The Telegraph

Information could travel no faster than the gallop of a horse in the centuries before the telegraph. Once information could be represented and transmitted in patterns of electrical signals, large-scale communication networks were quickly established as critical infrastructure for society. These networks spanned regional and national administrative domains, and they depended on standards for information exchange and facilities for addressing and routing message traffic through the network.

Instantaneous communication across cities, continents and oceans gave rise to key institutions of today's society: global news media, national markets and banking systems, and the ideas of "the international community" and what Marshall McLuhan.called "the global village". Along with these came early forms of e-mail, electronic commerce, online chat, and wire fraud.

The Victorian Internet