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How to "become" a usenet new server?

Here's the core of the question - setup of the server software aside, how do the various sites bootstrap into becoming a site where news is served and exchanged?

I don't mean buying a "feed", either. Or maybe I do, how's that for incompetency. :-) I mean, how is the news data acquired and exchanged cost effectively by the large news sites and by the smaller news sites, including the ones run by local ISPs? 

Example of what I mean: I have my ISP's news server  I submit an article to it with my newsreader program. The ISP's server more or less instantly transfers articles it has collected, including mine, to another higher level server or a peer server. I doubt seriously that at that level, anyone has paid anyone for the right to disseminate my idiotic text...

My surface impression is that most commercial Usenet hosts have some kind of peering relationship with other hosts that is mutually beneficial and voluntary, and is not based upon paying $X for N gigabytes/mo per 100 newsgroups or whatever.  I envision a kind of self sustaining virtual "society" composed of server sites, with somewhat closed membership.

I know all about free NNTP servers, pay/commercial NNTP servers that serve both ISPs under a bulk plan as well as individuals. My surmise is that since connecting to "me" from a larger server is economically worthless in itself to that host since I rarely source any data at all to them, I must pay them for the privelige. I suspect that no-cost "peering" relies upon each site having complementary needs for data that the other can source. In the aggregate, this would be the "backbone" of usenet.

Or not. I'm obviously guessing.

So, I guess I am interested in learning about the ground rules as to how this association works in the real world, since it represents a kind of persistent, cashless closed "economy".  I have no immediate need or application for an answer. I have just always been intrigued as to how this stuff started and how it perpetuates itself.

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

One question you need to decide: do you want binaries?
Usenet binaries make up something like 90% of the hard drive requirements for ISP's. If you're willing to forego binaries ("text-only" feed), then you can probably find an ISP that will let you peer for free (I know of two that would let me peer on a text-only basis)


Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Bored, my understanding is that you are correct. Unless you have some volume of data to exchange though, I doubt you will find anyone to peer with you. I suspect you would lack the bandwidth as well :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

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