The network was founded in 1991 by the ministry of science and technology, and the institution officially came to life in 1995 when the government decreed so. CARNet's mission is to "provide the infrastructure, knowledge and the necessary resources to individuals and organizations that wish to build Croatia as an information society".
CARNet's activities include the development and maintenance of the national academic network system, connecting with international networks, building network infrastructure within the country, and everything else that involves IT. The activities of CARNet are closely intertwined with those of SRCE, the University Computing Centre in Zagreb.
CARNet maintains the DNS database for the Croatian top-level domain .hr. It maintains and connects the internets for Croatia's six universities and all other government-funded or non-profit education-related organizations in the country. SRCE operates the CARNet NOC as well as the DNS registry. CARNet also includes the computer security agency C-CERT, and it has founded the Internet exchange point CIX (which has since been made into a separate entity, run by SRCE).
The core of the CARNet network in Zagreb is 10GE, with the backbone links connecting Zagreb using gigabit ethernet with the other major cities including Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Varaždin, Pula, Zadar and Dubrovnik. There are numerous other backbone links to smaller cities which are E1 and better. The main international connection is a 10GE link to a GÉANT PoP, which in turn links to the rest of the European network and to the rest of the Internet.
CARNet also maintains the local links to all the peers. There are over two hundred connections to university faculties and other institutions from the academic community and over one thousand connections to schools and other institutions from the educational community. The connections are rather diverse, some using Ethernet technology, some xDSL, and some E-carrier, with various carrier companies, so the situation is evolving on a regular basis as CARNet tries to connect all of its members with links as fast as possible.
CARNet is also an ISP for the academic community (professors, students etc), as well as for the educational community (school staff and pupils), and it maintains all the resources a typical ISP does: time servers (NTP), web hosting servers, mailing list servers, news servers (Usenet), an IRC server, FTP and mirroring servers. It provides hardware and software support for institutions to run their own mail and other services so that users can access those as well. It also helps build the authentication and authorization infrastructure through the AAI@EduHr project, which links LDAP directories, PGP keyrings, etc. and provides Internet access via several other ISP companies through the same credentials.
CARNet initiated and/or sponsored a variety of unique projects: for example the "first" web page in the country, www.hr, a national search engine, and a set of progressive web sites built for the tenth anniversary of the Internet in Croatia.