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A Swedish internet history timeline

From Swedish innovations in the 1970s through the video game wonders of the 80s and 90s, and even up to today, Sweden has always been at the forefront of the digital revolution. Learn more about Sweden's contributions to internet history.


Tidas kontrollrum

Swedish invention added to Arpanet

When the Swedish electric grid goes digital, it is inspired by the Arpanet. But technical problems soon lead to an innovation which becomes a piece of Swedish internet history - and reaches the world.



Swedish BBS - computer networking before the internet

Before the web, there are electronic bulletin boards. Using your phone line and a modem, you dial a number and connect to another computer. There, you can communicate with other people who have called up the same computer.



This is Sweden's first web site

As soon as the World Wide Web was standardized, Linköping University's computer club quickly launched Sweden's first web site.

Carl Bildt utanför sommarstuga med bärbar dator, 1990-tal

Carl Bildt and Bill Clinton make history with their e-mails

On February 5th in 1994, the Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt writes an e-mail to the President of the United States Bill Clinton (and receives a response). This is the first time that two heads of governments are writing over the internet.

Spray hemsida 1999

Spray pioneers a new type of corporate culture

Among the first to jump on the new internet hype in Sweden are Spray. The company starts as internet consultants in 1995 and build many of the first web pages for Swedish large corporations.


The Swedish Internet Foundation is formed

Until 1997 the administration of .se domain names is handled by a single person: Björn Eriksen at KTH (The Royal Academy of Science). But when the internet gets more and more popular, this is quickly becoming unteneble as Björn has to work around the clock to keep up. KTH decide that domain names are not within their area of responsibility. Therefore the Swedish Internet Foundation is formed.


Faster internet with broadband

1999 is a landmark year for broadband in Sweden, much thanks to Jonas Birgersson's Bredbandsbolaget. Their deal with housing giant HSB gives 350.000 apartments broadband connections



Boo.com's spectactular bankruptcy

They want to create the world's largest e-commerce site for fashion and sportswear. But with no profit made Boo.com quickly goes bankrupt and turns into a symbolic name for the IT bubble bursting.


Candy Crush comes to Facebook

In April 2012 you start getting messages from Facebook friends about the game "Candy Crush", which has been added to the social network.


Skype makes phone calls free

In 2003 Niklas Zennström starts Skype, a service that lets people call people over the internet instead of regular phones.


The Pirate Bay

In a basement at his job in Mexico City, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg creates file sharing site The Pirate Bay in 2003. The servers are later moved to Gothenburg, Sweden, and soon Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde are spokespeople for the file sharing site which will be hunted by both authorities and the entertainment industry.


Spotify changes the music industry

Spotify is founded in April 2006 by Swedes Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. It's a brand new streaming service for music, available in a free version with commercials, or as a paid, commercial-free version.


Wikileaks founded – chooses a Swedish ISP

A group of human rights activists, journalists and techs start a new organization to distribute classified material leaked from governments and corporations. Sweden is about to play an important part – in more than one way.



Pewdiepie starts streaming on Youtube

Felix Kjellberg begins studying industrial economy at Chalmers University of Technology, but drops out to focus on his Youtube channel. That turns out to be a smart move.

Dator kretskort i lego
Foto: Kretskort av Kristina Alexanderson (CC-BY)

The most common profession in Stockholm is programmer

The most common profession in Stockholm is not teacher, nor sales clerk or nurse, but systems developer and software programmer. In 2014 there are 22.000 people in Stockholm with this profession.


Stockholm lauded as startup metropolis

Unicorn factory, tech superstar and startup capital of Europe. In recent years, Stockholm has been lauded by international press as well as researchers and investors.

izettle och grundaren Jacob de Geer

Paypal buys Swedish Izettle

Less than two weeks before their IPO, Swedish payment company Izettle gets an offer they can't refuse from Paypal.