What if the internet failed?

27-09-2021

What if the internet failed? Since the 1960s, when work on its development began, internet infrastructure has become almost as important as the electricity and transport infrastructure in modern societies. More and more key services, such as banking, food retail and health care, rely on internet connections. Despite the internet's original resilient decentralised design, the increasing importance of a few central players and the shift towards greater centralisation have made the internet more susceptible to failure. This would have severe repercussions: people would not be able to withdraw cash or pay by card, supermarkets and large retailers would not be able to bill and sell products, and managing digital certificates (such as the Covid-19 vaccination certificate) would no longer be possible.

What if the internet failed? Since the 1960s, when work on its development began, internet infrastructure has become almost as important as the electricity and transport infrastructure in modern societies. More and more key services, such as banking, food retail and health care, rely on internet connections. Despite the internet's original resilient decentralised design, the increasing importance of a few central players and the shift towards greater centralisation have made the internet more susceptible to failure. This would have severe repercussions: people would not be able to withdraw cash or pay by card, supermarkets and large retailers would not be able to bill and sell products, and managing digital certificates (such as the Covid-19 vaccination certificate) would no longer be possible.