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backbone site

backbone site: n. A key USENET and email site; one that processes
   a large amount of third-party traffic, especially if it is the home
   site of any of the regional coordinators for the USENET maps.
   Notable backbone sites as of early 1993 include uunet and the
   mail machines at Rutgers University, UC Berkeley, DEC's Western
   Research Laboratories, Ohio State University, and the University of
   Texas.  Compare rib site, leaf site.