What connects the internet backbone

The infrastructure of the internet

The backbone of the internet

The Internet consists of an amalgamation of different independent network segments. These mainly include the networks of Internet providers, companies, universities and research institutions. In the background these networks are operated with extremely powerful fiber optic cables, the so-called. Backbone (Backbone), connected. Backbones are broadband high-speed connections that connect the various network nodes with one another. The backbone cannot be accessed directly, rather it connects the transition points to the independent network segments. Cable network operators also offer Internet access, which is why their backbones are also part of the Internet's backbone.

The Network node of the Internet (Internet node) serve as data exchange points on the Internet. Several Internet service providers are usually connected to an Internet node and exchange data between their independent networks via the nodes.

Internet nodes are generally also called "Internet Exchange Point" short IXP designated. In the case of Internet hubs between commercial Internet service providers, these are also referred to as "Commercial Internet Exchange" short CIX designated. There are approximately 340 IXPs worldwide (approximately 165 in Europe and approximately 80 in North America). The world's largest CIX is DE-CIX in Germany in Frankfurt am Main, where more than 100 autonomous networks are connected.


Most large Internet nodes consist of several buildings that house the entire network infrastructure. Smaller Internet nodes, on the other hand, only serve to connect to the larger Internet nodes. The data exchange between the Internet nodes is usually carried out using the so-called. Peering regulated, in which both participants can forward data free of charge to the network of the other. Other Internet service providers who only want to use the infrastructure have to pay fees for use. Telecommunications network operatorsuch as B. Telekom in Germany are companies that operate telecommunications networks and make them available to other participants for a fee. If the telecommunications network operators offer services themselves, they are also internet service providers.

The connections of the internet

The connections between the Internet nodes and the Internet service providers are implemented with underground cables, submarine cables as well as radio link and satellite connections.

Underground cables are used for the intra-continental connection of Internet nodes. They are robustly insulated and consist of many pairs of wires that are provided with an elaborate protection and identification system made of paper, foils and sheaths.

Submarine cables will i. d. Usually used for the intercontinental connection of Internet nodes. Submarine cables are manufactured to be extremely robust, as their maintenance is technically very complex. The submarine cables are laid by cable-laying vessels and must be marked on nautical charts.


cable data by Greg Mahlknecht, map by Openstreetmap contributors and another author - http://www.cablemap.info (cable data by Greg Mahlknecht released under GPLv3) http://umap.openstreetmap.fr/de

Directional radio is a radio system with which data can be exchanged between fixed positions over long distances. Electromagnetic waves are transmitted, which are sent and received with the help of parabolic antennas. To do this i. d. R. There is visual contact between the transmitter and receiver. If there is no direct visual contact between the sender and receiver, relay stations, e.g. B. required on hills that have visual contact with both (transmitter and receiver) and relay the signal. Data of up to 150 km can be transmitted wirelessly via directional radio. For telecommunications network operators, radio relay is a powerful and relatively inexpensive option for data transmission.


Also Satellite links are used in the global internet structure. For this purpose, communication satellites are used, which orbit the earth in a relatively high orbit. Microwaves are used for data transmission. A line of sight is also absolutely necessary here.


Internet service provider (engl. Internet service provider, short ISP) are providers of technical services, services and content for the use of the Internet. This means that the ISPs are also the providers of Internet access. The internet access is over DSL (Telephone network), electric wire (Cable television network), UMTS (Cellular network) or directly via satellite possible.

The house connections, d. H. access by private individuals to the Internet is also called last mile designated. Nowadays this is mostly what comes here Broadband access can be used via DSL modem, cable modem or UMTS. The obsolete ones are barely in use Narrow band entrances via ISDN or dial-up modem. Currently (2016) mainly copper cables are used on the last mile. Firms and government agencies often use too Leased lines based on copper and fiber optics with mostly significantly higher transmission speeds.

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