Internet backbone

A woman in Georgia pierced a internet backbone line with a shovel

The Internet backbone may be defined by the principal data routes between large, strategically interconnected computer networks and core routers on the Internet. These data routes are hosted by commercial, government, academic and other high-capacity network centers, the Internet exchange points and network access points, that interchange Internet traffic between the countries, continents and across the oceans. Internet service providers, often Tier 1 networks, participate in Internet backbone exchange traffic by privately negotiated interconnection agreements, primarily governed by the principle of settlement-free peering

Certain countries around Caucasus have very simple backbone networks; for example, in 2011, a woman in Georgia pierced a fiber backbone line with a shovel and left the neighboring country of Armenia without Internet access for 12 hours. The country has since made major developments to the fiber backbone infrastructure, but progress is slow due to lack of government funding.