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The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003):

netlag n. [IRC, MUD] A condition that occurs when the delays in the IRC network or on a MUD become severe enough that servers briefly lose and then reestablish contact, causing messages to be delivered in bursts, often with delays of up to a minute. (Note that this term has nothing to do with mainstream ?jet lag?, a condition which hackers tend not to be much bothered by.) Often shortened to just ?lag?.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):

netlag lag A condition that occurs when the delays in the IRC network, a MUD connection, a telnet connection, or any other networked interactive system, become severe enough that servers briefly lose and then reestablish contact, causing messages to be delivered in bursts, often with delays of up to a minute. (Note that this term has nothing to do with mainstream "jet lag"). [Jargon File] (1996-06-21)