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FidoNet is a computer network which stretches around the world that is capable of communication between bulletin board systems. FidoNet makes use of a store-and-forward system to exchange public and private messages. This form of electronic communications was popular before the advent of low-cost Internet connections. The need for FidoNet has lessened, but it still remains in use.
According to FidoNet policy, it is governed in a hierarchical structure with designated coordinators for each level of administration. FidoNet's bulletin board system has an address consisting of a zone, region, network, node and point details. A node is an individual bulletin board system and a point is a user who is configured similarly to a bulletin board system off the node. FidoNet offers three main services:
FidoNet is known for its ease of use and low cost. It is very flexible and decentralized. Compared to other conferencing systems, FidoNet-compatible systems are easy to install and inexpensive. They also do not require expensive hardware and do not make use of packet switching. Although with the advent of the Internet, FidoNet lost its popularity, it is still considered invaluable for situations and countries where line quality is inferior and international dialing costs are very high.