More than 4.5 billion people now use the internet. And a big number of people using social media are at the top crossing 3.8 billion mark. Sounds amazing! And, if you see records 60% of the world population is online.
Yes we are talking about the era of digitalization, where everything depends on the internet.
But, wait why we are here. Because we want to tell you the story of the internet.
As, everything depends on the internet. So, let's read something about it. We’ll travel and learn two topics here first: what is the internet and the second one is how does it work.
The Internet is the carrier of different kinds of information and data. You all share data (like photos, videos, document files etc) through different mediums like social media websites, emails, phones etc.
But have you realized how your data goes through the internet.
Further this data can be shared through the chain of many computers around the world through a vast and efficient network system.
So, while reading about these things such as the internet, sharing of data or information through a chain of networks we came across many relevant questions for instance, how is it possible to connect the computers through a vast chain of networks.
The exact answer for the question is pretty complicated and would take a while to explain. Instead, we’ll look at some of the most important things.
It's important to realize that the internet is a very decentralized global network of physical cables, which can include copper telephone wires, Television cables, and fiber optic cables. Even wireless connections like Wi-Fi and 3G/4G/5G rely on these physical cables to access the Internet.
Billions of computers and other electronic devices connected build up the internet.
You wake up in the morning and you pick up your phone to visit facebook. Your phone sends a request over these wires to facebook server. Once the request arrives, the facebook server retrieves your profile and sends the correct data back to your smartphone.
Our mobile phones and computers are data centers and servers that are connected to each other through wires.
Huge underwater cables have been laid world wide across the continents that connect the computers worldwide to one another which make the internet.
Now, people could ask that my mobile phone isn’t connected with any cable. How could we access the internet without any optical cable ?
Mobile phones operate through mobile towers and offer us 3G/4G/5G internet connectivity which do not have extremely long range. Our phones have the 3G/4G signal only when you are close to the mobile towers.
But as you move a little further away, then the signals (on your phone) won’t show up.
So, the towers of mobile phones are actually connected to wires and they are eventually connected to those wires that are connected to the wires connected worldwide intercontinentally.
We can understand this by an example;
Let say a long underwater inter-continental cable comes to the City of India say Gujarat and then from there the cable spread out in different directions and reached different areas in India, due to which the internet reached different parts of the country.
So, in a way you could say that the company that has laid down these wires holds a huge amount of significant power because they are supplying the internet to many different places in the world.
Secondly, companies that lay down the cables on the land to help the internet reach every household by connecting these wires to the main cable and connect your computers to the internet worldwide.
They hold significant powers. They are called Internet Service Providers (ISP)s.
These would be companies like Airtel, Jio, BSNL that supply internet to your homes and they do hold significant powers because these ISPs can block certain websites upon the direction of the Government.
But on the other hand they do not hold sufficient powers to control a lot of things because one can use VPNs to overcome the blockages of ISPs in any part of the world.
There is another authority above it and the name of the authority is : ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
It is a non-profitable organization based in Los Angeles. You could say that this is the top-level authority regarding the internet. It has the power to authorize websites like godaddy to sell domain names.
This authority decides upon which organizations can sell domain names. This the top-level authority that decides upon which domain names can actually exist. There could be .com, .in, .info or .gov. All of these are decided by ICANN.
For example we can make a website with (.gov) in its name. We can build domain names with .com in it.
Although it is a non-profit organization, it sells top level domain names to the rest of the companies by bidding. The companies that it sells to are called “registries”.
You can go on the website of ICANN and see which companies have bought the different top level domains.
For example, (.aaa) has been bought by American Automobile Association. Below the registries are the registrars. Companies like GoDaddy that can sell both top-level domains as well as domain names to the people.
The correct answer to this question would be that it belongs to nobody and belongs to everybody because the internet runs or we can access it when there is a decentralised system.
If you wish to buy a part of the internet, if you wish to own it, you can do this only when you build a website of your own.