Thirty years since the first internet connection in Slovenia

Ljubljana, 27 November - The internet is thirty years old in Slovenia. The first internet connection was established on 27 November 1991 at the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), when researchers obtained permission to pass IP packets through CERN in Geneva and through Germany to a router at the Institute of Physics and Mathematics in Amsterdam.

Preparations for establishing an internet connection in Slovenia started in the mid-1980s, and in May 1991, IJS researchers were finally granted permission to lease a direct line to connect to the international network infrastructure of the COSINE project, which was called IXI (International X.25 Infrastructure) at the time.

Those "guerrilla beginnings", as Slovenian internet pioneer Borka Jerman Blažič dubbed them, were remembered by the IJS with an online event on Wednesday, which presented a short history of internet use in Slovenia since then.

During these 30 years, the internet has progressed rapidly and changed the world. A total of 90% of Slovenian households had an internet connection last year, which is still below the EU average, however.

Jerman Blažič said that "we are doing well" in terms of broadband internet, where Slovenia is above the EU average in most of the European Commission's parameters.

But Slovenia fares slightly worse in internet usage, as 11% of the Slovenian population has never used the internet, while the country is also below the EU average for regular (85%) and frequent (76%) internet users.

"It's amazing to think how far we have already come, we have an astonishing tool that is constantly evolving and we need to protect it. This is where our organisation comes in, as we want to keep the internet open, safe and trustworthy," said Nick Hyrka from the Internet Society (ISOC), an international organisation working to promote the open development.