Space shuttle Challenger and Chernobyl disasters. Finland's third TV Channel launched. Reagan re-elected.

Helsinki University of Technology gets Finland's first transceiver for connecting an IBM mainframe to an Ethernet network using the WISCNET software, which supports the Internet Protocol.
  • Diginet, a 64 Kbit/s voice-and-data network is launched as a predecessor to ISDN
  • Local area networks at Helsinki and Tampere Universities of Technology are linked together with a fixed 64 kbit/s connection that uses bridges to transmit data.
  • In Finland, the Imperial Telegraph Decree is replaced by the Law on Telecommunications (2.12.1986)
  • Active members of the Finnish Unix User Group (FUUG) in Tampere apply for registration of the .FI domain name, which is approved.
  • Eric Thomas in Paris develops the LISTSERV mailing list distribution system, originally for the EARN network. This later also became popular on the Internet, as it is able to handle very large mailing lists.
  • NNTP (News to News Transfer Protocol), which is more interactive than UUCP (Unix to Unix CoPy), is developed for distributing news to Internet newsgroups, allowing news to be transmitted any number of times.
  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) are set up as collaborative forums for standardising Internet protocols and for research.
  • The National Science Foundation in the USA funds the setting up of the 56 Kbit/s NSFNET network, which links US supercomputer centres together to become the Internet using Fuzzball computers. This makes possible Internet links to the scientific community outside the Department-of-Defense-funded ARPANET project, who had had to put up with other alternatives, such as the BITNET and UUCP networks.
  • Cisco Systems, a small company with four workers in Silicon Valley, California, delivers its first Internet routers.