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What is an Internet Backbone?

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An internet backbone is a high capacity data route that interconnects large strategically interconnected networks. Backbones are typically hosted by governments, institutions such as universities and commercial entities such as telecom companies.


The structure of the internet is characterized by networks connecting networks to form larger networks. An internet backbone is an interconnection point for major networks that are connected to many other major networks. Such interconnections are based on interconnection agreements. To be considered an internet backbone, an interconnection must be settlement-free meaning that no fees are charged between peers to accept traffic.


Internet backbones use specialized equipment known as core routers that support multiple telecommunications interfaces at high speed.
Overview: Internet Backbone
A high capacity data route between large strategically interconnected networks.
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