Customers of Charlottetown-based Internet provider ISN began to get word this week that the company is about to be acquired by Nova Scotia-based Eastlink. The sale represents the end of a 14 year project for ISN’s founder Kevin O’Brien.
Kevin and I first met in the spring of 1993. We were essentially doing the same job — taking resources to the Internet — for two different sectors; Kevin was working for the PEI Federation of Agriculture and I was working for the PEI Crafts Council. What began with innocuous conversations about technology that spring led eventually, 18 months later, to the creation of ISN: I, in essence, goaded Kevin into creating his own ISP and was his unofficial technical co-conspirator in the early days.
Over ISN’s colourful history there haven’t been many projects I’ve engaged in, from my work with the Crafts Council to the founding of Digital Island and my work with the PEI Government, to my Okeedokee partnership to Dave Moses to my current setup sharing ISN bandwidth with silverorange, where ISN hasn’t played a pivotal role. The consumption of the company by Eastlink thus represents not only the end of a project for Kevin, but also the disappearance of a human-scale bandwidth provider for the Island. Things will never be the same.
As many of the early conversations where the seeds of ISN were planted took place at The Noodle House here in Charlottetown, Kevin and I returned to the scene of the crime to record a series of conversations about ISN past, present and future. We began with a discussion of what has happened, what’s ahead for existing ISN customers, and you can listen to this in the first of what will eventually be three podcast episodes:
(11.6 MB MP3, runs 25:20)
In future episodes we’ll talk about how ISN got started, and about some of the misadventures along the way.