backbone in Holland,
- the first local dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage, and
- the definition and implementation of a low cost connectivity structure.
These activities caused Amsterdam to become the major exchange point for European internet traffic. People like Piet Beertema, Daniel Karrenberg, Ted Lindgreen, and the employees of NLnet have played a major role for NLnet and the internet in Europe.
In the summer of 1997, the Foundation sold its commercialized internet provision activities to UUNET (the internet subsidiary of WorldCom), which was later renamed into Verizon. A somewhat more elaborate description of the NLnet history can be found in the following articles:
- Een nieuwe toekomst voor de Stichting NLnet ; published in NLUUG Newsletter volume 6, number 1, february 1998
- A second start for the NLnet Foundation: Some History; published in USENIX Association's magazine ;login:, April 1998
The Foundation is currently setting up software projects which support the internet community and is trying to synchronize its activities with other organizations active in the network field. The activities are focused on providing network technology to the community and on keeping the outcome in the so-called "public domain" (Open Source).