Hello and welcome to this post! But…how did you get here?
Ah… through a link on a website.
But, how does the website work?
Ummm, through the internet you use.
That’s great! But where does the internet come from? Let’s find out…
The Internet is one of the greatest gifts to mankind. Writing and knowledge sharing had always been one of the favourite past time for many and even profession for some. The love of information sharing spread concepts like literature, religion and science. Internet is a world wide network of information and communication. The internet has the power to solve problems like last mile connectivity, skill building and development, e-governance, timely dispute resolution etc. It has the power to make and break regimes. 4 billion of us are already interconnected to each other through the world wide web and apps. Internet has no boundaries. We all are aware that network towers and modems connect us to internet. But where does the internet exactly come from?
The internet works by delivering packets, which are very small chunks of data. If you search digicookies.com in your address bar, your router will send packets of data which contain domain name server information of my website. Servers, which are owned by hosting company of my website store pages and data. This packet of data is then received by the recipient’s router through ISPs.
Your cable, and all the others in the area, terminates at the cable modem termination system (CMTS), which is like a giant modem that connects to the modems in thousands of subscribers’ homes. Like your router, which allows all your devices to get internet without overlapping, the CMTS does the same thing for the thousands of connected subscribers. The internet cables which make this process possible are owned by Internet Service Providers. ISPs are the owner of the internet. But who provides internet to Internet Service Providers?
The answer may surprise you, its Internet Service Providers all the way. ISP computers are globally connected to each other through underwater fiber cables.
The process of voluntary interconnection of internet networks for the purpose of exchanging traffic is called peering. This interconnectivity enables equal distribution of data. Consumers think of fiber as a new technology, but the Internet backbone network connecting cities and countries has been built with fiber-optic cables since the dawn of the Internet. The first submarine fiber-optic cable connected the US to France and Britain back in 1988, and hundreds currently criss cross the ocean floor all around the world.
This cooperation makes it possible to move information from DigiCookies’ computers in Mumbai to computers all over the world, far beyond the reach of any one ISP. Being connected to the Internet, after all, really means being connected to other people’s computers on a very grand scale. Since there are so many computers, ISPs need to build a lot of infrastructure in order to connect them all with cables and give them unique identifiers, but in the end, it’s all just computers talking to one another.
Internet doesn’t have a source because it’s a medium of communication. Writers, readers, the people who share and comment, the people who subscribe make internet possible. The internet is just the grid of this information. Hence the source of the internet is… everyone. Yes, all of us make the internet. It is a remarkable testament to what humans can create when we work together!