History

The idea of a wireless network in Ljubljana had been slowly but persistently growing among gathered around lj-wlan mailing list. The idea crystallized on October 26th 2006 during the HAIP06 festival, when the FunkFeuer wireless network team from Graz presented the wireless network at Kiberpipa. During the festival workshop, first two WiFi points around Kiberpipa were established. On 16th and 17th of February 2008 a workshop where directed antennas were made was organized at Kiberpipa in cooperation with Radioclub Ljubljana S53AJK. A few more nodes were established around Rog factory and Faculty of Computer and Information Science.

At the beginning of 2009 the idea to begin working on the network with higher intensity and quality, with emphasis on making the network as widespread as possible, was born. For this purpose the development direction was identified, in which the network would on one hand stimulate the development of new technologies, and on the other hand would also be friendly to computer-inexperienced people, so there would be no need anymore to deeply understand the technology in order to participate. Unfortunately this led to a rift among participants, because some of them wanted to preserve the only-technical and do-it-yourself nature of activities around the network, instead of changing to general usability of the network and encouragement of Internet access around WiFi points.

But the idea gained momentum and on January 24th 2009 SSID open.wlan-lj.net was chosen for the network and the website domain was bought the same day, too. The network and the project were based on it named wlan ljubljana and started to operate with initial 10 WiFi points.

The new website came to life on February 10th 2009 and it triggered further development, such as more website content and design, and combining it into a unified system for network establishment and management, node database. A more detailed and thorough development plan was also prepared.

New version of node database, named nodewatcher, was established and started to operate in February 2009, which further simplified the establishment of new WiFi points.

On February 22nd 2009 a node at Glinška ulica was set up, which was the first node with the new housing. On February 28th 2009 a solar-powered node was established at a new temporary location. On June 26th 2009 the network was joined by its 4.000 user, and a website with network statistic was set up. On November 7th 2009 a router shipment for the open window project arrived.

After nine months, on November 10th 2009, wlan ljubljana network is operating with 28 nodes and more than 13.000 users have joined it.

In summer of 2010 the idea of an open network had spread also to Maribor, and on the September 9th 2010 the first node was established at Volodjeva 19, followed by two nodes at Pekarna, near Club MC, on October 29th 2010. That led to problems with the name wlan ljubljana, since it was geographically too restricted.

In January 2011 we decided to rename the network to wlan slovenija, SSID open.wlan-si.net, and to spread it through local projects to a national level. We slowly started renovating websites – into the more simplified main website with the introduction of the idea and the network, and separated sub-pages for network coordination and network development, grow Trac and dev Trac.

On sunny April 23rd 2011 we established first backbone point at Urban above Maribor. On June 20th 2011, in cooperation with HAM Radio club S59ABC, we held a first workshop at II. gimnazija Maribor (high school), and on June 29th, we established a connection from Urban to Slatina in Haloze region. On October 26th 2011 wlan slovenija network was presented at a conference at Google.

By the end of December 2011, more than 140.000 users have already connected to the network.

First independent international wireless connections with similar community networks FunkFeuer from Austria and NEDWireless from Croatia were were established on October 3 2012. The result of this international collaboration connected not just networks but also people.

A look into the history of the network is possible also through the blog where it is possible to find entries already since October 2009.