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draft ECE report version 5

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  • From: Milan Sterba < >
  • Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1992 13:09:11 +0100
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Here is the draft of the 5th version of the ECE report. I have quite 
significantly modified the previous version (ripe-54). The previous version
has been quite widely distributed on JENC3 in Innsbruck and at Interop in
Washington an on other events (Kobe). That's why I ask you for comments and 
updates in order to obtain a full picture of ECE networking. I will 
accept a complete text for your country not exceeding 30 lines with 
the following structure :

	1 paragraph on international connectivity
	1 paragraph on national connectivity
	1 paragraph on organizational issues in your country and external

Due to lack of Xwindows and PostScript facilities here I have not updated
the map (yet - we'll look at it in Paris).

Milan Sterba

draft version 5
September 1992

  An overview of East and Central European networking activities

  			      Milan Sterba


     1. Introduction

     This paper  is based  on work  of the  RIPE Connectivity  Working
Group.  It summarises the main issues of international connectivity of
East and Central European countries (ECE).  It is based on reports and
information  gathered by  network  representatives of these countries,
who have been present at the meetings or contacted on other occasions.

     Thanks are  due  to  all  those  who  helped  us  to  gather  the
information.   Some  countries  however, are  not represented in  this
report, due to lack of information.  Please contact the author if  you
have amendments or suggestions.

     This report  contains lists  of people  who are  responsible  for
international networking in each of their  countries and a map of  the
current situation in IP  networking in the those  countries.  The  map
doesn't show all existing international  lines of those countries  but
it seeks to be  complete for IP lines  and other leased lines  without
usage restrictions for the academic and research communities.

     This    report    has    been    written    by    Milan    Sterba
<Milan.Sterba@localhost   and  it does  not  necessarily  reflect  the
opinions of the authors of the national reports nor those of the  RIPE

     2. Present situation - External networking

     This chapter gives  as detailed  as possible  description of  the
various network activities in the East and Central European countries.
The  sections for  particular  countries  will  be subject to  regular
amendments or changes.

     Considerable progress has been  made during the  last year in  IP
connectivity of ECE countries. Czechoslovakia and  Poland have today, 
several  hundreds of connected hosts each and are the  most advanced  
ECE  countries with respect to  IP connectivity.

     Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary do also have IP connectivity today 
and have several tens of connected  hosts each. By the end of 1992 IP 
connectivity will probably also reach Latvia an dLithuania through
NORDUnet and maybe also Romania and one of the CIS republics.

     In all the connected countries the initial capacity of
international lines has rapidly become insufficient and it has been
sought to upgrade existing  lines and  set  up  reasonable   backup  
solutions.  Inter- networking  is  rapidly  spreading  and   good  IP  
connectivity   is considered as  the first  priority by  the national 
academic  network organisations.

     All the countries considered have at the present time some (often
more than one) connection to international networks. Certain countries
have  only  a dial-up  e-mail  connectivity,  others  have  low or
medium speed leased lines.  The present state of international leased 
lines to ECE countries is represented on the map in Appendix A.

     RIPE broadly  contributes to  this rapid  evolution by  technical
advice and by coordination efforts.

     2.1 Albania

     Curently  an  electronic  mail  connection  exists  between   the
University of Tirana and the Internet.  The gateway and relay function
resides at CNUCE, Pisa, Italy.

Contact Persons:

Maksim Raco maksi@localhost               - University of Tirana
Francesco Gennai <francesco.gennai@localhost - CNUCE, Pisa, Italy

     2.2 Estonia

     Estonia works in close co-operation  with NORDUnet in setting  up
external IP links.   Currently  a  64  kbits/s IP  satellite  link  is
operational between Tallin and  Helsinki (Finland), and between  Tartu
and Helsinki.    These  will eventually  connect  the  planned  Baltic
backbone network (BaltNet) to the rest of the Internet.

  Contact persons:

  Ants Work ants@localhost           - Institute of Cybernetics, Tallin

     2.3 Latvia

     A dial-up  EUnet  connection  exists between  Riga  and  Helsinki
(Finland).  A  64  kbit/s IP satellite link between Riga and  Helsinki
(Finland) is planned for later this  year.  This link will  eventually
connect to the planned Baltic backbone network (BaltNet).

