Dienstag, 28. August 2012

28. August – Referat über EUnet und DENIC

Online bei www.coursera.org mache ich einen Kurs von der University of Michigan bei Professor Chuck zum Thema „History of the Internet“. Dabei habe ich doch einiges an Grundkenntnis erlernt und mache Lücke in meinem IT Verständnis wurde geschlossen.

Eine Aufgabe war es einen Referat von 300-500 Worten zu schrieben und diesen Referat wurde von 5 verschiedene Personen aus dem Kurs geprüft und korrigiert und dabei habe ich 9 von 10 Punkte bekommen.

Es gab diese Woche die Möglichkeit einen Zusatz Referat zu schrieben von 500-1000 Worte um Bonus Punkte zu bekommen und deshalb habe ich mich dann gestern Abend hingesetzt und einen Referat über EUnet und DENIC geschrieben. EUnet war also die erst Internet Provider in Deutschland und DENIC ist die Vergabestelle für alle „.de“ Domain – wobei beide Organisationen haben ihren Wurzeln in Uni Dortmund Ender der 80er Jahre.

Hier kannst du auf Englisch mein Referat lesen.

Since I have lived the past 24 years of my life in Germany, I only find it fitting to describe the flow of money that influenced the development of the German Internet backbone using the example of EUnet and furthermore I would also like to give an example of the non-profit organization DENIC in which the flow of money had very little influence.

First of all I would like to take a look at the history of a company which went from being just a university project to becoming the first commercial internet provider of Germany. The EUnet (European UNIX Network) was founded 1982 through the EUUG (European Unix User Group) as a European equivalent to the Usenet in the United States. At the University of Dortmund in Germany the very first EUnet backbone connection was established using the Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) transmission protocol and with this for the first time e-mail and news services were offered in Germany.

By spring 1985 there were about 250 installations in 17 European countries, including 24 installations in Germany using the EUnet. This is exactly when the first initial influence of money became evident due to the costs that were being incurred for the backbone operation and international lines and yet the German part of the EUnet remained at the University of Dortmund.

This was only possible thanks to the ingenuity and thrift of the university department of computer sciences at Dortmund, Germany. For example the company Siemens donated in November 1985 a PC MX2 computer for the German backbone, because up until that point a VAX 11/750 computer from their own university department of computer sciences had been used. So basically the German backbone survived for the first few years by using donated hardware and leased copper lines sponsored by university grants.

To fully understand the importance and history of EUnet, it is helpful to remember that until the early 1990s nearly every European country including Germany had a telecommunications monopoly with a national postal telephone and telegraph service and that commercial and non-commercial delivery of telecommunications services was prohibited or at best legally in a "grey zone".

Finally in 1992 EUnet left the University in Dortmund as a commercial spin-off under the command of the American Glenn Kowack as the EUnet Deutschland GmbH which was the first commercial Internet provider in Germany.

At the same time in several other European countries Eunet also became a commercial organization. For example, Luc De Vos created EUnet Belgium in 1993 as a spin-off from the University of Leuven

In 1999, the EUnet Deutschland GmbH was acquired by UUNET Technologies and in 2001 UUNET was bought by the WorldCom group (later MCI Worldcom), in which the former EUnet formed the foundation for their German and European IP divisions.

Interesting is the fact that Verizon which bought the bankrupt MCI Worldcom is still based today in Dortmund Germany the birthplace of the German Internet backbone. For Germany with the example of EUnet it is very clear that money for the first internet boom came to the places of greatest know-how and infrastructure – in this case Dortmund. Nevertheless money was not always the most influential factor for the development of the Internet in Germany.

To exemplify this point I would now like to briefly turn my attention to a second organization also from the University of Dortmund which took a different path and ended up in the non-profit arena. In 1986 the top level domain ending “.de” was listed for the first time and was originally controlled by CSNET, the US network operator, but in early 1988 the supervision of the ".de" domains was handed-over to the EUnet project of the University of Dortmund. In international procedures, such an internet service is known as a Network Information Center, which is abbreviated NIC. So the name DENIC was formed from DE for Germany and NIC.

At the very beginning, the administration of the “.de” domains was carried out relatively informally. The names and associated computer addresses were entered manually into a list, which began to grow at a quickening pace. So that it soon became clear that this volunteer driven system had to be based on a larger, more extensive non-profit foundation.

For one reason or another DENIC, the German domain administration, decided to turn itself into a non-profit organization, but EUnet the original backbone provider of Germany was at exactly the same university and developed during a similar time span decided instead to become a commercial enterprise. So apparently, at least for Germany, money was not the only factor that influenced the development of the Internet.


  • http://irb.cs.tu-dortmund.de/cont/de/home/ueber/projekte/eunet/
  • http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_des_Internets
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EUnet
  • http://ben.home.cern.ch/ben/TCPHIST.html
  • http://www.livinginternet.com/i/ii_eunet.htm

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