Director of Computing and Communications
Office of Computing and Communications
American University in Bulgaria
110 Dimitrov St.
2700 Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
v: (+359) 732 3768
f: (+359) 732 1181
Education, higher; Education, continuing or distance
Innovative or improved ways of doing things; More equitable access to technology or electronic information; Technology transfer; Local commitment to network-based activities; Leverage of public funding
Supporting Documentation (contact author for more information):
Video – There are two videos about AUBG, not networking
Story Site (if other than location listed above):
The AUBG Email Story
The American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) presents a classic example of successful Internet evolution. We have been passing through all stages of Internet, starting a year ago with a simple remote login through modems, then a single user Email account, sharing this account via a local network and finally a real Email system with more than 100 users. Since the beginning of the University, Internet has been the first priority goal in data telecommunications and we will never stop striving until we get a real Internet link.
When we started to pursue the Internet link there was neither experience nor knowledge about it. There was a rare enthusiasm and a tremendous will to break the wall of poor telecommunications typical of a country like Bulgaria. Fortunately, what distinguished us from the other potential Internet users was that we could use the rich experience and know-how of our friends from the University of Maine. Mr. Jeremy Johnson and Mr. Gerald Dube from the University of Maine System Computing and Data Processing Services never refused to answer our questions. Indeed, they have given us very valuable ideas how to turn the Internet dream into reality. It was they who opened our mind to the Internet spirit – “communications are a group activity”. It is quite difficult if you are alone to develop such kinds of services in a country where the communications are in an embryo stage.
It was amazing for us to observe how the improvement of the Email system resulted in the improvement in other university activities. At first, it contributed towards avoiding international telephone calls. The significance of this cannot be perceived unless you know how the national telephone system works. Imagine what fun it is to make a request for a long distance call to a telephone operator who doesn’t know English. Then, you have to wait an hour to be put through to a wrong number. And all that happens in the middle of the night because of the 7-10 hours time difference between Bulgaria and the US.
The next result was a change in the way people communicate. Most of the internal information flow as well as the international contacts moved on to the Email base. The storage, ability to send to multiple users, forwarding, sorting, etc. services, added new power to the human communications in the university. It resulted in improving the efficiency, coordination and accuracy of the university activities. The outside Email has its own more significant impact in shrinking the long distance between us and our US partners which is quite important for a dual nature university like AUBG.
The Internet success resulted also in an increased ability to request funds for the development of the university. Most of our sponsors look more favorably to responding to our needs when they learn what we did in a year in the area of telecommunications.
Of course, there are many other benefits of an Internet link that we are still seeking and which will result in other activities. But as we draw closer to the complete implementation, we are able to anticipate most of the problems and to solve them before their appearance. The human factor is earning priority over financial and administrative elements which guarantees our farther success.
For additional information contact:
Jeremy E. Johnson
Computing and Data Processing Services
University of Maine System
Orono, ME 04469
v: (207) 581-3504
f: (207) 581-3531