Internet in Serbia
Internet in Serbia has been well developed in the country. The Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Serbia is .rs. Currently Internet access is available to businesses and home users in various forms, including dial-up, cable, DSL, FTTx and wireless.
Introduction of Internet
Linking of SFR Yugoslavia into global electronic networks began at the end of the 1980s. The European Academic Research Network (EARN) was functioning in Europe at that time. In 1988 the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Belgrade, proposed that Yugoslav universities join the EARN. The University of Belgrade became a node of the EARN in 1989, when the first international connection of the academic network between Belgrade and Linz became active. The capacity of this link initially was 4.800 bit/s and it was later doubled to 9.600 bit/s.
The project of developing the academic network for SFRY functioned within the project of developing the system of scientific-technological information (SNTIJ). Besides the University of Maribor, the project was also managed by the institute Jožef Štefan from Ljubljana, so these institutions took over the responsibility of organising the first .yu domain register between 1990 and 1991.
The development of the Internet in Serbia faced with very difficult circumstances, during the breakup of the former socialist state (SFRY). In the middle of 1992 the UN Security Council imposed all-inclusive sanctions against the newly formed Yugoslav federation of Serbia and Montenegro.
The sanctions did not exclude telecommunications and all such government-funded projects came under the sanctions. It was not long before the only Yugoslav Internet link, connecting the Yugoslav academic network to EARN, was shut down. The sanctions prevented foreign companies from doing any kind of business with Yugoslav firms, so it was impossible to establish any commercial Internet links with Yugoslavia.
Before November 1995 the only way to access the Internet from Yugoslavia was by using an extremely expensive and slow X.25 packet network or by directly dialling ISPs abroad. These methods were used only by a few of the largest Yugoslav companies and by the academic network.
Introduction of Internet
After the Dayton peace agreement was signed in the middle of November 1995 (ending the war in Bosnia), some of the UN sanctions against Yugoslavia were lifted, opening up the possibility of decent Internet access for Yugoslavia.
On 14 December 1995, Belgrade's Radio B92 formed an Internet division which became known as Opennet. A128 Kbps link (a leased phone line) between Radio B92 and XS4All ISP in Amsterdam was sponsored by the Fund for an Open Society. Opennet became the first Yugoslav ISP to offer affordable public Internet access, e-mail accounts and Web space.
Like Radio B92, Opennet strongly supported the Internet as a means of free expression and promoting tolerance and open communication. The Electronic Frontier Foundation honored Opennet's director Drazen Pantic as the EFF Pioneer for 1999, in recognition of his continued promotion of these values and of his contribution to the development of civil society in Yugoslavia. Opennet was also the first Yugoslav ISP to offer public Internet access in three computer centers, known as "Opennet classrooms", in Belgrade.
Shortly after Opennet started up, on 26 February 1996 the first commercial Yugoslav ISP - Beotel - established a 512 kbit/s satellite link with the Norwegian ISP Taide.net. In April 1996 another commercial provider started up with a local branch of EUnet International (now KPNQwest). It started with a 2 Mbit/s digital ground link with Amsterdam and remains the largest and strongest ISP in Serbia. At the beginning of April 2001 EUnet owned two satellite and ground Internet links with an overall capacity of 10 Mbit/s.
During the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Internet was a significant source of information for the population of Serbia, as well as a chance for Serbians to show their view of the bombing to the world. Serbian analyses of the latter usually conclude that use of Internet for this was successful.
Dial-up was the only way to access the Internet until the early 2000s (decade), when several ISPs started to offer wireless access via unlicenced hardware. The equipment required for access was too expensive for most people (about 200 euros), so this way of connection became popular only in limited urban areas.
The situation changed in 2002 when SBB, then a growing cable operator, approached subscribers with a cable Internet option of a tariff based 128 kbit/s access.
As of 2013 SBB offers speeds up to 130/6,5 Mbit/s
Internet in Serbia today
According to a survey conducted in 2011, about 2.000.000 people in Serbia have regular access to the internet. 99% of businesses and 62% of households have internet access. An interesting statistic is that as high as 99.5% of students in Serbia regularly use internet.
Cable is provided by several providers (mostly in larger cities) and ADSL is available through a number of ISPs, all using the services of Telekom Srbija. Wireless access is also available in every part of Serbia.
- 5/1 Mbit/s from 13€
- 10/1 Mbit/s from 16€
- 20/1 Mbit/s from 24€
- 30/2 Mbit/s from 32€
- 50/2 Mbit/s from 52€
- 100/2 Mbit/s from 70€
Some ISPs offers discount up to 15% or up to 40% on 20 Mbit/s option with 24 months contract.
Due to late introduction of ADSL in Serbia and rapid advancement of cable and Wi-Fi technologies that enabled quick and inexpensive expansion of infrastructure, those two technologies are widely used in Serbia for broadband access.
Prices vary in different parts of Serbia, and depending on type of services offered.
Cable service providers:
- 15/1.5 Mbit/s from 14€
- 25/2 Mbit/s from 20€
- 40/2.5 Mbit/s from 26€
- 60/3 Mbit/s from 35€
- 120/5 Mbit/s from 61€
- TeamNET in Novi Sad
- Media Works in Belgrade
- TippNet in Subotica
- Panonnet 5 GHz Wi-Fi ISP in Subotica
- CS Networks in Smederevo
- Ninet in Niš
- Baćević, Ljiljana J. Razvoj Interneta u Jugoslaviji. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- This article incorporates text from the Country Report - Yugoslavia by Slobodan Marković.