Data & Society > our work > newspaper article > Tracing the byzantine maze of the companies that have come to control America’s internet

Quartz | 10.05.16

Tracing the byzantine maze of the companies that have come to control America’s internet

Ingrid Burrington

D&S artist-in-residence Ingrid Burrington details the infrastructure of the internet and who owns the physical pieces of this infrastructure.

The miles of fiber-optic cable that connect the country to the world are mostly visible in fragments—signs for buried cable along the side of a road, telephone poles running between houses forming serpentine labyrinths beneath city manhole covers. These glimpses of networks tend to feature the names of at least a few different companies—sometimes well-known ones, like AT&T, but just as often companies that don’t tend to become household brands or that haven’t existed for years. US-West, MCI/Worldcom, Embarq. It’s hard to really get a grasp of who, exactly, owns all of this stuff and how they came to own it.

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