"I am absolutely amazed by the success
we've had with this project. It surpassed my
wildest expectations," says Kim
Biel-Nielsen, vice chairman of DKUUG.
"We now have a huge pile of cash. The
important thing is to use it wisely."
DKUUG was formed in 1982 and now has
more than 1,100 members throughout
Denmark. The user group was originally
involved in providing Internet access to
DKUUG members in the Danish academic
community. In 1983, DKUUG began
allowing non-members to use the service.
Demand grew so quickly that a year later,
DKUUG formed DKnet as a commercial
company offering Internet access and other
services such as e-mail to individuals and
business customers. DKnet has now become
Denmark's largest commercial ISP,
prompting the sale to TeleDanmark. Says
Biel-Nielsen, "Our activities have reached a
dimension which lies beyond what we feel
an association should deal with."
TeleDanmark has also recently acquired
Diatel, a service provider similar to
CompuServe, and expects to offer services
that include a country-wide electronic
payment system. With the acquisition of
DKnet, TeleDanmark will now control 80
percent of Denmark's Internet user market,
estimated at over 100,000.
The sale of DKnet puts DKUUG in an
interesting and enviable position. "It gives
us the total freedom to do new things," says
Biel-Nielsen. "Being an association, we
have many people with many different ideas,
so the trick will be to identify the best
Some of these ideas involve an expanded
range of seminars and conferences.
"Previously we couldn't have a seminar and
conference which ran at a loss in terms of
revenues," says Biel-Nielsen. "Now we
have the flexibility to provide more
programs and have better speakers." He
says that in April, Danish officials will meet
with the UniForum Association at Santa
Clara, USA, to discuss ways that DKUUG
can sublicense the services offered by
UniForum in the United States. "That way,
we can bring the best of UniForum to
Denmark," he remarks. Biel-Nielsen also
mentions that the DKUUG will use funds to
expand the association's newsletter.
The position of UNIX in Denmark is similar to that in the United States, according to Biel-Nielsen. "UNIX is increasing in popularity, but it is increasingly invisible
since it is mainly a server platform," he
says. "As a server, it's noticed only when it
goes down. Now, UNIX doesn't go down,
which means that it isn't noticed." With
DKUUG's new efforts, the visibility of
UNIX and open systems in Denmark may
These were the questions tackled by
Chairman, Kim Biel-Nielsen and Treasurer,
Andrew Macpherson when they met at the
Owles Hall office in February 1996.
The money in the bank at that date, being
the beginning of a new financial year, was
seriously low at approximately 32,000 ECU,
with only the Swedish Group as Sponsor
and the Belgium Group as Junior Member
having paid their subscription for 1996 in
Since then Hungary, Finland, Croatia, Italy,
Portugal, Denmark, Belgium, Czech
Republic and Germany have paid, but there
has been some re-grouping which will affect
the income. GUUG (Germany) have
downgraded from Sponsor Member to Full
Member. NUUG (Norway) have
downgraded from Full Member to Junior
Member. UKUUG (UK) and AFUU
(France) are understood to be considering
their position, [see Treasurer's report on
page 3. Ed] likewise DKUUG (Denmark)
are considering upgrading to Sponsor.
However, provided National Groups do pay
their 1996 subscriptions as expected and
provided the income from the sale of EUnet
shares comes in during March as promised,
EurOpen can continue to function financially
for one to two years.
Savings in expenditure are in the pipeline.
The fee to the Secretariat is to be halved and
brought in line with reduced activities.
Travel and meetings will have to operate
within a much tighter budget and will be
reduced by not having meetings concerned
The Purpose of EurOpen
Primarily EurOpen exists as a human
network, a means by which users from all
over Europe can meet to exchange
information and ideas, providing a
background against which National Groups
can survive and thrive. It gives the strength
necessary to have a users voice heard in a
political context and subsidises and
legitimises the voice of individuals who
attempt to speak for the users.
At present EurOpen is vulnerable because of
waning interest in UNIX, on which the
Group was founded. Also because
membership is based on a few National
Groups paying big amounts, rather than
many individuals paying smaller amounts,
only one or two resignations could leave it
It might be possible of course, to take more
than one Group per country into
membership, or to invite Internet Societies
to join, but without branching out in this
way, it is difficult to see how the
membership base itself could be enlarged.
Such decisions are for the Governing Board,
and hopefully its members Board are
already thinking about what can be done.
Conferences and events can be continued on
a smaller scale. For example, Rik Farrow
Seminars are being planned for October in
Romania and Iceland.
The COSE meetings planned for 1996
should proceed, possibly later in the year,
and a planning meeting for those is being
held in March.
The News Sheet and EurOpen Quarterly will
continue for the time being and other
services such as Certification Authority can
The ICT Round Table continues under
No doubt some good ideas will come out of
the Governing Board Meeting scheduled for
8-9 June 1996 in Prague.
Conference announcement and call for
The scientific programme of the Conference
will cover problems connected with
fundamental and applied researches for
designing and use of the latest information
technologies, open systems hardware and
open computer networks. The main topics
of the Conference include:
* concepts, models and architecture of
* methodology of open systems environment building;
* basic and functional standards (profiles);
* open systems projecting technologies and facilities;
* inter-operable information systems;
* information technology standards;
* certification in open systems;
Concurrently with the SUUG Conference, there will be a small Exhibition presenting hardware and software solutions for open systems.
The Conference will be held during the
same week as COMTEK '96 exhibition in
Moscow. COMTEK '96 is the biggest
yearly computer exhibition in Russia.
Coupling these two events will help to
promote closer contacts between
representatives of the Academy of Science
and personnel involved in developing
applications in the private sector.
For further information contact: Sergei
Kuznetsov via e-mail on
Tel: 01763 273 475
Fax: 01763 273 255
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