There seems to be much mis-information here regarding this so here is my experience with this, working 12 years as a network systems engineer and
having built several Main Telephone Switching Offices (MTSO).
This is a USA Federal Government Bill that would affect inter-country data communications (internet, satellite, and national radio programs which are
IP packets transmitted to RF distribution sites) and also international interconnections.
The Republican sponsor of this Bill is Olympia Snow who is a RINO and usually votes with the other side.
The USA represents 80% of the worldwide traffic so any cut in interconnectivity affects the world. Local internet networks sharing a common hub would
work but not much information is normally there, so not much help in the real world.
The internet is not one spiderweb, but many spiderwebs logically interconnected via 'backbones'. Breaking the backbone connection will shutdown
most IP requests and slow down everything else. Government orders will also include termination of automatic IP reroutes. About 15 years ago a fire
at the Chicago hub shut down all communications with the east coast.
Maps of the Internet Backbone Maps for the following are available at www.nthelp.com...
MCIWorldcom 2000 (current pdf)
For an example, lets say that the government wanted to cut off information flow between the USA's east coast and west coast. If you compare the
various provider maps along the center of the USA, you will see that Chicago, Kansas City/St.Louis, Dallas/Austin are major backbone hubs. Many of
these are physically co-located in the same multistory building with a different hub switch (a large computer running telecom switching software with
physical interconnects in and out) run by a different company on each floor.
One government IT tech, armed with a government order at these few sites, can walk into a backbone center at a coordinated time shut off internet
within a few minutes.
Why would the government want to do this? For the conspiracy types, what if the government started rounding up patriot dissenters, they couldn't
warn the others that the government was coming for them nor could a coordinated response be achieved.
Internet backbones are a group of communications networks managed by several commercial companies that provide the major high-speed links across the
country. ISPs are either connected directly to these backbones or to a larger regional ISP that is connected to one. The backbones themselves are
interconnected at various access points called "NAPs." The major backbone providers include Qwest, Level 3 Communications, AT&T, Sprint/Nextel,
SAVVIS and British Telecom.
The first public Internet exchange points (IXPs). Established by the National Science Foundation in the early 1990s, they were set up to provide a
standard way to exchange packets for commercial backbones. When the Net went commercial in 1995, four official NAPs were created. Three were run by
the telephone companies in San Francisco, Chicago and Pennsauken, NJ, and the fourth was run by Metropolitan Fiber Systems (MFS) in Washington, D.C.,
known as MAE-East (Metropolitan Area Exchange-East). Four more MAEs became de facto NAPs along with two federal exchanges and the Commercial Internet
Exchange Association (see CIX).
Since the first NAPs, hundreds of public exchange points were created around the world, which serve to interconnect all the backbone networks and
provide on-ramps to smaller ISPs
A public junction point on the Internet that provides an on-ramp to the Internet as well as a location for carriers to exchange traffic. As of 2007,
there were approximately 300 IXPs around the world, with more than 75 in the U.S. For a current list of IXPs, visit pch.net/resources/data.