ABSTRACT

The Internet is the most revolutionary phenomenon in the history of ICT since the diffusion of personal computers in the 1970s. It is a basic technological change not in the sense that it is simple or independent of other previous technology, as the wheel was, but because it lays the foundation for a number of other economic, technological and social transformations, as the steam engine or the telephone did. By so describing it, not only do we acknowledge the fact that the Internet has become the centre of a technological whirlpool that is rapidly affecting most aspects of advanced societies, we also make it possible to apply to its evolution Schumpeter’s classic model of the three stages in the development of a technology: invention, innovation and diffusion.