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The High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 was the first major step in creating the modern powerhouse we call the Internet out of the ARPANET that was largely a test bed for hobbyists, the Defense Department and academic institutions.
Even at that, it wasn’t until high speed access to the Internet became ubiquitous at the end of the 20th Century that the Internet went from a tool for universities and large businesses to a system that may someday connect every person on Earth to every other person ? either directly or through machine-to-machine communications.
A major outgrowth of the wired and wireless broadband explosion in the United States and elsewhere are the number of entrepreneurs who have found ways to utilize the always-on, high-speed nature of the modern Internet to write useful applications that are free or nearly free; that have allowed them make a living and hire other people; and have improved the lives of people from Kansas to Kenya and from Slovakia to Singapore.
People who are looking for a job can sit in their kitchen and search listings by connecting through their home high-speed connection. If the job in which they are interested requires training, there are literally thousands of course offerings they can download and work on after the kids have gone to bed.
Businesses from the smallest to the largest ? from the one person design firm to WalMart ? use the Internet all day, every day to do everything from transmit drawings to keep track of the number of jeans sold on a Saturday in one store in Ohio.