The internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities.
The internet is at once a worldwide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location. The internet represents one of the most successful examples of the benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research and development of information infrastructure. Beginning with the early research in packet switching, the government, industry and academia have been partners in evolving and deploying this new technology.
It's almost impossible to say for exact when the internet began. This is mainly because nobody can agree on what, precisely, the internet is.
The internet is a worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that use the TCP/IP set of network protocols to reach billions of users. The internet began as a U.S Department of Defense network to link scientists and university professors around the world.
A network of networks, today, the internet serves as a global data communications system that links millions of private, public, academic and business networks via an international telecommunications backbone that consists of various electronic and optical networking technologies.
Decentralized by design, no one owns the internet and it has no central governing authority. As a creation of the Defense Department for sharing research data, this lack of centralization was intentional to make it less vulnerable to wartime or terrorist attacks.