Internet circa 1993

From brian carroll <>
Date Sat, 14 Jul 2001 02:46:58 -0800

  was going through old floppies looking for something and
  came across this saved post of the early geography of on-
  line spacetime. what was interesting during that period
  was that it wasn't everywhere. and major backbones were
  under construction. just a bit of infoarchaeology...

  the address for the author is now at
  who works on the internet weather report and other things.

                             The Edges of the Matrix

                                John S. Quarterman

                                Copyright (c) 1993
              Matrix Information and Directory Services, Inc. (MIDS)
                       From *Matrix News* 3(3), March 1993.
           Contact:, +1-512-451-7602, fax: +1-512-450-1436.

                     What are the geographical edges of the
                networked world?  This is a peculiar question,
                with a constantly varying answer.  Here's what
                I've found.  If you know more, please let me know.

           1.  South

           In the book, *The Matrix*, I mentioned that the U.S. Palmer,
           Siple, and South Pole stations exchanged mail with the
           Matrix by way of Kermit over a satellite link to a NASA
           machine in Florida.  This arrangement is still in place for
           the South Pole station, making it clearly the most southerly
           networked place in the world, at 90 degrees south.
           Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station does not have a permanent
           link, and does not use the usual protocols of networks like
           the Internet, UUCP, FidoNet, or BITNET, but mail is
           exchanged with the Matrix.

                The AQ DNS domain for Antarctica was registered in
           March 1992 by New Zealand, specifically by their Department
           of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).  DSIR has a
           permanent satellite link to Scott Base on Ross Island.  They
           run IP over that link, and it is routed with the Internet.
           But apparently it isn't configured for international access;
           I can't reach it from here.

                However, two kilometers away is the U.S. McMurdo base.
           McMurdo was first connected to the Internet in about
           February 1992.  Apparently there was some problem with
           200mph winds during Antarctic winter, but McMurdo has been
           up solidly since at least December 1992 (Antarctic summer).
           That's about 78S 166E.

                It is rumored that Australia has a link to their
           Antarctic base to Hobart, Tasmania, but it is apparently not

           Matrix News,                   3(3), March 1993
           Edges                      - 2 -                       South

           routed with the rest of the Internet.

                Other countries are also considering Internet
           connections from Antarctica, and some may be up already.

                There are no FidoNet, UUCP, or BITNET sites in
           Antarctica that I know of.

                The southernmost networked place *not* in Antarctica
           appears to be Hobart, Tasmania, which has UUCP, FidoNet, and
           Internet connections.  There is no BITNET in Australia or
           New Zealand.

           2.  North

           The northernmost networked place in the world is harder to
           discover, because there are so many contenders.

                Most northerly appears to be a node on the NASA Science
           Network (part of the Internet), in Thule, Greenland, at
           77 40N 69 0W.  There are a few towns farther north than
           that, in Greenland, on Ellesmere Island, in Svalbard, and in
           Franz Josef's Land, but they don't seem to be networked.

                Second most northerly appears to be a PC clone running
           Waffle on the North Slope of Alaska, in Atqasuk:
           70 28 10N 157 23 45W.  This is a bit hard to discover, since
           the UUCP map listing for it has 70 28N 157 23N.  Unless this
           node is run by Santa Claus, it's hard to believe it is north
           of the North Pole.  This host is really connected using the
           WWIVnet protocols.  Other than Atqasuk, the northernmost
           networked place in the United States is apparently
           Fairbanks, Alaska.

                The most northerly Canadian hosts appear to be in the
           Northwest Territories.  There are two on FidoNet.  The most
           northerly is the one in Rankin Inlet, 62 30N 93 0W.  The
           other is in Yellowknife.  There is a UUCP host in
           Yellowknife, as well.  That's 62 27 43N 114 26 04W.  The
           most northerly Yukon host appears to be on FidoNet, in
           Whitehorse, at 60 43N 135 03W.

                There is one site in Greenland that I can't locate:
           Edgedesminde.  That may be way north.  However, Nuuk is on
           FidoNet, at 64 10N 51 35W.

                Iceland is farther north, and Kopasker appears to be
           the most northerly site in Iceland, with both Internet and
           UUCP connections, at 66 20 30N 16 29 30W.  Reykjavik is only
           a few degrees farther south, and has UUCP, FidoNet, BITNET,
           and Internet connections, at 64 08 35N 21 57 35W.

                Norway: Tromsoe, with Internet and FidoNet connections,

           Matrix News,                   3(3), March 1993
           Edges                      - 3 -                       North

           at 69 40N 18 50E.  This is also the site of the most
           northerly networked university in the world.

                Sweden: Lulea, with FidoNet, UUCP, and Internet
           connections, at 65 35 22N 22 10 00E.

                Finland: Oulu, with Internet, BITNET, and FidoNet
           connections, at 65 13 00N 25 19 00E.

                In Russia, Murmansk doesn't seem to be networked, but
           Sverodvinsk and Archangelsk are, around 64 34N 39 50E, on
           FidoNet.  Then there is Komi, on UUCP, at
           63 33 00N 53 38 00E; Petrozavodsk, Karelia, also on UUCP, at
           61 47N 34 20E; Ivanovo, on FidoNet, at 60 32N 36 22E; and
           eventually St. Petersburg, on most networks, at
           59 55N 30 15E.

           3.  West

           Westernmost doesn't mean much on a round planet, but the
           networked place farthest west in longitude from Greenwich is
           Hawaii, with Honolulu at more than 157 degrees west.
           Exactly which town on which island is the westernmost
           networked is unclear.

           4.  East

           Easternmost from Greenwich is Fiji, where the Department of
           Mathematics of the University of the South Pacific in Suva,
           at 18 6S 178 30E, has a UUCP link to New Zealand.  Then
           there are various places in New Zealand, such as Wellington,
           which is connected to most networks except BITNET, at
           41 17 25S 174 46 07E.  Christchurch is also far east,
           followed by Port-Vila, Vanuatu, on the RIO UUCP network, at
           17 44S 168 19E.  Then there is Scott Station (NZ),
           Antarctica, on the Internet; Noumea, New Caledonia, on RIO;
           and McMurdo Station (US), Antarctica, on the Internet, all
           between 166 and 167 degrees east.

                Gold Coast, Queensland, is probably the easternmost
           networked place in Australia, on FidoNet, at 28 04S 153 25E.
           Australia being one of the most networked places in the
           world, many other Australian locations follow.

                Russia's easternmost networked outpost appears to be
           Magadan, north of the Sea of Okhotsk, and at the end of the
           road from the west, with both FidoNet, and UUCP, at
           59 34N 150 48E.  There appears to be nothing on the
           Kamchatka Peninsula, or farther east.  Sakhalin Island is on
           the map, with UUCP.

                Guam's easternmost networked point is on FidoNet, at

           Matrix News,                   3(3), March 1993
           Edges                      - 4 -                        East

           13 29 02N 144 48 23E.

                The easternmost networked place in the Land of the
           Rising Sun is Kushiro, Hokaido, Japan, on the Internet, at
           42 58N 144 23E.  Sapporo follows soon after, with Internet
           and UUCP connections.


           Matrix News,                   3(3), March 1993

  the electronetwork-list
  electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization