In November 1988, IRC had spread across the Internet and in the middle of 1989, there were some 40 servers worldwide.

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In Europe and Canada a separate new network was being worked on and in December the French servers connected to the Canadian ones, and in the end of the month, the French and Canadian network was connected to the US one and the network that later came to be called "The Undernet" was born.

The "undernetters" wanted to take ircd further in an attempt to make it less bandwidth consumptive and to try to sort out the channel chaos (netsplits and takeovers) that EFnet started to suffer from.

In fact, software implementation varied significantly from one network to the other, each network implementing their own policies and standards in their own code bases.

During the summer of 1994, the Undernet was itself forked.

As Greg "wumpus" Lindahl explains: "it had a wildcard server line, so people were hooking up servers and nick-colliding everyone".

The "Eris Free Network", EFnet, made the eris machine the first to be Q-lined (Q for quarantine) from IRC.

Jarkko got in touch with people at the University of Denver and Oregon State University.

They had their own IRC network running and wanted to connect to the Finnish network.

Jyrki Kuoppala pushed Jarkko to ask Oulu University to free the IRC code so that it also could be run outside of Oulu, and after they finally got it released, Jyrki Kuoppala immediately installed another server. Jarkko got some friends at the Helsinki University and Tampere University to start running IRC servers when his number of users increased and other universities soon followed.

At this time Jarkko realized that the rest of the BBS features probably wouldn't fit in his program.

IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (Multi User Talk) on a BBS called Oulu Box at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science.