Ivo Skoric on Tue, 26 Oct 1999 17:46:12 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> IRC Kosovo Internet

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------

Orig. posted by International Rescue Committee (http://www.intrescom.org/),
30 Sep 99, forwarded to  RIKS list" by Jo van der Spek <jo@xs4all.nl>

IRC Project Gives Kosovo Direct Internet Access - Sept. 29, 1999


Cutting through red tape and threading their way around technical hurdles,
a team assembled by the International Rescue Committee has begun providing
Internet service to Kosovo barely 100 days after the arrival of UN

"Because it reconnects Kosovo to the rest of the world, Internet access is
a critical milestone in the rebuilding process," said the IRCs Paul Meyer,
the project leader, who nursed the effort through to completion since
conceiving the idea last June. 

Internet access is being provided initially to the University of Pristina
, the National Library, local news media and Pristina Hospital and to 14
UN and international humanitarian agencies in the capital. 

"For a humanitarian agency like the IRC that has several hundred staff
members in Kosovo, the project means reliable, fast, inexpensive
communications and savings of thousands of dollars a month in
international phone bills," Meyer said. For the university and other local
organizations, it means instant access to information and it puts them in
touch with the rest of the world. 

The UN and private relief agencies are sharing costs of the Kosovo
Internet Project, while local institutions are receiving service free.  In
the coming weeks, additional institutions such as schools and local
nongovernmental agencies will be connected at no charge. 

After a start-up period of six months or so, the IRC plans to give control
of the project to a local revenue-generating, nonprofit organization
dedicated to providing wide access to the Internet in Kosovo. 

Reynold Levy, president of the International Rescue Committee, said, his
project will serve the immediate needs of local and international
agencies, while providing Kosovo with a permanent Internet infrastructure. 

The Kosovo Internet Project's Web site < http://www.ipko.org/> offers some
preliminary information. 

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