Origins, Growth, and Geographies of the Global Internet

  • Barney Warf
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY, volume 1)


To appreciate the complexity, implications, and geography of the internet, it is vital to understand where it came from and how it came to be. Toward this end, this chapter sketches the broad outlines of the world’s internet in several stages. It opens with an overview of the seminal technologies that make the internet possible, fiber optics and satellites, which together comprise the infrastructure of cyberspace. Second it traces some of the highlights of the internet’s history, from its origins with the U.S. military to its explosive growth and commercialization today. In the process, it charts the uneven geographies of growth over time and space. The third section addresses the digital divide, or sociospatial inequalities in internet usage, which are found to one extent or another across the planet. Finally, the chapter concludes with a brief regional survey of internet usage in various world regions to highly the spatially uneven character of its deployment and implications.


Internet Access Internet Usage Penetration Rate Digital Divide Arab World 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barney Warf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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