The GTANet IRC Network originally started as a network for the GTA:Connection project by Luke back in July 2004, using a server in Malta. Team members were the network operators and we had an average user count of about 10 to 20 users. After a few months the lag became unbearable and TwoZero setup a server on his home connection, also making him the second Network Administrator besides Luke.
Both Luke and TwoZero were, and still are, active members in the GTANet community, mainly on GTAForums. In December 2005 GTANet was looking for an IRC Network to associate itself with and it didn't take more than a few days for a deal to be made between GTA:Connection and GTANet. At this point we dropped our server in Malta and arranged better and faster servers for the network to handle the increasing user count.
In the spring and summer of 2005 a new GTA Multiplayer project emerged, VC-MP, they established their IRC discussion channel on our GTANet IRC Network. The GTA:Connection project hadn't had much activity and after a few friendly discussions we decided to join forces, the GTA:Connection team merged with the VC-MP team and GTA:Connection was no more. Later on the VC-MP sourcode was released and the old VC-MP team started to focus on San Andreas Multiplayer (SA-MP), which became an official GTANet partner project.
Another big event was the linking with the Multi Theft Auto (MTA) IRC server. In the past both GTANet and the GTA:Connection team had some differences with the MTA team, but quite a lot of users on the MTA network were also interested in VC-MP and other GTANet projects, resulting in them having to be on 2 different networks. After some good conversations with the MTA team we decided to put aside our differences and link our IRC networks, now users who were interested in projects on both networks could just stick to 1 network.
Over the past years we've had quite a few different servers, notable servers that we used to have include 'Candypants' which was provided by neop (who used to run gtaskins.com and developt the first GTA Mod Manager for GTA3) and 'Fish' which was provided by FiShMaStEr (used to run the now offline site gtacentral.net).
Currently most of our servers are provided by littlewhitey (owner of GTA-Host) and one of the servers is provided by Jorijn.