Skip to main content

Home Internet backbone

Internet backbone

(also the core of the internet)

Internet backbone definition

The internet backbone is a worldwide internet network owned by several major internet service providers, also known as Tier 1 ISPs. This backbone network consists of core routers and long-haul, high-speed fiber-optic cables connecting countries and continents, some of which run underseas. Numerous wires are usually gathered into trunks.

The networks that make up the internet backbone connect to each other and exchange data at internet traffic exchange points (IXPs).

Smaller, local internet service providers connect to the backbone, enabling end users to communicate with the world.

Owners of the internet backbone

The internet backbone is managed by multiple government, academic, and commercial organizations. Most of the infrastructure belongs to Tier 1 ISPs, like Cogent, NTT, GTT, and Telcom Italia.

Antitrust organizations guard the independence of the backbone. They make sure no provider has enough power to dictate its terms and dominate the market.