Usenet, for those not in the know, is a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system. It's the oldest computer network communications systems still in widespread use and was founded way back in 1980, long before the advent of email.
Think of it as a text based alternative to web-based discussion boards like our very own portal and Community Site forums. Usenet is a great resource for getting help with problems, or discussing interests with similarly minded people. There are over 60,000 active text-based Usenet groups which cover anything from the latest TV shows all the way to information on how best to mow your garden lawn! There's even a group for stamp collecting if you're that way inclined!
So give it a try, you never know you might like it! Our Usenet server can be accessed at the address usenet.plus.net using any of the newsreader programs listed here.
Those who keep a watchful eye on Service Status and those who frequent the plusnet.service.customer-feedback group are already likely to know about our plans to outsource the provision of our Usenet service to a third party supplier.
Whilst our current Usenet implementation hasn't really caused us any major problems of late, we are conscious that the platform has been left pretty much untouched since the demise of binary newsgroup hostingearly last year.
Another cause for concern is the fact that the service is only operating from a single reader. This lack of redundancy means that a major service outage could result in us losing the posting history from all of our privately hosted newsgroups.
These concerns have led us to the decision to outsource the provision of our Usenet service to a third party provider. This has been chronicled in what must be one of the longest Service Status threadsI think we've ever had!
We eventually chose Supernews to look after our Usenet provisioning. Founded in 1995, Supernews are one of the industry leaders in the provision of Usenet services and are renown for the reliable and stable services they provide. Our Metronetbrothers and sisters have had access to an outsourced Supernews Usenet feed since before we acquired them back in 2005.
I'm pleased to report that earlier this week we started the work required to migrate our Usenet service across to Supernews. This began with us adding Supernews to our 'access control lists' in order for them to start copying posts from our private groups across to their new servers.
Our current plans are to allow access to the new platform once Supernews have finished their part of the work. This will allow customers the opportunity to help test the new platform before we make the DNS changes to switch across to the new service.
We'll let customers know as soon as the new offering is in service and ready to be tested, so watch this space!
Read more about the history of Usenet on Wikipedia.