The internet is a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure, designed by the U.S. government and brought to market by telecommunications carriers. Websites, applications, social networks, search, etc. are software that sit on top of the infrastructure. Facebook, Twitter, and all other companies on this end of the platform do not own the internet infrastructure. Only Google owns some. Otherwise, the internet is ultimately owned by private telecommunications companies.
It’s not widely recognized here in the U.S., but the internet platform was created to replace the other information delivery and communications platforms in our society. That’s because those platforms were antiquated, expensive but most of all, unreliable in an emergency or natural disaster. The sole reasons at the core level both information delivery and communications platforms exist is to provide either critical information or foster communications capability in the event of an emergency. There was a need for a fix which is ultimately what the internet’s infrastructure is.
The telecommunications companies understood the opportunity and long range viability of the internet infrastructure and this was why they invested in building it.
Historically to date, the emphasis has been on the infrastructure’s information delivery functionality. But it doesn’t change that it equally does and will continue to replace and facilitate voice telephone calls and other forms of communications. The platform has been doing so for more than six years on voice, and far longer with things like email or instant messenger, which are ultimately forms of communication.
Despite this voice calling has relatively lagged behind in terms of adaption and adoption from mass market consumer and business internet users. Not for long.
For those who do not click through, it’s an article about how Verizon is trying to end the PSTN (landline) voice calling platform in areas of New York. It’s an interesting read.