from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. An early North American academic computer network, supporting e-mail and listservs but pre-dating the World Wide Web.


Abbreviation of Because It's There Network. (Wiktionary)


  • One, called BITNET the Because It’s Time Network, was a cooperative network among IBM systems with no restrictions on membership.

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late

  • The main impetus for this expansion was the formation of INTERNET, a network linking over 20,000 existing computer networks, including BITNET.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Here we see an illustration of sequential interdependence; each additional adopting university increased the benefits of BITNET for every institution that was a potential adopter through a decreased initial cost of adoption.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Gurbaxani, Vijay (1990), “Diffusion in Computing Networks: The Case of BITNET,” Communications of the ACM, 33(12):65-75.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • The first adopters of BITNET were elite East Coast institutions, who were highly competitive in applying for government and foundation research grants.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Then, in 1982, the University of California at Berkeley leased a long, expensive telephone line to join BITNET.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • At this point, an academic person at a U.S. research university could safely assume that any other such individual with whom they wished to communicate could be reached via BITNET.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Then, when BITNET joined with other computer networks in INTERNET, the total number of users skyrocketed because of reciprocal interdependence.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • By the end of the first year, 1981, four additional universities joined BITNET.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Gurbaxani 1990 fit various curves to the data on rate of adoption for BITNET, and concluded that the distribution closely approximated an S-shaped curve.

    Diffusion of Innovations


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  • BITNET was a data transmission network founded in 1981 by Ira H. Fuchs (City University of New York) and Greydon Freeman (Yale University). Its goal was to link North American academic institutions and other information networks.

    March 29, 2011