Contact persons:

Sergei Rotanov rotanov@localhost       - Institute of Electronics
Riga Sergeijs Dmitrijevs <
              - candidate for Latvian EUnet backbone (now RELCOM Riga)

     2.4 Lithuania

     A dial-up EUnet  connection exists between  Vilnius and  Helsinki
(Finland).  A 9.6 kbit/s X.25 link, used for X.400 electronic mail and
sponsored  by  Norwegian  Telecom, exists  between  Vilnius  and  Oslo

Contact persons:

Laimutis Telksnys telksnys@localhost
                                  - Institute for Mathematics, Vilnius
Algirdas Pakstas <Algirdas.Pakstas@localhost
                                  - Institute for Mathematics, Vilnius

     The Baltic states are coordinated  within the BaltNet body  which
plans to build a backbone connecting  Baltic states with NORDUnet.   A
LISTSERV mailing list exists for this purpose (NORDBALT@localhost).

     2.5 Bulgaria

     A switched international X.25 connection connects the Bulgarian
EARN  node in Sofia to Linz  (Austria).   A  dial-up connection over
public  X.25 connects  the  Bulgarian EUnet via the  backbone node in
Varna to  the Internet  via  the  EUnet node  in Heraklion (Greece).  
Co-ordination between both projects, resulting in  a shared fixed IP
connection,  is under study.

     Several  tens  of EUnet  sites  are now connected  over dial-up
links to the national EUnet backbone.  A public X25 service is available
to  a  limited  extent.   EARN  services  have  been  opened recently at
Sophia University  but no gateway  exists between the  two services yet.

Contact persons:

Daniel Kalchev daniel@localhost    - EUnet backbone manager  BG,
                                      contact for BG.  top level domain
Anton Velichkov vam@localhost - EARN president for Bulgaria
Alexander Simeonov sasho@localhost - Center for Informatics, Sophia

     2.6 Commonwealth of Independent States.

     Dial-up connections  between  Helsinki  (Finland)  and  Amsterdam
(Netherlands) on the one  hand, and Moscow on  the other hand  connect
the Relcom network in Russia and a few other former USSR republics  to
the Internet.  Currently the  services consist of electronic mail  and
Network News.   A 9.6  kbit/s leased  line from  Moscow to  Copenhagen
(Denmark) connects  the  EARN node in  Moscow  to  the  EARN/BITNET
network.  A 4.8  kbit/s leased line between  Moscow and DESY,  Hamburg
(Germany), supporting  IP, delivers  HEPnet services  to two  research
institutes in  Moscow.    Low  speed links  between  Moscow  and  ESOC
(Germany) and CNES (France) serve the space physics community.

     A  considerable  effort  undertaken  by  the  RELKOM networking
organization  has brought  e-mail connectivity  to  several thousands of
sites all  over the  former  Soviet Union.   The growth  of  the network
is several 100%  a year.  RELKOM  operates now an IP  backbone which
goes from   St. Petersburg to  Novosibirsk.   The whole  network has
some 60  regional centres,  some of  which connect  more than  500
sites.  RELKOM's international traffic is split over two dial-up lines,
one to the the Finish EUnet backbone and one the central EUnet node in
Amsterdam. Both operate as gateways on  application level.  The rapidly
growing volume of international mail traffic makes the need for a medium
speed IP channel to Europe an urgency.

     The first EARN node started its operation in Moscow late in  1991,
but the spreading of EARN  services is still expected. Negotiations  are
still underway to set up an e-mail gateway between both networks.

Contact persons:

Dima Volodin dvv@localhost            - EUnet backbone manager SU
Misha Popov popov@localhost               - EUnet - RELCOM
Nickolay M.Saukh nms@localhost            - EUnet - RELCOM
Valery Bardin fox@localhost               - EUnet - RELCOM
Andrej Mendkovich mend@localhost   - CIS EARN director
Igor Sviridov <
                                          - EUnet - Ukraine contact.

