to research carried out by the agency MarecoIndex Bosnia, in the year 2000 only
5.4 percent of adult citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina had access to the Internet.
Data referred to by the Communication Regulatory Agency â€“ CRA (David Betts,
CONVERGENCE AND THE DIGITAL DIVIDE: A ROADMAP FOR BiH AND SEE, www.mediaonline.ba) shows that in
December 2000 there were 176 Internet users per 10,000 citizens of all ages, or
1.76 percent. Bearing in mind that this figure shows only Internet access, i.e.
only the possibility of Internet use, not how much it is actually used, it is
clear that Bosnia-Herzegovina is at the bottom of the European ladder. Being so
far behind in the use of new communication technologies has a cause-and-effect
relationship with the development of online communication.
must look at online communication in Bosnia-Herzegovina separately for the
Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska in view of the
differentiated system in this country. Online
communication in the Federation is carried out via telecommunication centers,
while in the Republika Srpska these services are offered by private providers.
The areas of activity of these subjects do not overlap and everyone has
monopoly â€śin its area.â€ť As the existence of monopoly implies rather indolent
behavior, regularly at the expense of users, it is encouraging that the
Communication Regulatory Agency of Bosnia-Herzegovina has been established. The
agency was founded in March 2001 for the purpose of carrying out regulatory
functions in all telecommunication fields in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Procedures are
now being put in place for licensing Internet service providers (ISPs). All
existing Internet service providers in Bosnia-Herzegovina were obliged to send
required registration documents to the Agency by the end of November. If they
receive a license, the Agency will protect them and control their market
Agencyâ€™s future specific tasks cannot be anticipated today due to constant
changes in this field. The establishment of the Agency which is in charge of
providing for legal and ethical conduct of services in Bosnia-Herzegovina is
certainly a valuable step in establishing supervision over this form of
looking at analysis of the work of existing providers in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
the requirement to send documentation to the Agency, we can expect positive
changes in the attitude towards users. Internet service providers in
Bosnia-Herzegovina, generally speaking, are now focused on financial gain,
without concern for users. There are no statistics on user classification or
number of users per type. Due to all this, concern for users is one of the more
important conditions in the Agencyâ€™s requirement.
initially designed and started as a means of communication, the Internet has
developed into an important means of cooperation as well. For this reason the
Agency can be expected to mediate in mutual linking of related Internet
resources in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This means: creation of Internet communities;
traditional and multimedia communication and cooperation; cooperation in
distance learning; and using the web as a cooperation tool. â€śInternet
communitiesâ€ť means communities with specific interests and values, exchange of
ideas and resources, and a way of organizing membership. â€śTraditional and
multimedia communication and cooperationâ€ť would strive to substitute
traditional ways of communication via the Internet with multimedial ways.
E-mail was a revolution when it appeared but today information is exchanged and
processed in completely different ways. The Internet can be used to watch
television, download audio and video material and hold conferences.
â€śCooperation in distance learningâ€ť would stimulate individuality in education,
and the â€śweb as a cooperation toolâ€ť would bring world wide web-cooperation
tools closer to users.
has been mentioned above that online communication in the Federation of
Bosnia-Herzegovina is carried out via telecommunication centers which have
their own Internet providers and also rent out their space to other providers,
while in the Republika Srpska private providers directly own their space. The
following domains were available for Bosnia-Herzegovina until recently: .com, .net, .org, .ba. New â€śtopâ€ť
domains have now been registered: .biz,
.info, .name, .pro, .aero, .coop, .museum. Individuals can also register
their own domains.
first professional Internet service provider in Bosnia-Herzegovina was BIHnet.
The most interesting service packages offered by this provider are Student Package and Audio-Video Broadcasting services.
Student Package is
used by elementary and high school students and full-time university students
and it offers the benefit of less costly subscription and Internet time.
Monthly subscription costs 5 KM (equivalent to 5 German marks) and use of the
public commuted telephone network or ISDN network costs 0.0099 KM. The package
includes a 20 MB e-mail box.
Audio-Video Broadcasting via
BIHnet Real Server enables radio and TV broadcasting on the Internet, allowing
users to present their program to 250 million Internet users. Radio and TV
stations broadcasting their programming on the Internet access the BIHnet
network via a leased line, leasing a desired number of IP addresses. Monthly
subscription for using a modem costs 20 KM and the amount of subscription
depends on whether it is based on transmission speed or a package of IP
addresses. In case of subscription based on transmission speed, ranging from
19.2 Kb/s to 2048 Kb/s, the price ranges from 575 KM to 27,100 KM. Subscription
based on a package of IP addresses ranges from 16 IP addresses to 256 IP
addresses at a price of 70 KM to 700 KM.
the Republika Srpska the most important Internet service provider is Blic.net
Banja Luka, which has a digital optical link to partners in Western Europe. One
hundred and twenty digital modem lines with support for ISDN and V.90 protocols
are available for users. Also available are good quality Compaq servers and
Cisco communication equipment, which makes this provider important in
implementing projects in the field of computer and information systems. The Web
hosting service enables clients to set up data bases on Linux and NT servers at
the following prices:
5 MB 15 KM monthly
10 MB 25 KM monthly
25 MB 30 KM monthly
50 MB 50 KM monthly
The Internet is primarily a result of strict
application of certain commercial standards, which means that there is a high
degree of order on the net in the technical and communication sense. But many
believe that in the sense of content, there is anarchy on the Internet and that
it simply must be so. However, each provider in Bosnia-Herzegovina places
before its users an Internet Use Request and Internet Conduct Rules
(netiquette). Conditions for Internet service use contain the right to restrict
or abolish service access rights if a user utilizes the service in an
Putica teaches Information Science at the Journalism Studies of the University
of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is a permanent contributor to Media Plan
Institute. Translation by: K. H. ©Media Online 2001. All rights reserved.