draft ECE report version 5
- Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1992 13:09:11 +0100
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).
draft version 5
An overview of East and Central European networking activities
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.
Curently an electronic mail connection exists between the
University of Tirana and the Internet. The gateway and relay function
resides at CNUCE, Pisa, Italy.
Maksim Raco maksi@localhost - University of Tirana
Francesco Gennai <francesco.gennai@localhost - CNUCE, Pisa, Italy
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.
Ants Work ants@localhost - Institute of Cybernetics, Tallin
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).
Sergei Rotanov rotanov@localhost - Institute of Electronics
Riga Sergeijs Dmitrijevs <dmit%lynx.riga.lv@localhost
- candidate for Latvian EUnet backbone (now RELCOM Riga)
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
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).
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.
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.
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 <sia%lot.cs.kiev.ua@localhost
- EUnet - Ukraine contact.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Jerzy Zenkiewicz jezenk@localhost - Polish academic network (NASK)
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
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
In Romania the emerging networking activities seem to be
coordinated by the National Council for Informatics and the Institute
Florin Paunescu florin@localhost - National Council for Informatics
Paul Dan Cristea pdcristea@localhost
- Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest
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
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.
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.
Jagos Puric xpmfd01@localhost - EARN director for YU
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
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
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
nam. W. Churchilla 4 home: +42 2 823 78 59
130 67 Praha 3 fax : +42 2 235 85 09