From what began as a network designed to survive if any part of it was damaged or destroyed, the Internet has become an invaluable source of information and an essential part of many people’s day-to-day lives.
The Internet as we know it, is a series of sites using HTML (HyperText Markup Language) to present information began in the early 1990s and progress from that point on has been rapid. The first website was produced by the European physics laboratory CERN and you can still see what it looked like today. Few people at the time can have realised how significant those few lines of hyperlinked text would prove to be.
The Information Superhighway
As the Internet became available to more and more businesses and homes, it rapidly became known as the Information Superhighway. The term actually pre-dates the Internet, having been used by Newsweek to refer to a new fibre optic cable network in the US in the 1980s. There are earlier references than that, often associated with former US vice president Al Gore.
Wherever it originated, the idea of the Superhighway quickly caught on with the idea that it could make a vast repository of knowledge available to anyone in the world. However, those with limited or slow connections rapidly learned that the Internet was often more of a back road than a highway.
It wasn’t until fast, affordable broadband began to become widely available in the early 21st century that the Superhighway potential began to be realised. This meant that the Web could be used not only to find information but as a source of entertainment too as it became possible to download and stream music and video.
Yet as broadband brought faster access to the Web it also sowed the seeds for the Superhighway to split up. Suddenly anyone could have a website thanks to affordable offerings for Web Design Worcestershire company www.shineinternet.co.uk being an example.
This meant that more information than ever started to become available online. As a result you can find details on just about any topic via the Internet, even if it’s a niche area – in fact often the more niche the better.
So rather than being a Superhighway to a single source of all knowledge the Internet has become a series of pools of data about a vast range of topics. Of course there’s more to it than that, it’s also become a portal for a whole range of everyday tasks like shopping, banking, finding a new job and more.
But of course this isn’t the end of the story, the Web is continuing to evolve. We’re now moving into the Internet of Things era with connected devices being able to exchange information online without human intervention. The technology has the potential to usher in a new era of smart homes, continual health monitoring and much more, all drawing on a vast pool of sensor data collected around the clock. The Superhighway is about to become a two-way street.