A Description of Eastnet
In the early days of Packet Radio a major east coast packet network called
EASTNET was formed extending from northern Maine to tip of Florida. It
included hundreds of digipeaters and bbs's as well as RF gateways which
provided usage of VHF digipeaters on different frequencies. At that time
Eastnet Packet was all via RF which also included 300 Baud Packet systems on
the HF Bands.
As time went on, higher level network protocols such NetRom/TheNet and KA9Q
NOS which includes ax25, NetRom and TCP/IP protocol came along. Many of the
digipeaters were converted to the multi port node systems using the higher
level protocols. With shutdowns of many of the remaing old digipeters The
result was many gaps between local area or region RF networks. BBS message
forwarding long range did continue via the World Wide SatGate system and
via HF Pactor using what is now called Clasic Winlink systems.
Then came the internet which included the world wide Amprmet network which
is part of the internet using addresses starting with 44. Amprnet Gateways
were capable of and provided a means to fill in the gaps between isolated RF
networks using encapsulation of ax25 frames within IP frames via the internet
and NOS plus some other ax25/Netrom/TCP/IP system could use it. Subsequently,
Eastnet Packet operations became a mix using RF systems as well as Amprnet
Gateway systems. This network became known as the Eastnet Amprnet network
which included the Eastnet FlexNet network within it.
Eastnet use of Amprnet Gateways ended mid 2009 as a result of the shutdown
of its main server known as hub.northeastus.ampr.org. With Eastnet Amprnet
operations ended, the Eastnet RF regional networks remained operational and
the network is now known as the Eastnet FlexNet network.
In the meantime, over the years with common use of internet growing, Amaturs
world wide continued to build Internet Gateways. Many of these remain as
part of the world wide Amprnet using 44 address space. Many others do not
use Amprnet 44 address space. They instead use normal public internet non 44
addresses. Unlike Amprnet which can provide connectivity to any 44 address on
the world wide Amprnet network, these other IGates provide routes to other
IGates and usually use NetRom protocol to provide connectivity to NetRom nodes
several hops away.
The Eastnet FlexNet newwork now has added several regional NetRom IGates
using BPQ32 software. These are interfaced to existing FlexNet-Digi nodes.
Currently most Eastnet Packet activity is in the North Eastern States regions
and the Eastern Florida region. The BPQ32 crossport digi function allows
FlexNet nodes to digi through the NetRom IGates providing FlexNet Packet
connectivity to all FlexNet destinations within all FlexNet network RF regions
which are linked via the NetRom IGates. BBS forwarding to far off destinations
is also made possible via the NetRom IGates.