     2.7 Czechoslovakia

     A 64 kbit/s  IP link  between  Prague and  Linz  (Austria)  is
operational today.   The  line  is shared between general IP, EARN  and
czech EUnet traffic. A  second link,  14.4 kbit/s between  Bratislava and 
Vienna is shared  between EUnet  traffic and  general IP  traffic and IXI.
Both  links  connect  into  the upcoming  national academic  backbone  
networks CESNET (Czech Educational and Scientific Network) and SANET (Slovak
Academic Network). Both networks are interconnected over a 19.2 kbit/s IP link
between Prague and Banska Bystrica. 

     Both CESNET and SANET are now setting up national backbone
infrastructures  connecting major academic towns in the country. 64
kbit/s lines are used  wherever available and considered necessary, 19.2
kbit/s on all other links. The first protocol supported is IP. Connected
to the backbones are appearing metropolitan networks in major cities.

    The major coordinating bodies are CESNET and SANET where universities
as well as Academy of Sciences, EARN and EUnet are represented. A good
cooperation exists between both separately funded projects as well as good 
cooperation with ACOnet, EARN, EUnet, WIN, INRIA France and others.

Contact persons:

Jan  Gruntorad  tkjg@localhost - EARN director for Czechoslovakia
                                       and CESNET coordinator
Pavel Rosendorf prf@localhost  - contact for .CS top level domain
Jiri Orsag ors@localhost            - CS NIC and EUnet Prague
Peter  Pronay  peter@localhost  - president of EUnet Czechoslovakia
Gejza Buechler gejza@localhost  - EUnet backbone manager CS
Karol Fabian <Karol.Fabian@localhost - SANET
Vladimir Kassa kassa@localhost	     - SANET
Jaroslav Bobovsky bobovsky@localhost - SANET
Milan Sterba <Milan.Sterba@localhost   - author of this report, CESNET
Ivo Smejkal ivo@localhost             - CESNET - user services

     2.7 Hungary

     Hungary is connected  to EARN  by a  9.6 kbit/s  IP line  between
Budapest  and  Linz (Austria).   For the time  being the same line  is
used also for  the Internet and  EUnet connection.   It is planned  to
upgrade this  line to  64 kbit/s  in 1992.   The  High Energy  Physics
community has access to HEPnet services  via a 9.6 kbit/s leased  line
between Budapest and CERN, Geneva  (Switzerland) which is now  running

     Hungary has a good  operational public X25  network which is  the
base of  Wide  Area Networking  between small and medium sized  sites.
Currently there are about  250 X.25 access points  in the country.   A
high speed leased line backbone is foreseen for connecting large sites
in the near future.

     In Hungary a  national program under  the title "R&D  Information
Infrastructure  Program  (IIF)"  is  responsible for the research net-
working.  The "HUNGARNET"  co-ordinates the networking  activities  of
different  user groups,  such  as  "HUNINET" (Universities  and   high
schools),  "AKANET"   (academic   research institutes),  and the  user
group of  public collections  (libraries, museums),  meanwhile part of
the funding goes through IIF.

Contact persons:

Nandor Horvath  horvath@localhost       - EUnet backbone  manager,
                                            domain contact for HU
Laszlo Zombory h340zom@localhost          - EARN president,
                                            chairman  of HUNINET
Laszlo Csaba ib006csa@localhost     - EARN  director  for Hungary
Istvan Tetenyi ib006tet@localhost   - EARN deputy director
Peter Bakonyi h25bak@localhost            - President of IIF Exec Com.
Geza Turchanyi h2064tur@localhost         - HUNGARNET CRIP
Piroska Giese giese@localhost - HEPnet
Ferenc Telbisz telbisz@localhost      - HEPnet

     2.8 Poland

     The main external  connection consists of  a 64 kbit/s  satellite
link between Warsaw and Stockholm (Sweden).  The link is an IP one and
carries all Internet, EARN  and  EUnet traffic. A new 64 kbit/s IP link 
is being set between Warsaw and Vienna with the objective to set up an
Ebone Bondary System in Warsaw. A 9.6 kbit/s IP connection is in place
between  Krakow and  CERN, Geneva (Switzerland) for HEPnet services.

