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sub-Netz e.V.
Verein zur Förderung der privat betriebenen Datenkommunikation
gegründet 1989

sub-Netz e.V.: English summary

Almost weekly, we receive e-mail by English speaking people requesting informations about the sub-Netz, who we are, what we do, and wether the our domains are available for trade. In this text, I try to summarize the German contents of our web pages briefly.

Who we are

The sub-Netz e.V. is a registered non-profit organization, with the headquarter located in Karlsruhe, Germany. Our members live in the German-spoken regions of Europe, namely Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Our goals include the support of private persons and non-profit organizations in using network services, mainly e-mail and usenet news.


Since 1987, we provide e-mail access under the .sub.org domain, and created the first world-wide German language Usenet News hierarchie sub.ALL (later merged with the educational hierarchie dnet.ALL to de.ALL which still exists). Since most of our members are private persons with analog modems, our main transport protocol is UUCP.

The main principle of the sub-Netz has always been "Get a feed and you are on". This means, the organization provides the only the central infrastructure which is absolutely necessary (i.e. domain name management, mail exchange gateway to the Internet, and dial-in access for a few large sites). Almost all users were connected not directly to the central gateway, but to any site which was still part of the net. Mail routing was done via UUCP maps, maintained by map managers, sorted by postcode of the site location. In order to distribute the costs in a fair way to the members, all mail traffic passing the central mail gateway was accounted; in addition, reserving a domain name under our 2nd level domains, sub.{org,com,de} required either membership or a small fee. Those site administrators who connected other sites, were charged for the mails of their sites, but could also implement their own cost schemes; the organization did not care.

Around 1995, the union was grown up to it's highest magnitude. At the main gateway point in Karlsruhe, we had approx. 100 UUCP accounts and our central mail gateway, subnet.sub.net, transported more than 6000 mails a day. We had an own room at a network provider's office, and ran four server hosts, two ISDN routers, and an analog modem router. While all work was done by volunteers, our traffic costs and user accounting generated a six digit annual turnover.

Today, with the growing market for Internet access including POP3 e-mail accounts, the importance and influence of the sub-Netz is shrinking. Nethertheless, there is still a quite large community of people using UUCP e-mail and Usenet news exchange. As in the beginning, all our services today run on a single Unix machine which is located in the computing center of punkt.de GmbH, an Internet service provider in Karlsruhe, Germany. We also have no own dial-up infrastructure any more, but use UUCP over TCP.

Our services

Here is a brief summary of the services we offer:

A subdomain under .sub.{org,de}: This appears to be the most interesting service for foreigners (who need the English information page). Any member of our organization can reserve subdomains under our domain name, and use it for e-mail addresses or whereever he needs it. Other than with most POP3 e-mail providers where you have only a limited number of e-mail addresses, under a subdomain you can create as much addresses as you want. We can either delegate the domain to your DNS server, or run the DNS for you on our central gateway.

E-Mail and/or Usenet News feed: Our central machines can gate your e-mail and/or Usenet News articels between UUCP and SMTP/NNTP. You also need membership for this service, and any traffic exceeding the free contingency will be charged.

Connection over any other participant of the sub-Netz: You can connect yourself over any participiant of the network who is willing to do that. The contracting is subject to you and the participiant; the sub-Netz does not care for that. You even do not need to be a member.

Annual membership costs are EUR 24.- for normal persons, and EUR 12.- for pupils/students/etc.

What we do not offer

Webspace. Sometimes, people ask us for webspace in a subdirectory, e.g. www.sub.net/anything. We are not a webspace provider. If you need web pages under one of our domains, you can aquire a subdomain, e.g. subdomain.sub.org, to the conditions described above. There, you can run your own web server.

Domains. Our domain names sub.org, sub.net, and sub.de, are not for sale. Please do not email us about domain name trading.

More questions

If you need further assistance, e-mail to our contact address.

sub-Netz Webmaster