It was Relcom Co. Ltd. node which in the end of 80-s made it possible (for those academic communities that was ready) to use practically free its e-mail service. Though its options of types of protocols wasn't broad it worked and still works very reliably, justifying its name RELiableCOMmunication. It makes it for good a merit of first familiarizing rather broad circle of Russian researchers with possibilities of electronic telecommunication.
Almost at the same time a number of initiatives was launched by group
of researchers in Nuclear Physics from Nuclear Physics Institute of Moscow
State University (NPI MSU), headed
by S.Berezhnev. and decisivly supported by the Directors of NPI MSU, late
Prof.I.Teplov and after him Prof.M.Panasyuk., aimed to diversifing types
of telecommunication protocols and types of communication lines available.
To this end RADIO-MSU node and network
was organized. That was another major step forward for these people were
physisists and, hence their priorities there were those of HEP & NP
In the meantime main HEP & NP. institutions, such as: FIAN, IHEP, BINP SD RAS, INR, ITEP, JINR, NPI MSU itself, PNPI (LNPI at the time), RRC KI (KIAE at the time) became more or less sofware and hardware equipped and began making up their own networks and communication lines to the nodes at CERN, DESY, SLAC et cet. Nevertheless, financial as well as other considerations in the early 90-s made it for majority of the mentioned sites clear that to have one reliable broad bandwidth access to Internet would be of value. At that time RADIO-MSU node obtained such an access.
There existed other reasons for unifying policies and standards for main HEP & NP sites. First, it was obvious that sooner or later a kind of overall coordination, standartization or reglamentation in this country is unavoidable. Second, HEP & NP community had had the most developed to date ties over the world and the most qualified according to world standards personell. Conclusion was evident: better to lead than to argue. And don't wait for someones' other initiatives for unknown time.
It's necessary to add that interests of very numerous Russian (and FSU) physics communities in universities and other provincial institutions were not the least reason in coming to the decision. Through 1994 the scheme of making up Russian Telecommunication Network for High Energy and Nuclear Physics was tentatively discussed among potentially interested institutions and communities. Main features of it and hence of structures of its heading bodies were understood as stemming from the following priorities:
- Users-(i.e.,physisists)-oriented principles of policy and rules (recommendations) of running and interaction of networks and nodes.
- Higher as possible level of support of users from the side of telecommunication and information services people, as well as their readiness to seek compromises for mutual benefit.
- Taking into account real conditions in the country for the time being (i.e., not comparable with the West countries bandwidth of channels (lines) accessible for main sites and even more poor - for most provincial sites, diversity of platforms, keyboard lay-outs for Cyrillics, strained financial conditions et cet.). It may look ridiculous but the problem of (English) or (Cyrillics) words is up to date very acute in Russia.
On March 28, 1995 the decision of Russian HEP & NP community on the question was finally adopted. It was made by unanimous support of Decision of General Meeting of Nuclear Physics Department of Russian Academy of Sciences (NPD RAS General Meeting) in presence of representatives of all major Russian HEP & NP institutions. The Decision laid down main priciples of functioning RUHEP network and authorized the Nuclear Physics Department Bureau (NPD Bureau) to elaborate and approve Statutes (Rules) of RUHEP Coordinating Council and RUHEP Science-Technology Council, as well as their structures and Members. Ac. A.Skrinsky was approved as a Chairman of Coordinating Council and S.Berezhnev - as the Chairman of Science-Technology Council.