Nation-Wide ICT Infrastructure Introduction and its Leverage for Overall Development

Nation-Wide ICT Infrastructure Introduction and its Leverage for Overall Development

Predrag Pale (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Jasenka Gojšic (Croatian Academic and Research Network, CARNet, Croatia)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-417-0.ch011
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Abstract

This paper describes 10 years of efforts in introducing the state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICT) and development of ICT infrastructure on the national level. The aim of the project was to build Internet in Croatia and to foster its leverage in the broad range of activities of public interest in the society as a whole. The prime target group was academic and research community, as a vehicle for the overall development in the society. Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) had been started as a project in 1991, and, after five years, it was transformed into a government agency. A broad range of activities had been started, from building and maintaining private nation-wide communication and computer network to information services, user support, education, pilot projects and promotion. The academic community has been treated not only as the main customer, but also as an active partner in developing and providing services. CARNet has been fully funded by the state budget for 10 years, without any participation of the commercial sector, domestic donations or international financial support. Although CARNet is treated as Croatian success story, recognized inside and outside of the country, the question is whether the initial goals have been realistic and achievements sufficient, considering the low penetration of ICT into the Croatian society. Likewise, budget cuts, continuous struggle for political recognition and authority, as well as fights with national telecommunication monopoly, have created an array of questions to be answered at the beginning of the second decade of this highly ambitious endeavor.

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