Venkatesh, Alladi Graduate School of Management, University of California, Irvine, California.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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- Technological features
- Domain Name System
- International domains
- World Wide Web
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Worldwide system of interconnected computer networks. The origins of the Internet can be traced to the creation of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) as a network of computers under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Defense in 1969. ARPANET originally used 50 kilobits-per-second (kbps) public switched telephone network for communications before progressing to high-speed wired and optical communications. Today, the Internet connects computers and handheld electronic devices through high-speed wired and wireless networks around the world in a nonhierarchical manner unprecedented in the history of communications (Fig. 1). The Internet is a product of the convergence of media, computers, and telecommunications. It is not merely a technological development but the product of social, commercial, and political processes as well. From its origins in a nonindustrial, noncorporate environment and in a purely scientific culture, it quickly diffused into the world of commerce. While the Internet had a dramatic impact on the global economic and social order, it took almost 30 years to emerge as a major technological force.
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