Pit Schultz on Thu, 8 Aug 96 16:33 METDST

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nettime: Bosnia Online ?

[does anyone has more info on satellite uplinks, stories, URLs?]

[via syndicate]
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 11:40:07 +0100

 B o s N e t  -  JUly 16, 1996


               Internet Link to Sarajevo University Goes Unused

Board of Sarajevo University can't seem to come up with a plan, or issue
EMail adresses and domain names to students and staff

AMSTERDAM, July 17(Berserkistan) -- Throughout the war, much pain and
sufferering experienced by Bosnians was due to the  crippling lack of
communication into the region. Those who did not flee the country were cut
off from contact with friends and relatives who remained,sometimes for
years. Today, the situation is not much improved. As telephone service
struggles to return to Bosnia, Sarajevo's new high-speed Internet
connection -- which has taken months to build and millions to complete --
goes unused.

Unilink was established in a cooperative venture between VUSUS, a Sarajevo
University assistance program at Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit and the
Soros Foundation. The partnership has set up a Internet satellite link
between Amsterdam and  Sarajevo University. Though officially opened two
weeks ago, and technically ready for two months, the link lies idle because
the Board of Sarajevo University has thus far failed to come up with
management plan for the system and has refused to issue EMail adresses and
domain-names to the students and staff.

"We've got some old Stalinists on the board who seem  paralyzed," one
project participant, requesting  anonymity, told Berserkistan. In the
meantime, Soros and Vrije Universiteit are paying $5,000 a week for rent on 
the satellite transponder that would link Bosnia to the world via the Internet.

Unilink would be the first Internet connection in Bosnia available to the
people of the war-torn region. IFOR troops and international news
oprganizations brought their own satellite equipment into Bosnia, but do
not make it available to civilians. Unilink, when fully operational, would
provide a 24-hour data exchange between Sarajevo and the rest of the world.

"128kbps is the bandwidth the whole of Croatia had until January first of
this year," said the spokesman. "Also, the systems donated to Sarajevo
University are equipped to handle sixteen dial-in lines meant for other
Bosnian Universities, cybe cafes and Bosnians fortunate enough to own
working computers," he added. A walk-in centre at Sarajevo Univerity would
enable those without computers to go online.

In Amsterdam, a 1.80-meter satellite dish antenna is connected to a
satellite modem located in one of the network rooms at the university. This
modem is connected to one of the campus backbone routers. An HDLC link 
between two Cisco routers, one in Amsterdam, one in Sarajevo enables IP 
packets to be sent transparently in either direction.

A generic EMail adress for the University of Sarajevo does exist, with a
Netherlands extension.Permission to publish the address, however, has not
been granted. "Unfortunately," said the spokesman,"this incredible system
is just lying there."

[via Syndicate]

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