Y.V Demchenko email@example.com
The International Science Foundation
Telecommunications Program is currently building
a network in Kiev, the Capital of Ukraine, which will
serve science, research, education and other non-
for-profit communities. The project will also provide
international access, user support and training.
In the former Soviet period of rigid centralization penetration of new ideas and trends into the country was rooted through Moscow and many new developments started there. Wide area computer networking in the SU was started by several groups which gradually converged to one big service providing monopoly (RelCom) which stretched out and covered the vast spaces of the country (Ukraine being no exception) with UUCP dial- up services.
Academic and Research networking development began after the breakup of the Soviet Union in Moscow which was a location by far the most advanced and progressive.
State recognition of the need of academic and research networking is still scarce even in Russia and practically non existent in Ukraine. Communication links to Ukraine set up by RelCom were gradually cut off due to financial difficulties of RelCom nodes in Ukraine, until only several leased lines remained, connecting the country to the outside world. About a year ago a 9.6 Kbps line was put into operation, connecting the city of Lviv in Western Ukraine to the Polish Academic and Research network NASK. The seed money for this first non- commercial network in Ukraine was provided by the International Renaissance Foundation. Some time ago the link to NASK was upgraded to a 64Kbps satellite link. This has creates an island of relatively high speed connectivity at the satellite station site. Unfortunately this connectivity can not be spread due to limitations imposed by the available communication lines in the country. For example, the link to Kiev, the capital of the country, is running at a speed of 9.6Kbps and it is impossible to raise this speed. The current map of IP connections in Ukraine consists mainly of low-speed leased lines connecting the main cities of the country and owned by commercial service providers.
A large part of the country is connected via low- speed analogue leased lines (19.2Kbps being the maximum speed everywhere but for only a few exceptions). Several fiber-optic lines are being installed now and will be operable in the near future. This does not mean that it will be possible to use them for the network due to the high cost of services of the Ministry of Communications.
Little support was provided by the state for the development of the infrastructure. Several projects, funded by the State Committee for Science and Technology were uncoordinated with one another and mainly resulted in the setting up of local area networks in the implementing institutions. There still is no organization in the country which on a state level coordinates these activities.
The anticipated result of the project is the creation of a TCP/IP backbone in Kiev with four nodes which will link these nodes to each other and to the Global Internet, will demonstrate the possibilities of on-line communications and will give the possibility to scientific institutions in the clusters around the node to connect to this node and achieve worldwide connectivity. Another result of the project is raising the awareness of the scientific and general communities in the possibilities of networking, provision of training to end-users and telecommunication specialists. Once the backbone is operational existing networks and networks of organizations will be welcomed to participate in the project. Simultaneously with setting up of the local infrastructure international access to Internet is being provided.
Further development of the infrastructure will lead to a wider spread of the TCP/IP network and will incorporate the major existing networks in Kiev. This will give low-cost access to Internet resources not only to the scientific community but to medical establishments, libraries, high schools, industrial research institutions, etc. Dial-up access will be available for end-users. Other networks belonging to different organizations will have an incentive to integrate, interconnect and develop. Another important component in the realization of the project is the research program to be run on the network. It is targeted at the introduction of new networking technologies and will serve as a source for the development of the network both in the sense of viability, and support of its status (professional staffing, technology). The research program will also help to pertain the non-commercial status of the network in future and will serve as an incentive for the government to provide funding for the needs of the network. The experimental part of research programs will be distributed among regional centers (which also play an important role in network policy definition), leaving the backbone to be policy-free and providing necessary means to support the backbone.
At the first stage in order to accelerate the construction of the pilot network in Kiev the project is being realized by joint efforts of ISF and UN office in Kiev. ISF is installing the transport infrastructure the UN office in Kiev will provide international access via a satellite link. At the second stage the satellite link to the Global Internet will be upgraded and will serve to provide access to the Internet via satellite for other big scientific centers of Ukraine, such as Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odessa, Crimea, etc. Possibilities of setting up a backup international link are being investigated.
The four clusters and Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs), are as follows:
The main components of the backbone are:
The backbone will have three international links: to NASK/Warsaw via Lviv (operating now at a speed of 9.6 Kbps with a satellite link from Lviv to NASK running at a speed of 64 Kbps); a LL to the ISF Backbone in Moscow running at 19.2 Kbps and a planned satellite link which will be provided in cooperation with international organizations. All nodes have common basic equipment and software configurations:
One main Internet access link and several back- up links will be used for redundant Internet connection:
After the infrastructure becomes operational other existing networks in Kiev will be offered the opportunity to connect to the backbone on pre- negotiated conditions - e.g. provision of services to scientific institutions free of charge or at very low rates. This will provide for the newly created network a large number of users which have some experience using e-mail.
The completion of the backbone is due in the end of 1995 beginning of 1996.
Director of the Telecommunications Program of the International Science Foundation, Member of the Executive Committee of the Telecommunications Program of ISF, Ukrainian member of the EC Copernicus TeleServ and ESATT projects Steering Group. Graduated and received a Ph.D. from the Kiev Polytechnic Institute in Instrumentation and Measurement. Served as an expert on the Copernicus Networking section evaluation Board.
Yuri V. Demchenko
Director of Computer Communications Center at Kiev Polytechnic Institute (till December 31, 1995), Associate Professor of the above Institute.