The End of the Internet? How regional networks may replace the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web celebrated its 25th birthday recently. Today the global network serves almost 3 billion people, and hundreds of thousands more join each day. If the Internet were a country, its economy would be among the five largest in the world.In 2011, according to the World Economic Forum, growth in the digital economy created 6 million new jobs. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that transborder online traffic grew 18-fold between 2005 and 2012 and that the global flow of goods, services, and investments — which reached $26 trillion in 2012 — could more than triple by 2025. Facebook has launched a major initiative, in partnership with tech giants including Samsung and Qualcomm, dedicated to making the Internet available to the approximately two-thirds of the world’s population not yet connected. Cisco forecasts that between 2013 and 2022, the so-called Internet of Things will generate $14.4 trillion in value for global enterprises.

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