Like most of the rest of the world, the first Internet users were people in the academic community. People who study computer science, people who have this very powerful computing center in many of Taiwan’s universities, especially in Taipei and Hsinchu.
However, at the same time, Taiwan also has a very vibrant bulletin board system population. People used this very early modems. There were -baud or -baud modems to dial into each other’s homes, and to set up our own bulletin board systems, and leave messages, and have a lot of conversations.
That was a very early prototype which has become part of the Internet, through Usenet and other systems later on.
At that time, there was a lot of these local nets apart from the academic community. When the national telecom introduced access to the wider Internet in 1993, a lot people in the BBS communities joined, because then their telephone lines don’t have to be occupied all the time — at that time, people had to buy two lines, three lines, four lines for their modems for other people to dial in.
But when everybody on to the Internet, then we get access to the international community. Of course, the modem speed become much faster — up to 56kbps — and the rest is history.