192.com

192.com

192.com is a search engine for finding people, businesses and places in the UK. Founded in 1997, 192.com holds over 600 million records comprising current and historical UK electoral roll; telephone numbers; information on UK businesses; listings of company directors and the Births, Marriages and Deaths register since 1837. In 2006, 192.com launched a new UK mapping tool including complete Ordnance Survey street coverage and 12.5 cm resolution aerial photography.

History

1997
* i-CD Publishing founded by Alastair Crawford without any funding and with the intention of developing the first alternative to BT Group’s phone book – 192.com

* The first CD-ROM (UK-Info) launched, containing over 30 million electoral roll records with telephone numbers; the first time the electoral roll information had been published on CD ROM. A proprietary compression algorithm had to be developed to pack all the information on one CD-ROM

* The Credit Agencies react by restricting access to future copies of the electoral roll database so i-CD Publishing is provided data in paper format following 440 formal requests - as required under the Representation of the People Act 1500 typists take 3.5 weeks to double key 44 million names and addresses. KPMG give it a 99.9% accuracy rating

* i-CD Publishing challenged the established incumbent companies that were using licensing issues to create barriers to entry and made public data affordable for everyone for less than £20

1998

* i-CD Publishing’s UK-Info Disk becomes the first non-games CD ROM to top the charts

* BT Group takes aggressive stance over the new directories threatening legal action. 192.com provides first real competition to BT

* i-CD Publishing lobbies OFTEL (now OFCOM) to force BT to license the directory database which it duly does

* Data Protection Act 1998 expanded on the 1984 Act, creating rights for those who have their data stored, and responsibilities for those who store or collect personal data

1999

* i-CD Publishing becomes the first licensee of BT Group's directory enquiry database OSIS - four years before deregulation of 118 voice services

2000

* Alastair Crawford named on the Sunday Times Rich List based on the assumed value of 192.com but he refuses to sell or raise money

* 192.com launched, offering free access to directory enquiry data, electoral roll and Dun & Bradstreet business data

* i-CD Publishing makes successful transition of CD ROMs to the internet

2001

* About.com names 192.com one of the top 3 search sites worldwide.

* .net magazine names 192.com as one of the 100 websites that “changed the Internet Forever” [http://www.192.com/general/news.cfm]

2002

* 192.com Business Services launches with the BBC as its first client

* i-CD Publishing faces its biggest challenge; Royal Mail issues a High Court lawsuit claiming Royal Mail own the postcode which is on every directory listing; an ambitious test case that claimed hundreds of millions of pounds

2003

* 192.com's registered user-base grows to 3.5 million (statement from 192.com)

* De-regulation of directory enquiries sees a massive drop-off in calls and a migration to the web. 192.coms web traffic increases by 300% over 18 months (statement from 192.com)

* A court clarified the rules for access to the full electoral register in order that i-CD Publishing could abide by those rules to offer its users access to the full electoral register [http://www.out-law.com/page-3865]

2004

* After spending £1m on legal costs i-CD Publishing wins its two year battle with Royal Mail and wins costs [http://www.out-law.com/page-4294] A review of how the address database is managed and licensed is ordered by Postcomm as a result of the hearing. The management of Royal Mail’s address management centre is overhauled

* 192.com voted 'best online directory site' at the [http://www.118tracker.com/library-article-123.shtml 118 118 Tracker Awards] , beating Yell, BT Group and Thomson

* 192.com's registered user base reaches 4.8 million (statement from 192.com)

2005

* 192.com launches Census data and Family Records. 192.com now holds 600 million people and business records (statement from 192.com)

* 192.com Business Services reaches 700 corporate customers (statement from 192.com)

2006

* 192.com launches online mapping service with street coverage and aerial photography

* 192.com launches Web Data – the first UK information source to combine offline directory data with web records extracted from the UK internet

* 192.com launches “Ban the Phonebook” campaign – calling on phone book delivery to become an opt in service to reduce paper waste

2007

* 192.com marks 10 year anniversary and repositions as UK’s first local search engine

* 192.com launches new maps – providing 12.5 cm resolution

* The Guardian publishes "Free our Data" article detailing history of 192.com's 10 year campaign [http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/nov/08/freeourdata.news]

2008

* 192.com is the first site in the UK to publish the 2008 Electoral Roll

* 192.com adds Age Guide data to the site, providing an indication of a person's age within a 5 year band for 27 million people listings

* A Super Zoom function on 192.com Maps is added with 4 cm resolution aerial photography for convert|280|sqmi|km2 of London. Three times more detailed than any other mapping website, it is the equivalent of looking down on London from tenth story of a building. [http://www.192.com/general/news/london-superzoom-aerial-photos.cfm]

192.com can provide a log file of who has searched for a person [http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=55253] when requested by law enforcement agencies. Personal details can also be removed from the site by faxing a form to a fax number or writing to the company.

External links

* [http://www.192.com/ 192.com]
* [http://www.192business.com/ 192.com Business Services]


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