     Public  X25  services
have only started in 1992.    Thus
connections at national level can  only be implemented on switched  or
leased lines.  The country already has an infrastructure of leased
lines, shared between EARN and IP  traffic operting at speeds between
9.6-64 kbit/s.

     The Polish network is coordinated by an organization called  NASK
(National Academic  and  Research  Network) which  also  includes  the
Polish part of EARN. Realistic plans exist to substantially  extend IP 
connectivity over the territory in 1992 using 64 kbit/s lines on their
national backbones wherever possible and economically viable. A National
Network  Operation and Monitoring Center has been set up in early 1992
which  operates the whole national and international infrastructure. A
system of network user training and support has also been put in place. 

Contact persons:

Tomasz Hofmokl fdl50@localhost      - EARN director for Poland
Rafal Pietrak rafaup@localhost      - Warsaw - Copenhagen
Krzystof Helleruiheller@localhost - contact for PL domain
Daniel J.Bem bem@localhost        - Polish academic network (NASK)
Jerzy Gorazinski Gorazi@localhost   - Polish State Committee for
                                            Scientific Research
Jerzy Zenkiewicz jezenk@localhost	  - Polish academic network (NASK)

     2.9 Romania

     Romania doesn't have any international  connectivity yet.  A  9.6
kbit/s leased line will  be put in before end 1992 between  Bucarest
and Linz (Austria).   This  line will  be able  to carry  both IP  and
EARN/NJE/BSC traffic.

     Romania has  no internal  networking infrastructure  at all.    A
government  project  of  building  a  public  X25  network  is   under
commercial negotiations and  should start  to offer  some services  in
early 1993.

     In  Romania  the  emerging  networking  activities  seem  to   be
coordinated by the National Council for Informatics and the  Institute
of Informatics.

Contact persons:

Florin Paunescu florin@localhost    - National Council for Informatics
Paul Dan Cristea pdcristea@localhost
				    - Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest

     2.10 Slovenia

     Slovenia is  connected  over a  64  kbit/s IXI  access  point  in
Ljubljana to the IXI  backbone.  Over this  connection an IP link  via
NIKHEF, Amsterdam  (Netherlands) provides  Internet connectivity.    A
PSDN X25  connection connects  the  main EUnet  node in  Ljubljana  to
EUnet.  Another IXI access point, also located in Ljubljana,  connects
Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina to IXI over the YUPAK PPSDN.

      Currently Slovenia  have achieved  a good  degree  of capillarity
of their national networks due to the existence of a  wide spread public
X25 network.

     Yugoslavian academic networking activities have been  coordinated
by the  National  Academic Networking Organization YUNAC.  Beside this
both EARN and EUnet are present in Slovenia and Serbia.  YUNAC is  now
applying for international membership in RARE and works to  reorganize
itself in a NORDUnet-like way.  In Slovenia the Academic and  Research
Network of Slovenia (ARNES) is coordinating network activities.

Contact persons:

Leon Mlakar leon@localhost          - EUnet backbone manager YU
Borka Jerman-Blazic jerman-blazic@localhost - YUNAC
Marko  Bonac  <marko.bonac@localhost - ARNES Executive Director
Denis Trcek <denis.trcek@localhost   - ARNES

     2.11 Serbia and Montenegro

     Serbia has had a 9.6 kbit/s leased line between Beograd and Linz to
carry EARN traffic.  Currently this line is cut according to a decision 
of the Austrian government about the UN embargo of new Yugoslavia.

Contact persons:

Jagos Puric xpmfd01@localhost      - EARN director for YU

     3. Evolution

     All the ECE countries are very interested in European as well  as
world  wide  IP connectivity.   In Czechoslovakia, Hungary and  Poland
there has been rapid growth of connected IP networks and hosts in  the
academic  community.    Their  existing  international  leased   lines
infrastructure is now shared by EARN, EUnet and raw IP services.  Linz
University (Austria)  has  becomme an  important  concentrating  point
for Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia,  Hungary  and  in the future for Poland
and Romania.

