Essentially, what we call the “Internet” is the electronic network of networks that connects people and information through different digital devices permitting information retrieval and person-to-person communication. In the late 1960s the U.S. Department of Defence commissioned the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) for network research, but only in 1982 Internet technology protocols, commonly known as TCP/IP, are developed. The medium began its rapid ascent in the early 1990s, when commercial interests were allowed to participate and graphical interfaces became broadly accessible.
Since then the number of people who have access to the internet and use it on a daily basis has risen exponentially, and so have the web sites available online. In 1995 they were less than 20,000, in 2000 were over 10 million (over two billion web pages) in 2010 they are estimated to be around 800,000,000.
The growth or the World Wide Web is not the privilege of the West. There is considerable activity in the Internet and online markets across Asia. A study conducted by China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), the state network information center of China, found out that China has more internet users than the total population of the U.S. Internet penetration remains much lower, 28.7% according to the latest data, (while North America reached 76.2%) but the vast majority are already using broadband connections. Internet use by mobile phones is rapidly increasing and although their connection speed is lower than fixed lines, it can cover a vast geographic area and can easily be applied.
South Korea, with over 37,475,800 users and an extremely vibrant web market, has one of the largest internet penetration rates in the world (77.3%). By contrast the perilous economy and the government’s repression in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are badly obstructing any possibility of telecommunication development in the country.
According to the Internet World Stats, internet penetration in Africa in 2009 was around 6.7%, a poor result if compared to 27.7% of the rest of the world. Yet its growth has accelerated in recent years due to the improvements on infrastructures and broadband is rapidly replacing dial-up connections.
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