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last change: October 05, 2017

History of ACOnet

2016/2017

Backbone Redesign

The framework agreement with A1 Telekom Austria AG (A1TA) concerning the operation of ACOnet's national fiber backbone, that is expiring after ten years, is renewed until mid-2022. However, the backbone's topology needs to be adjusted to accommodate new PoPs in Wiener Neustadt, Bregenz and St. Johann/Pongau. Additionally, direct connections among neighboring provinces should be implemented.

ACOnet and A1TA intend to complete the backbone's overhaul (including an upgrade of DWDM nodes as well as the replacement of routers) by Fall, 2017.

2015

eduroam in the city

The City of Vienna and ACOnet join forces to deliver EduROAM all over Vienna. The Magistrate contributes parts of its Wifi infrastructure in public buildings. Furthermore, as part of Vienna's "wien.at Public WLAN" initiative, eduroam is deployed to Wifi hot-spots in the inner districts, the Danube island and a number of places in Vienna's outer districts.

Upgrading the CBF Triangle

The so-called Cross Border Fiber (CBF) Triangle has connected the National Research and Education Networks of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria, CESNET, SANET, and ACOnet, since 2006.
In November, 2015, it's technology is changed to TRILL (Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links). Also, the connection bandwidth is doubled to 20 Gbit/s.

net:25

In June, 2015, ACOnet celebrates not one, but two silver jubilees:
In 1990, the first IP-based leased line went into operation from Vienna University to the CERN in Geneva, laying the foundation for the Internet in Austria.
Also, in 1990, the first ACOnet backbone network was implemented under the supervision of the Technical University Vienna.
A trilogy of events are held for this occasion: net:25 (net:future, net:science, and net:art)

New Fiber Ring in Vienna

A new, fully redundant glass fiber ring for central and western Vienna is completed in April, 2015, within just a few months. It connects some of the most renowned Viennese art institutions to the ACOnet backbone but also to each other.

2013

eduGAIN

Since October, 2013, ACOnet participates in eduGAIN. eduGAIN is a service provided by the European association of scientific networks, GÉANT. It aims to interconnect academic identity federations, thus extending the scope of validity of electronic identities as well as the accessibility of services across national borders and onwards.

net:art

In March, 2013, ACOnet hosts the yearly, international Network Performing Arts Production Workshop in Vienna. This year's main topic is performing arts over advanced networks, aka net:art. This is an interactive form of art that uses the Internet as a medium.
On the occasion of the workshop, ACOnet arranges the net:art production "near in the distance", that connects artists in Vienna, Trieste and Barcelona via special transmission protocols (LOLA, UltraGrid) for joint performances.

2012

KUKIT Round Table

KUKIT is a German abbreviation for arts and culture in the IT sector.
In a joint effort, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and ACOnet establish a Round Table that meets at somewhat regular intervals to discuss recent IT and ICT developments deemed relevant for the fields of arts and culture. Held first in July, 2012, the KUKIT (Kunst, Kultur und IT) is open to all interested parties in the field.

2010/2011

Identity Federation

The ACOnet Identity Federation, established in July, 2011, is a federation of ACOnet participants and (external) service providers. It facilitates access to electronic resources across the participating institutions.

IPv6

After several years of pilot testing, IPv6 is introduced into normal operations in March, 2011. Thus, ACOnet belongs to the vanguard of IPv6 deployment and one of the first Austrian Internet providers offering IPv6 as a standard feature.

GovIX/GovDNS

Governmental bodies and agencies team up in December 2010, to form the Government Internet eXchange (GovIX), effectively creating a nation-wide peering VLAN on to of the ACOnet backbone.
This is supplemented by a corresponding DNS infrastructure (GovDNS), in 2011.

2009

PoPs in Lower Austria

In co-operation with the Lower Austrian Research and Education Company (NFB), two additional PoPs can be established in the cities of St. Pölten and Krems, thus connecting the province of Lower Austria to the ACOnet backbone.
In the following years, ACOnet activities will focus on the enhancement of services, rather than the backbone.

