Internet Revolution, Part 1

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

The Internet was orignally created back in the early 80's as a tool for the military to better communicate. It later found its way onto college campuses to assist teachers in educating their pupils.

The mid-Nineties brought a surge of Dot-Com companies and online- based services that beckoned the average joe to get connected to internet.

Thirty years ago, if you had personal access to a computer, you were a rarity. Nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find a household or business without one.

The explosion of online capabilities has made the internet a major appliance in many homes, instead of a luxury like it used to be back in its early days.

Click here to view the increase of internet usage from the year 1994 to 2001.

"One of the first big drivers was EDI, or electronic data transfers between businesses. You started hooking people on and more and more people started getting on and getting home computers and the bubble kind if took off," says Nortel Networks Strategic Accounts Manager, John Quesinberry.

Internet World Stats reports that out of the over 300,000,000 people currently in the United States, 69 percent are internet users.

Click here to view the current statistics to internet usage in the US.

The internet is simply a network made up of smaller networks. You dial a modem to connect to an internet service provider. The provider will then route you directly to the website or the corresponding computer that you are seeking.

Experts say the adoption of the internet into daily life has become possible because of the convenience of its services.

"I think its the "right here, right now". We want the ability to do it at our own time rather than the time the business wants us to do it in," says Quesinberry.

"The internet has made it possible and changed the mindset of people that whatever it is I want, I can get it right now. If its information, research, to make a purchase, to make a connection, to find somebody of a like interest, I can do it immediately," agrees Nortel co-worker Craig Coale.

Western Kentucky University Director of Networking and Computing Support Dave Beckley also attributes the increase in online usage to the marketing of higher connection speeds such as DSL and Broadband.

Social communities like Myspace and Facebook have also increased online usage.

"I can find people all across the globe and I can communicate with them. The second piece to that is, it doesn't cost me anything relatively speaking. There's no long-distance bill. I can find them and communicate with people with like interests," notes Coale.

"It was a big draw for lots of college kids to be able to go out and put out their information and sort of feel like they were becoming part of a community, part of a group," says Beckley.

Many businesses also use online shopping to increase business.

In 2004, it was estimated that nearly 2.5 trillion dollars, or 25 percent of the U.S.' financial output that year, was spent in online sales.

Even "mom and pop" businesses are putting up websites that allow a customer from the other side of the country or world a chance to purchase from them.

According to Beckley, "It makes it easier for businesses to communicate with their customers, for the customers to find products and services that they needed."

Internet companies have already grown bigger in size than the former technology giants: airlines, publishing and healthcare says one internet insider.

Click here to view a brief history of the internet and statistics on internet commerce.


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