Media and technology in CEE

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  • (unfinished) 1837 fantasy novel Year 4338, by the 19-century Russian philosopher Vladimir Odoevsky, contains predictions such as "friends' houses are connected by means of magnetic telegraphs that allow people who live far from each other to talk to each other" and "household journals" "having replaced regular correspondence" with "information about the hosts’ good or bad health, family news, various thoughts and comments, small inventions, as well as invitations" [1]
  • amateur radio users all over USSR were conducting "P2P" connections with their comrades worldwide using data codes.
  • 1972. a massive "automated data network" called Express was launched to serve needs of Russian Railways.
  • From early 1980s the All Union Scientific Research Institute for Applied Computerized Systems (VNIIPAS) was working to implement data connections over the X.25 telephone protocol.
    • A test Soviet connection to Austria in 1982 existed
    • in 1982 and 1983 there were series of "world computer conferences" at VNIIPAS initiated by the U. N. where USSR was represented by a team of scientists from many Soviet Republics headed by biochemist Anatoly Klyosov; the other participating countries were UK, USA, Canada, Sweden, FRG, GDR, Italy, Finland, Philippines, Guatemala, Japan, Thailand, Luxembourg, Denmark, Brazil and New Zealand.
    • in 1983 the San Francisco Moscow Teleport (SFMT) project was started by VNIIPAS and an American team which included George Soros. It resulted in the creation in the latter 90s of the data transfer operator SovAm (Soviet-American) Teleport.
  • on April 1, 1984 a Fool's Day hoax about "Kremlin computer" Kremvax was made in English-speaking Usenet.
  • 1988. There are reports of spontaneous Internet (UUCP and telnet) connections "from home" through X.25 in the USSR
  • 1990. GlasNet non-profit initiative by the US-based Association for Progressive Communications sponsored Internet usage in several educational projects in the USSR (through Sovam).
  • The first one to connect UNIX email hosts country-wide (including Soviet Republics) was the Relcom organization which formed on August 1st, 1990 at the Kurchatov nuclear physics institute in Moscow. They were functioning together with partner programming cooperative Demos, named after the Soviet-made DEMOS Unix-like operating system. In August 1990 they established regular email routing with an Internet node in Helsinki University over a paid voice line
    • In 1990—1991 Relcom's network was rapidly expanding, it joined EUnet and was used to spread news about the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 worldwide while coupers through KGB were trying to suppress mass media activity on the subject. [2]
    • After the fall of the USSR many former Soviet state-controlled structures were inherited by the Russian Federation, vast telephone networks among them.
    • With the transformation of the economy, market-based telecommunication industries grew quickly, various ISPs appeared.
  • the first Russian FidoNet node reportedly started in October 1990 in Novosibirsk, and the USSR was included in FidoNet's Region 50. Russian FidoNet activity did contribute to development of Runet, as mass-networking over BBSes was for a time more popular than over the Internet in the early 90s.
  • Soviet .su domain was registered on September 19, 1990
  • registration of the .ru domain on April 7, 1994
  • By the mid 1990s, computer networks (where TCP/IP was replacing UUCP) appeared in many branches of regular life and commerce in Post-Soviet states.
  • Since 1997, the Russian Internet Forum (RIF) annual conference is held which goal is to discuss the development of the Runet. It is attended by members of the telecom and software industries, web content makers, representatives of state institutions.
  • Since year 2002 the Electronic Russia long-term national programme has been being implemented with a goal to provide inner governing bodies with variety of electronic services (most of state institutions have by now built their websites, following Government decree issued in February 2003). It is criticized though as some of the funds assigned are suspected to be stolen or improperly invested by corrupt officials.
  • Runet's largest online community is made up of the Russian-speaking users of the USA-based blogging platform LiveJournal, widely known as 'ЖЖ' ('ZheZhe', short for Zhivoy Zhurnal (живой журнал), Russian for "live journal"). In fall 2006 the Moscow-based firm SUP Fabrik joined forces with LiveJournal to supply users who write in Cyrillic symbols with Russian-oriented extra services and the next year bought the whole project out from previous owner SixApart. [3]
  • Many of people in Russia still use dial-up, and connection prices in regions are considered expensive by many; remnant Soviet-era wires, when used, provide poor connection quality. Home computers and Internet are more popular in the North-Western part of the country and in several Siberian regions, where many scientific institutions and naukograds are located.
  • Plenty of local commercial ISPs function in large cities, but most of the existing country-wide cable lines are held by small number of large operators such as former "monopolist", the state-controlled Rostelecom and the railways-affiliated Transtelecom, which operates country biggest DWDM fiber backbone.
  • In year 2007 the Golden Telecom company constructed massive Wi-Fi network in Moscow for commercial use which was recognized the largest urban wireless network in the world. [4]