/bit'net/ (Because It's Time NETwork) An academic and research computer network connecting approximately 2500 computers. BITNET provides interactive, electronic mail and file transfer services, using a store and forward protocol, based on IBM Network Job Entry protocols.
Bitnet-II encapsulates the Bitnet protocol within IP packets and depends on the Internet to route them. BITNET traffic and Internet traffic are exchanged via several gateway hosts.
BITNET is now operated by CREN.
BITNET is everybody's least favourite piece of the network. The BITNET hosts are a collection of IBM dinosaurs, VAXen (with lobotomised communications hardware), and Prime Computer supermini computers. They communicate using 80-character EBCDIC card images (see eighty-column mind); thus, they tend to mangle the headers and text of third-party traffic from the rest of the ASCII/RFC 822 world with annoying regularity. BITNET is also notorious as the apparent home of BIFF.