iiNet turns 18

by Nikkita Dixon

iiNet has officially entered what we Australians call adulthood. With 18 years behind us, we’ve certainly come a long way since the early days when we started business in a suburban garage.

To celebrate, we’ll be kicking back and celebrating ‘retro style’. For now though, we’ve roped together 18 fun facts about iiNet for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

1. DSLAM was a bit technical back in the day, so for our first advertising campaigns we referred to them as ‘doovalackeys’.

2. Our staff’s Friday pocket change amounted to a whopping $36,360 last year. This was donated to 52 different charities. Impressive!

3. iiNet was the first organisation in WA to offer dialup Internet access to the public. The entire operation was based within a suburban garage belonging to Michael Malone’s parents.

4. A signed photo of Tom Selleck (of Magnum P.I fame) takes pride of place on level 1 of our Perth headquarters.

5. Michael Malone and his friend, Michael O’Reilly, established iiNet in 1993. Since that time we’ve had 106 different Michaels working for iiNet.

6. iiNet’s first paid employee was Justin Lowe. His office was a bedroom in Michael Malone’s house that he shared with Michael O’Reilly, Deanne Godfrey, a cat and a pool table.

7. Every staff member has at least one stress ball on their desk. Not because they’re often stressed, but because every time we give out some staff freebies a stress ball always makes it into the goodie bag.

8. iiNet never forgets its history. When our new Perth headquarters was built three years ago, each meeting room was named in tribute to the ISPs that have joined the iiNet family.

9. To mark this special milestone, we’ve released our very first Sustainability Report. Have a quick squiz to see the positive impact iiNet has on the wider community.

10. iiNet has three customer service centres operating outside of Australia – one in Auckland, one in Capetown and one in Manilla.

11. Finn, the iiNet guy, has reached such levels of fame that he is often chased down in the streets to be photographed and asked to say the words “tiddly tee potatoes”.

12. Since iiNet took over as naming sponsor for the NBL, the game’s television audience has increased by 298 percent.

13. iiNet was the first Internet Service Provider to make calls to crisis lines free of charge following a customer suggestion on our Twitter account. We’re happy to report other ISPs are now following suit.

14. iiNet has a magical upper-basement where every bit of merchandise ever made for the company lives. Some say if you stand in the middle of it all and say “iiNet” backwards three times, it will transport you back to the 90s when Michael Malone was still working out of his mum’s garage.

15. Our staff have created the ultimate iced coffee recipe from ingredients iiNet provides them with. To find out more, check out our careers page for opportunities to join the iiNet family and learn the family secrets.

16. iiNet’s Top Geek winner is a girl from Tasmania, Cassandra James. She’s an awesome comic artist.

17. iiNet’s Cutest Pet was crowned in May. Her name is Ellie and she’s a Japanese Spitz cross King Charles Cavalier belonging to our Resource Planner, Richard Henderson.

18. Every time iiNet has a birthday, WE get a birthday present. Last year we got personalised cupcakes. Yummm.

If you’re unfamiliar with our 18 years of rich history, feel free to check out our online timeline. Alternatively, if you’re a ‘Perthie’ come along to one of our Open Day seminars on Monday (24 October 2011). Register your interest on our Open Day booking page.

Here’s to another 18 years!

Pictured: The garage where it all began, Finn, from one of our new Naked DSL television ads and Ellie, iiNet’s Cutest Pet.


  1. Joe says:

    I remember the Wantree days 🙂

  2. shaper says:

    I am one of your early customers, I have had a web site for years when I had a dial up and have been on
    your broadband ADSL for well over 10 years now.
    So congratulations iinet and heres to many more years.

  3. Luke says:

    Congrats IInet, has been an interesting journey with you, have been a customer for well over 10yrs as well, i i received my first pc from the starlight foundation, an soon after joined IInet an never have looked back, you guys rock, the best ISP by far an wide in this country!, cheers to another 18 an more successful years!

  4. Peter Griffioen says:

    I think I have been a customer since the beginning as I was transferred from another ISP (can’t recall the ISP name) when I was using ‘OPEN LEARNING’. I was given a choice of ISPs and chose OzEmail. It was only dial-up in those days. That would have been in 1993 when Malcolm Turnbull was still involved with OzEmail. His trust company possibly still holds shares in iiNet.

  5. Del Prince says:

    Congratulations iinet on your 18th.
    I went from Vianet to Wantree then to you before you acquired Wantree.
    15 years later and I have no plans of going elsewhere, keep up the great work.

  6. Peter says:

    Thanks for a great page.
    BUT, where do we find you in Perth?
    Nowhere on the entire page is your address, not Postal address, but building!!!

  7. Bruce Maddick says:

    I believe that I could be 1 of those longest iiNet customers as I migrated from ihug & I still hold a resellers ihug Dial Up account.
    Formally from Melbourne now I’m livin’ in Toowoomba.
    WOW I think I signed up in 1991
    I still have some ihug pics, posters & installation CDs for New DialUp Accounts.

  8. Nick says:

    I’ve been an iiNet customer for over 16 years. During that time service, support and value for money have been first rate. Keep up the good work!

  9. averill says:

    I remember walking into your office in the QV1 building in the mid nineties, no idea of what I was doing, but I wanted to join ‘the net’. A lovely young man took me through the necessaries, explaining simply as we went. You still have absolutely wonderful staff with great people skills. It is still a pleasure to talk to them, no one talks ‘down’ to you, and makes you feel like the computer idiot that you are!!
    THANKS IINET !!!!!

  10. Keith Hancock says:

    I have had 12years and 4months of happy associacion with IINET. I have learned a lot from the support staff and I thank them for that. Congratulations Michael on reaching this milestone

  11. Ros says:

    My children signed me up over 13 years ago. Thankyou to iiNet Support for their assistance over the years – always helpful and patient with a newcomer to the ways and means of the internet and computers in general.

  12. Bob Clark says:

    Happy 18th guys! I’ve been with you for 14yrs and 3 mths. Never considered changing ISP’s and always pleased to recommend iiNet to others.

  13. Zyron says:

    iinet was only two when I joined, so we go a long way back!! It’s been a great journey as iinet and the internet have grown. It’s been exciting to take advantage of the new technology and to see iinet grow, and realise that I was smart enough to back a winner in the early days of the internet. Keep it up iinet!!

  14. Linda says:

    We signed up with our new home computer 3.5 years ago and so very happy with the service provided. Voip drops out from time to time it forgets its own password? but I expect you guys at ii will perfect and iron out the cliches as you go. Happy 18th to everyone at iinet. 🙂