The internet began in 1969, as an experimental four-computer network called ARPAnet, which was designed by the U.S. Defense Department so that research scientist could communicate. In approximately two years, ARPAnet grew to about two dozen sites and by 1981, consisted of more than two hundred sites. In 1990, ARPAnet was officially disbanded and the network, which now consisted of hundreds of sites, came to be known as the Internet.
After a while, commercial organizationsbegan to recognize the use of such a network which converted the whole world into a 'Global Village' and allowed almost instant access to business or commerce data and a host of other services such as E-Mail and E-Commerce. The rapid growth of the Internet was due to networking giants like British Telecom, Hyundai, AT&T and others setting up fast & reliable networks that encircled the globe. The networking giants were very clear about their role. This was to setup and maintain,monitor and expand existing networks. Hence another layer was formed above this layer called ISP's (Internet Service Providers). The networking giants gave access to the Internet via 'Gateways'. Using ISP gateways it is perfectly possible to route business or commerce data from one point of the globe to another by using a heterogenous mix of networks owned by different networking giants who have worked out an agreement between themselves on the cost of usage.
ISP's in turn offer clients' access to the Internet via their gateways as paid for service.
An ISP's gateway generally consists of a server with a permanent connection to the Internet. The Server's connection to the Internet is called its Internet 'Pipeline'. Special hardare is used as the pipeline to connect an ISP's server to the Internet. ISP pipeline bandwidths of 2GB to 10GB are quite common. Multiple pipelines can be purchased by an ISP from a networking giant and used.
Clients that log into the Internet via an ISP commonly use only 33.6 Kilobyte of the ISP's bandwidth. Occasionally a client whose data traffic is very high will use special connectivity methods(ISDN) to an ISP's server and use between 64Kbps to 128Kbps of the ISP's bandwidth. If a client has huge data traffic then a client could directly negotiate with a networking
giant to have its own private 'gateway' to the Internet and then make use of the huge bandwidth for its data transfers. These types of clients are not ISP's and as a general rule do not allow other clients access to their gateway. Even in such case physical access to the Internet is a server.
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