Publication: Prism Volume: 1 Issue: 5

Fact Page: The Baltic States on-line

The Baltic States On Line

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are now very much on-line. Belowis a portion of a report on e-mail networks in the three countriesprepared by Guntis Barzdins of the University of Latvia’s Instituteof Mathematics and Computer Science. For additional information,Prof. Barzdins can be contacted at guntis@mii.lu.lv.

Electronic research networks began to develop in the Baltic countriesonly in 1990-91 when the first UUCP and FIDONET connections tothe outside world were set up. In 1992, the first permanent IPlinks to Estonia and Latvia were implemented. And finally, bythe end of 1993, all three Baltic states had set up 64kbps IPlinks to the world. Over that time, the user communities havegrown considerably. At the beginning, access was restricted tothe "privileged" staffs of certain institutions; butnow students, professors, researchers, and others use the Internetregularly, exploiting e-mail, ftp, and telnet and even gopher,USENET news, and so on.

The Baltic countries are thus very much linked into the worldagain, but there are substantial differences among the three:

Estonia has the most extensive research network, covering thetwo university cities of Talinn and Tartu, and two working 64kbpsinternational links. It also has the largest number of connectedsites. And financing of the links remains stable, thus allowinggovernment structures and other non-academic users to join theIP network which was initially established primarily for academicand research purposes. Estonia’s largest problem is the stillunresolved relations between ESTNET and EENet, two networks notyet linked inside of Estonia. ESTNET is a commercial service withclose links to Finland; EENet was created for education and researchinstitutions and is still very much a "free" network.

Latvia began to develop an e-mail capability at the end of 1992,when the first permanent IP link was established between Tallinnand Riga. Parallel to this project was the establishment of LATNET,a research exchange partially funded by the Latvian government.Latvia has recently expanded its international links in cooperationwith the country’s central telephone system.

Lithuania got IP connectivity only at the beginning of 1994. Untilthat time, the Lithuanian Academic Network LITNET was connectedto the world only by X.25 via a satellite link to Norway. TheLithuanian postal service is planning to develop a public Internetservice with links between Vilnius, Kaunas and Poland. Recently,the Lithuanian government has expanded its commitment to the developmentof Lithuanian sites, making progress very likely in 1995. UsefulContacts in Each Country:

Estonia: Enok Sein at enok@EENet.ee

Latvia: Rihards Balodis at balodis@mii.lu.lv

Lithuania: Laimutis Telksnys at Laimutis.Telksnys@aps.mii.lt