The Frogfoot Story

Our History and Legacy

 

Sovereign Frog

The Setting

Frogfoot was founded in July 2000. Abz and Joe met at Stellenbosch University in 1997, where they both spent lots of time tinkering with Linux and mountain biking in the mountains around Stellenbosch.

Before Frogfoot was a Business

Abz and Joe were busy developing an e-commerce site which would sell wine at the time. They had an analog leased line (32Kbps) to the student house where they lived. Which was really cool, for that day and age.

With the e-commerce venture coming to an end they were about to lose the sponsorship of their leased line. They were also not very happy with the service they were getting from their ISP at the time, who treated them like.. well, students.

You would expect them to start an ISP at this point, but the story takes a bit of a twist…

Joe and Abz started talking to a few friends about getting a permanent Internet connection as a group. The idea was to create a co-op. The co-op would arrange a leased line from Cape Town and members could then connect with analog leased lines or SDSL. Good plan, everybody was keen.

When the day came to order the leased line all the other people were noncommittal.

Start Up

“Let’s start an ISP”. We needed a name, some business cards and clients.

Joe designed a logo (using Gimp), made some business cards, walked around Stellenbosch and (pre-)sold services to a few businesses. He arranged a location for the first Frogfoot POP. With a bit of bartering the POP lease was exchanged for Internet access.

We ordered a 128Kbps leased line from SDN (later taken over by UUNet) and started to figure out Cisco routers and multi-port serial card support in Linux. Abz (the PPP and Linux guru) managed to get the our serial card working in what would be our first access router. We registered the frogfoot.net domain and our first server was called kermit.frogfoot.net.

The Frogfoot Name

At the time none of us had much interest in branding, but it seemed like a fun project to find a name.

Today Joe would like to say the name was inspired by his amphibious activities at the time, like Scuba diving, underwater hockey and spear fishing.

When asked for the truth, the best answer he can come up with is that the name was chosen like many people pick their passwords. They look around their desk and start to make connections with some object in front of them like “mobile phone” or “sunglasses”.

Joe had a Tshirt with frog feet on it, which was close to his PC at the time. There you have it. Strange but true.

Frog Tshirt

Fast Forward

  • 2001 – Frogfoot opened a POP in Cape Town
  • 2002 – We built a Datacentre (Frogtown)
  • 2003 – The Frogfoot Network became AS 22355 and we started using our own IP space
  • 2004 – We moved into office space in Newlands, Cape Town and started working on The Frogfoot Portal
  • 2005 – Started offering ADSL VPN services
  • 2006 – Started offering Xen Virtual Server services
  • 2007 – We built a Wifi billing engine

Full Circle

In August 2008 Frogfoot sold its consumer client base to focus on providing business services. This is a return to the business model we had when we started Frogfoot.