Hi Martin, thanks for the question.
As stated on the project page, "Note: This page describes a new project started in 2017. For the legacy mechanism of inter-connecting multiple Moodle and Mahara sites into a network, please see the MNet page"
What we're creating with the new MoodleNet (and I agree, the naming can be confusing) is something quite different from what's gone before. The issue with previous attempts was that work was being siloed/fragmented rather than moving the whole community forward.
The new solution is a federated, decentralised approach which, although challenging to build, should deal with some of the issues that have previously plagued similar initiatives in the Moodle community!