Exactly 20 years ago, 17th August 1991, for the first time in Poland are connected to Internet. Rafa│ Pietrak of Warsaw University for the first time made contact with Jan Sorensen, an employee of the University of Copenhagen based on the protocol TCP/IP. Today, nobody in the country on the Vistula can not imagine life without the Network.
The history of computer networks in Poland and the world goes back further than 20 years, but only use TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) has consolidated the communications. Until now, computer networks communicate in different ways, which have used different data transmission protocols. Hence, it is so important date of first communication by this protocol.

The origins of the Internet in Poland on a broader scale modems to "meteoric" once the speed to 56 kbps and connect with number 0202122. This number quickly became the most popular number in the country. Using ruined bills, so popular programs are monitoring the amount of time spent in the network, and thus the number of pulses used. One such program was called quite significantly – Bankrupt.

At the beginning of the Polish network users to send text-only e-mails, now with very fast connections, they can watch videos on video sites like YouTube or connect to the furthest corner of the world using Skype. Popularity records are beating in recent years, video broadcasts "live" coverage of events of global format.

An important part of the 20-year history of the Polish Internet, is certainly PIONIER Consortium. The main objective of the PIONIER network is to operate Polish academic and scientific community as a whole, and to support its research and educational projects. Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center is the operator of the PIONIER Network but also manages the Poznan Metropolitan Area Network – POZMAN.

The basis for construction of PIONIER network is the program: "PIONIER: Polish Optical Internet – Advanced Applications, Services and Technologies for the Information Society". The program was accepted in year 2000 and adopted for implementation in the next year by the Committee for Scientific Research. PIONIER program initiated a series of actions (later joined by such programs as: e-Poland, Gates of Poland etc.) aimed at building the basic mechanisms of information society, enabling Poland an equal partnership with other countries.

In May of that year Consortium celebrated the 10th anniversary of the construction of its Network. 11 years ago in Gliwice an “Agreement on the establishment of the Consortium for the exploitation and use of the National Optical Network of scientific-academic units PIONIER” was signed. One year later, the construction began, and as early as in 2003, a newly built segment of the Network was opened. And so, piece by piece, the subsequent segments were being constructed, ready for exploitation. Today, PIONIER network  has a length of 6494.26 km fiber optics in Poland, combines all the MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) networks, and the full optical fiber loop is closed, together with its own transmission system.

Currently, Internet access connects about 16 million Poles, at home, at work, in the garden. Every self-respecting company has its own website that gathers millions of social networking users, grandparents communicate with their grandchildren through Skype, and publish the school grades of students in the virtual logs. It's hard to imagine what will be another 20 years ...
Agnieszka Musialska

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