*** This HTML file was produced by AscToHTM 2.3 (unregistered version). Don't forget to register it ***

By Pablo Liendo
Regional Corresponsal
REDALC Project
[email protected]

By the early 80's, the CONICIT, (National Council for Technological and Scientific Research), conduces the setting of a National Scientific and Technological Network.

Although the Telephone Company (CANTV, nowadays privatized) should have acted as carrier, it was agreed upon (based on the lack of public X25 and on the telephone system's weakness) that CONICIT would assume the tremendous commitment of designing, setting, running and operating SAICYT.

Initially the infrastructure was based on three big cities located X25 GTE-Telenet TP4000 nodes. Other cities access the system through GTE-Telenet TP3010 PAD's. The topology of connections was hierarchical, with dedicated lines running at 14.4 Kbps (v.33 bis).

The main node (Caracas) has been linked by a submarine cable to TELENET in Washington DC. Each node has 16 synchronic ports and 16 asynchronic ones. Each pad has 8 asynchronic ports.

In 1990, the material releases were upgraded, and the pads are currently being replaced by MGS CISCO Routers.

The number of users is around 2.000, only 150 being effective users. Most use e-mail in other countries networks. Others apply for commercial services via TELENET (DIALOG, Compuserve, etc).

Although it has been running since 1988, only a year ago begun the assignment of USERIDs, enabling a billing software. The announced rates look reasonable. Nevertheless, no one have been billed yet.

The operativity level varies, but is usually rather poor due to the switched lines user's connections on a very noisy and saturated telephone system.

From the managerial standpoint, the coordination, within CONICIT, of different profiles (computing, telecommunication, user support, telematic resource management,...), besides of the conventional CONICIT activities, was traumatic.

Clearly the need appears for SAICYT to be internationally present, autoevaluated, optimized , and to become integrated to the several transnational initiatives.

Since 1990, a complementary strategy was formulated: the REACCIUN (Cooperative Academic Network among Research Centers and National Universities). The objective is the improvement of the transport infrastructure, and the better involvement of the research centers and universities. The emphasis is towards the network informational potential.

A SUN SPARC/Server (4/490, 32 MB RAM, 22 MIPS, 1.2 GB Disk, SunOs, SunLink) has been located at CONICIT's headquarter, with a centralized mailing system. The reaching of user's critical mass is expected, based on the free offering of mailboxes to each researcher registered by CONICIT.

The current plans include dedicated links to 6 national large universities and 8 mid-size research and academic institutions.

Recently, a 19.2 Kbps INTERNET link reached the John Von Newman Center Network (New Jersey, USA), being assigned ".VE" as the top level national INTERNET domain for Venezuela. Soon "FTP" will be provided, and when the satellite link will reach 64 Kbps the "Remote Logon" service would be provided (some Telnet is currently done).

REACCIUN is becoming a a pure TCP/IP national backbone, with some X25 gateways.

Some discussion is being held with the new board of the Telephone Company in order to negotiate preferential rates for the sector. On the other hand, it is hoped that an associative pluralistic entity could be created to get in charge of the management and operation of the Network.

Pablo Liendo
Regional Corresponsal
REDALC Project
[email protected]

*** This HTML file was produced by AscToHTM 2.3 (unregistered version). Don't forget to register it ***