Optical Fiber Backbone in Operation

The new optical fiber backbone built for ACOnet by A1 Telekom Austria AG, is completed and commissioned in January, 2009. It enables ACOnet participants to exchange virtually any amount of data. Additional costs are confined to the "last mile" from the participant's premises to the nearest ACOnet PoP.
The new infrastructure facilitates the implementation of bilateral services and allows for joint projects involving high data volumes, such as media libraries, video conferencing and e-learning co-operations.

2007/2008

Transition to glass fiber

A1 Telekom Austria AG wins a European tender regarding construction and operation of "nation-wide telecommunication services based on optical-fiber connections". In July, 2007, they receive the go-ahead and by the end of the year, the first PoPs (Graz and Linz) can already migrate to the new backbone infrastructure. The remaining PoPs follow suite in the course of the year 2008.

2006

CBF Triangle

A 1 Gbit/s fiber optic line connecting ACOnet to the Slovak science network SANET in Bratislava since 2002 is updated to 10 Gbit/s in January, 2006.

In September, two additional fibers from Vienna to Brno, and from Brno to Bratislava are put into service, effectively forming the so-called CBF Triangle (CBF = Cross Border Fibre) that allows for direct peering between ACOnet, SANET and the Czech science network CESNET.

2005

Upgrade in Vienna

The interconnects in Vienna receive an upgrade from Gigabit Ethernet to 10-Gigabit Ethernet in June, 2005.

2001, 2004

Gigabit Ethernet

In December, 2001, the ACOnet backbone is migrated once again, this time to Gigabit Ethernet technology. This change affects foremost Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz and Klagenfurt. Leoben and the new PoP Eisenstadt follow in early 2004.

1996/1997

ATM Backbone

Parts of ACOnet's carrier net is switched over to ATM technology in March, 1996. Fast growing bandwidth requirements, especially in Vienna, Linz and Graz make this step necessary.

The PoPs in Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt and Leoben follow in April, 1997. Thus, ACOnet once again has a homogeneous backbone, now based on ATM technology.

1994

Migration to MAN

Traffic on the ACOnet is ever rising and new services cannot be implemented on the existing infrastructure because of their traffic requirements. Thus, in Mai 1994, the infrastructure must undergo further changes. A nation-wide, SMDS-based MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), run by Post und Telekom Austria AG, becomes ACOnet's new carrier network.

Each university PoP is connected to it with 2 Mbit/s.

1992

Migration to IP

ACOnet's network infrastructure is migrated from X.25 to IP (IP = Internet Protocol). At the core, the backbone forms a triangle that connects multi-protocol-enabled routers at the universities of Vienna, Linz and Graz. All other PoPs are connected to one of these backbone nodes.

At this stage, the lines boast connection rates of 64 kbit/s or 128 kbit/s.

1990

X.25 Backbone

In the second half of 1990, a common, producer-independent communication infrastructure is being erected in the form of a private X.25 network. It interconnects the universities of Vienna, Graz, Leoben, Klagenfurt, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Linz with a ring topology at 9,6 kbit/s, at first. Later on, the connection speeds are raised to 64 kbit/s.

Internet Access

Thanks to IBM's "European Academic Supercomputer Initiative" (EASI), the University of Vienna gains access to the Internet for the first time, in 1990, in the form of a permanent line to Geneva. It's a whopping 64 kbit/s! Fron Geneva onwards, a further 1,5 Mbit/s are available to the NSFnet in the USA (EASINET).

Also the remaining Austrian universities receive access to the Internet in that same year.

1986

ACOnet Association

Addressing the need for an institutionalized forum for planning, review and discussion of the joint network, the ACOnet Association is founded. It's membership consists of the IT centers of all Austrian universities. The ACOnet Association supports the Federal Ministry of Science and Research it it's aim to further develop ACOnet.

RARE/TERENA/GÉANT

In 1986, ACOnet joined the European association of national science networks, that was founded in the same year under the name RARE. In 1994, RARE merged with EARN and was named TERENA. As of 2015, this institution is known as GÉANT Association.

1985

International Connectivity

For the first time, Austrian universities hook up to international data networks, such as EARN and EUnet. The Austrian EARN node, AEARN, is implemented at the University of Linz.

1981

First Steps

As early as 1981, the universities' IT departments team up with the Federal Ministry for Science and Research. These are the players responsible for creating a common communication infrastructure for the Austrian scientific community. Together, they kick off the ACOnet.