     The  financial  resources  dedicated   to  networking  in   these
countries are limited.  The sharing of the existing national and
international leased lines between EARN, EUnet and other IP traffic as
well as between academic and starting commercial traffic is thus a  very
important issue. Lightweight but robust IP gateway solutions (over
dial-up lines, leased serial lines or X25 networks) are of great concern
in this respect  and are continuously studied and further developped

     By the end of this  year the Budapest-Linz IP  link at least will
be operating at 64  kbit/s.  It is probable that new  IP lines will be 
operational at this  time (Bucarest-Linz,  Sophia-Linz, Varna-Amsterdam).

     In the same  time the  national infrastructure  of the  countries
will also evolve.  We can  expect an increase in national coverage  in
countries with working public X25  networks and in Czechoslovakia  and

     4. International Initiatives

     Several international support initiatives  have been launched  in
the  past  by  different  bodies  to  improve  international   network
connectivity  of  the  Central and  Eastern European coun tries.   The
following list presents some of them :

     The Ebone 92 consortium has shown itself very supportive during
1992 by  allowing traffic of ECE countries to pass freely over the Ebone
and letting so the ECE countries traffic cross Europe.

     RIPE and the RIPE NCC have widely  contributed to the rapid
integration of new ECE networks into the global Internet. RIPE has acted
as an initiator of a common coordination effort of academic networking
organizations in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.  A first
co-ordination meeting has been held in Prague  in february 1992 and a
successfull cooperation has started since, continued on 3rd Joint
European Networking Conference in Innsbruck, where RARE has proposed to
be the coordinating place on ECE integration to european academic
networking and another meeting in Prague in August. CEEC@localhost is now
the focussing mailing list on  common ECE networking issues.

     Also both EARN and EUnet have widely contributed to the successfull
start of international networking in ECE countries, by placing the first 
network nodes to these countries, supporting the activity of these nodes
both financially and by extensive know-how transfer.

     Despite this large cooperation willingness (RARE, RIPE, EARN, EUnet
etc.) an EC PHARE  project dedicated  to extend  the  not really
successfull COSINE  IXI project  to  Bulgaria,  Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
Poland and  Romania has started this year. This project places a 64 
kbit/s IXI link to  each country starting from the  IXI backbone. These
national access points should provide OSI as  well as  IP services. The
primary goal of the project (improve regional A&R computer
 communications) is  very laudable. Unfortunately no  coordination with
RIPE has taken place and no serious technical information has been
given.  The project has not taken  in account the plans of the national
academic organizations in at least some of the countries involved, nor
the european A&R networking  reality. 

     Austria is the major relay point between  ECE countries and Western
Europe (and  further).  The Austrian  government is very supportive and
either covers fully or participates in a significant  manner to costs of
international connections  to these countries.  In February 1992 ACONET
has made an  even larger proposal, offering  these countries (Bulgaria, 
Czechoslovakia, Hungary  and  Poland)  double  connectivity to both 
Vienna and  Linz. Each of these  countries should  have one  link to 
both places,  thus permitting line backup.   The Linz-CERN line should 
be replaced by  a Linz-Amsterdam line  and both  Austrian lines  should
be  upgraded  in order to accomodate traffic increase from these
countries and offer  a real backed-up connectivity to EBONE 92.   With
relation to the  Ebone 92 initiative  the idea  of setting  up an  EBS
for  ECE countries  in Austria is well justified.

     CERN plays also an important role  in the IP connectivity of  the
new countries.  It houses actually  a 9.6 kbit/s line from Krakow  and
another HEPnet  9.6  kbit/s  line  from Budapest.    Due  to  lack  of
resources CERN prefers not to house a lot of low rate lines from every
country but rather to house  a higher rate line concentrating  traffic
from several countries.  This is  in fact in perfect conformance  with
the ACONET proposal.

     The German DFN network has launched several regional  initiatives
to  connect  sites   in  geographical  proximity   of  Germany   (e.g.
Dreilaendereck  project connecting Liberec in Czechoslovakia,  Wroclaw
in Poland and Zittau in Germany  using leased links based on X25  with
further connectivity to DFN).  There is also strong cooperation of the
Slovanian academic network  with DFN  within the scope  of the  COSINE

     The Italian government has financed in 1990 and 1992  successfull
network workshops  (NetSchool) to  which  about 50 network specialists
from  ECE  countries  have  attended.   A  second extended edition  of 
NetSchool has taken place in April 1992  with participation of network
specialists  from  RIPE  and  attendees from ECE countries, some South
American, Asian and African countries.

