Photo: Dave Bullock
In 2006, Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska famously referred to the Internet as a "series of tubes," and got ribbed for it. But here in the Meet Me Room in a business building in downtown Los Angeles, Sen. Stevens ain't that far off.
From Dave Bullock's article at Wired:
In the bowels of the world's most densely populated Meet-Me room -- a room where over 260 ISPs connect their networks to each other -- a phalanx of cabling spills out of its containers and silently pumps the world's information to your computer screen. One tends to think of the internet as a redundant system of remote carriers peppered throughout the world, but in order for the net to function the carriers have to physically connect somewhere. For the Pacific Rim, the main connection point is the One Wilshire building in downtown Los Angeles.
If this facility went down, most of California and parts of the rest of the world would not be able to connect to the internet. Tour one of the web's largest nerve centers, hidden in an otherwise nondescript office building.