Who Really Owns The Internet?

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According to Internet World Statistics as of June 30, 2018, there were 4.2 billion people around the world using the internet. That’s about 55 percent of the world’s population. The lion’s share of internet users are in Asia – almost half – followed by Europe, Latin America, Africa and North America. Only three years ago there were just over three billion people using the net, so a lot of people have recently gotten themselves connected. Some of us perhaps couldn’t live without it; it’s how some of us make a living, either directly or indirectly, while some people would literally suffer withdrawal symptoms if you took it away from them. Our reliance on the internet cannot be understated, and that reliance is only going to become more natural. But who’s the proprietor of this thing? That’s what we’ll find out today, in this episode of the Infographics Show, Who Owns the Internet?

First of all, what is the Internet?

Well, it’s not one tangible thing. It’s made up of hundreds of thousands of networks and connecting everything is a great deal of technology. As one writer said on Quora, and we like the analogy, when we talk about the Internet it’s like talking about agriculture. Who owns agriculture? What is agriculture? It’s complicated.

But for the internet to work there has to be a lot of infrastructure, and that infrastructure is owned by people, companies, entities. The net is what you might call a giant and mindboggling plexus, which is just an intricate network of many parts that makes up a system. Within this giant plexus are nexuses, which can be important points where many connections meet. Information is carried from these points, which are servers, and that information is carried down what we might call digital arteries, or fiber optic cables.

Who really owns the internet? Is it a company or a government?

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