     A similar event has been organized by NORDUnet for network  users
and operators from the Baltic states.

     The French government has expressed  its willingness to help  the
integration  of new  countries to the world of academic networking  by
launching in  co-operation with  INRIA  a project  called  Copernique,
which aims to  improve network connectivity  of several Eastern 
European Countries.  One of the first results of this project has been
the cooperation on design and implementation  of the academic IP 
backbone CESNET-SANET (Prague - Brno - Bratislava  ...  Banska  Bystrica
- Kosice) in Czechoslovakia.   The  project  consists  of  network 
management  and administration know-how transfer, common development of
tools and some software and hardware donations.   A similar activity is
now  starting with Romania.

     IBM  is  also  present  in  these  countries  with  its  academic
initiative  in   which   IBM   mainframes   have   been   offered   to
Czechoslovakia, Hungary  and Poland.    IBM and  EASInet act  also  as
sponsors  for  the  T1  US   link  usage  for  academic  networks   in
Czechoslovakia and Hungary.

     The assistance of countries  with developed networking  shouldn't
be uniquely oriented to basic network connectivity.  A lot of work  is
to be done  in the  ECE countries to  offer and  improve higher  level
network services like e-mail, teleconferencing, archive services, 
online  databases  and  library catalogues  etc.,  as well  as  in 
basic network concepts, user  information services  and advanced 
networking know-how transfer.  That's why new EC projects proposals are
now  oriented not only on infrastructure but also on higher level
services (e-mail, electronic directory, user information and training).
Lack of funds is extremely disadvantegeous and the exchange  rates  make
it  very  difficult for  ECE network experts to attend international
network events.

     5. Technical issues

     As already mentioned,  distributing international network  access
over the  local  territory  is  a  major  problem  for  the  countries
considered.  While it is relatively easy  and cheap to set up a  local
TCP/IP network it  is more  difficult to  connect it  to the  national
access point.  Generic  router solutions are  rather expensive on  one
side and not  completely free of  administrative exportation  problems
for all countries involved.

     The solution to these problems are software routers based on PC's
or workstations and public domain or easily available software.

     A low cost capillarity of  networks being of great importance  to
ECE countries, good  dial-up IP solutions  both industrial and  public
domain,  which  are  under  study  and  evaluation  in  EUnet,   RIPE,
Copernique, NetSchool and others, are of great interest as well as low
cost IP solutions on synchronous lines (X25 or PPP)

    The technical speed limitations for international leased lines seem
now to become less restrictive than in the past. For Czechoslovakia, Hungary
and Poland, international links up to 2 Mbit/s are now feasible.

    With the basic connectivity problems being progressively solved the 
network services and network management are now becomming major issues in the
most advanced ECE countries. PC's remain the most spread technical basis,
thus network solutions based on this platform (routers, mail, news, archive
and information servers and clients) either Unix or MS DOS oriented are of
major concern today.

     6. Organizational issues

     The  starting  period  in   international  networking  is   often
characterized by a fuzziness in the organizational structure  together
with a lack  of information about  the people actually responsible and
working  in  the  area.    The  situation  is  nearly  stabilized   in
Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland, where national academic networking
groups  have  been  founded   and  are  coordinated  with   EARN/EUnet
activities, and  a  coordinated  effort  tends  to build  nation  wide
multiprotocol academic network infrastructures.   A similar effort  is
underway  in  Bulgaria  (UNIKOM,  EARN and  EUnet Bulgaria). These
countries seem also to have found a stabilized position in international
network organizations (EARN, EUnet, RARE, RIPE). The situation is more
complicated in other countries where international contacts are for
various reasons much more scarce.


Prague School of Economics		e-mail : Milan.Sterba@localhost
Computing Center			tel : +42 2 21 25 704
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