'90s — Pioneer days

At the beginning of ‘90s, there were only few faculties in Belgrade that were connected to RCUB (Electrical engineering faculty, Faculty of organizational sciences, Mathematical faculty, etc.). First optics was laid in 1991, and first optical connections in the country were realized in the circle of technical faculties and in the Student Square, while the rest of bigger faculties and institutes were connected via low capacity modem speed (9.6 kbps, 28.8 kbps, 128 kbps). Regarding the services, electronic post was mostly used and it was exchanged with other countries over the X.25 protocol.

On the University of Belgrade day, 28th February 1996, RCUB connected the Academic network of Serbia – AMRES to the Internet via BeotelNet provider, which marked the beginning of Internet use in our country.

The first Internet connection had the capacity of 64 kbps only. By connecting new institutions, the connection capacity was enhanced several times during the following period (128 kbps, 256 kbps, 512 kbps, 1 Mbps, 1,5 Mbps), but it was still insufficient and the connection was overburdened.

By the end of the ‘90s, the first 2Mbps digital connection was established between Belgrade and Podgorica, followed by connections between other universities in Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac, but the majority of institutions was still on leased telephone lines’ modem connections.

2000 — Development period

In the period between 2001 and 2004, the Academic network of Serbia had the fastest development since its establishment.

This period is marked by the initiation of collaboration between the research academic networks in the region, in order to overcome the differences in the network infrastructure development of Balkan and European countries. The first 2 Mbps connection with GRnet and GEANT was realized in February 2001.

During 2001, Max Planck Institute from Munich was contacted and a donation project was realized under the name SinYu (Scientific Information Network of Yugoslavia). As the result of SinYu project, in 2002 the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Germany donated active equipment for main nodes of the Academic network valued around 300,000 euros, while the Ministry of Science, Technologies and Development of the Republic of Serbia financed the realization of LAN networks installation in the majority of institutions (USD 200,000).

The Internet connection was enhanced with two additional 2 Mbps links to GRnet, making a total of 6 Mbps toward GRnet and 1.5 Mbps over the local BeotelNet provider.

2002 was marked by introducing first optical connections with gigabit speed on intercity relations Belgrade-Novi Sad and Belgrade-Nis, and in Belgrade on relations Mathematical faculty-Rectorate-RCUB, Vinca Institute-RCUB. A local computer network was completed in the Mathematical faculty building in Belgrade, as well as a large number of local computer networks in different research and scientific organizations in the country.

In the second half of 2003, a contract was made between Telekom Srbija AD, University of Belgrade and the Ministry of Science, Technologies and Development of the Republic of Serbia, by which the Ministry will finance the realization and lease of the optic fibers on the majority of intercity connections across the country and within Belgrade, Nis, Kragujevac and Novi Sad. This enabled the realization of a reliable, high capacity intercity backbone for the Academic network of Serbia, which will reach the majority of cities with faculties, institutes or colleges,. The building of the new generation computer network has started.

In 2002, the successful collaboration with GRnet resulted in SEEREN project (South–East European Research and Education Network), through EU FP5 program. Within this project, additional 34 Mbps was allocated to the Academic network, which was released by the end of 2003. Bearing in mind that the internal network was developed and had more and more high capacity links, the Internet connection was still exceptionally burdened, so an additional 34 Mbps Internet link was realized over Telekom Srbija AD. This finally solved the Internet connection capacity problem.

During 2004, collaboration between academic networks in the region and Europe was broadened, and RCUB took part in the international projects within the FP6 and INTERIIIREG programs (SEEREN2, SEEGRID, SEEFIRE, etc.). This is also a period during which the connected institutions received higher bandwidth, analog wires were substituted with xDSL technology and available services developed further.

In the same year, two international connections between the Academic network and the Internet were implemented through RCUB: one link was realized over Telekom Srbija’s SMIN (Serbian Multiservice Internet Network) network, while the other link was realized to the Hungarian academic network HUNGARNET (through Telekom Srbija), from where a connection with the European gigabit academic network – GEANT was realized. Both links were financed by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Internet Society of the Republic of Serbia. Additionally, the first international IPv6 connection on relation Belgrade-Athens was implemented.

The following year was marked with launching a number of regional projects: SEEREN2, SEEGRID, SEEFIRE and ELISA. At the same time, the improvement of the academic network internal infrastructure stipulated a repeated overburdening of the Internet link. Therefore, in the beginning of 2006, within the SEEREN2 project, the link toward abroad was enhanced to 155 Mbps. An additional optical link toward the Hungarian academic network HUNGARNET was realized, with a physical speed of 1 Gbps, and connecting to GEANT with 155 Mbps speed was approved.

In 2007, a contract was made with Telekom Srbija and a work methodology was established for introducing the xDSL VPN service as a new way to connect to the Academic network of Serbia, which is available in the of SHDSL and ADSL VPN service.

From 2007, RCUB took part in the AMRES project, which was formed in order to establish an organizational model of governance, systematic work and development of the Academic network of Serbia as a national research and education computer network, until a separate legal entity is formed. Using a work program, technical, organizational and administrative activities were defined on a yearly basis, as well as a set of concrete results which the project has to achieve.